I finally came out a couple of months ago to my family. So now I am in the exploration phrase and trying to understand the community. As a Black lesbian, I did notice the whole labels and roles thing. So I mentioned this subject to a white lesbian friend of mines and she stopped me and said that it is a thing in the lesbian community including the white one. She has to deal with it also.
I mean look into the gay community and all you see is tops and bottoms, the masculines vs the feminines. Within, heterosexual love-making, fucking, whatever you want to call it, positions are more fluid then it seem to be with the gays/lesbians. I was with one lesbian and she did not want to receive. However, being with *straight women, I see they give, take, whatever. I am not into straight girls but we can work things out*.
Again, I am trying to understand the lesbian community. If I can have a label, I would label how I think as a ‘stud’ but people say I am a femme for one reason or the other. I found this to be ironic because when I was assumed to be heterosexual, I was called a tomboy. As a doctoral student, I just can not dress nor do I want to dress like the black stud: gangsta rapper look…..puh please.
So yeah, this whole label thing is a problem. I just do not agree that it is a black thing. I mean, what about the black professional lesbians like me who may be politicians, activist, religious leaders, professors etc. How we express ourselves is a little different….sometimes.
KK, what do you think?
So I will be honest… I was a little at a loss for words when I read this comment. Me a loss for words??? Yes it does happen, mainly because I am sick as a dog. Also as one that easily passes in the heterosexual world, there were some issues I didn’t think I could honestly address. So I reached out to one of my favorite non-skirt wearers for her thoughts.
Here’s what she had to say
No really. They are short sighted and limiting, and often bear little resemblance to the person to whom they are being attached. Labels are for those that don’t like to think. You are new to the lesbian community: Congratulations!! Your U-Haul coupon and Me’Shell N’degeocello collection are in the mail. Now all those trite labels that people assign to themselves and each other are nothing but artificial restrictions-femmes don’t…bois only…yadda, yadda, yadda. Its all bullshit, lies, and deceit. Don’t model your life and your actions on other’s expectations; do what you feel is right for you. As ageist as it sounds, the older you get, the less you and your dating pool will concern yourself about labels and what they entail. That’s a baby dyke’s game. Express yourself in ways only YOU can-because YOU must love what you see when you look in the mirror.”
I’m sure you can see why she and I are buddies!
I will address one part of your comments quickly (and maybe in a future post in more depth). I really don’t believe heterosexual love-making is more fluid at all. I do think it is more instinctive which could be misconstrued as fluid. Gender roles are embedded in children from birth and reinforced through adulthood. If you are following those gender roles then of course it is easier to “go with the flow”. Even in my dalliances with straight women, their roles didn’t change, though mine did. I was the dominant one by virtue of being the lesbian, “the other”. It’s easier to work things out with them because you are not asking them to be anything other than the submissive creatures they have been conditioned to be.
And I will not dismiss your white friend’s comments about labels because that honestly might be her experience. But I stand firm and steadfast that this issue is more prevalent in the Black lesbian community…. *shrugs*
And with that I am taking another shot of NyQuil.
I would looooooooove to get some more thoughts. Thank you to everyone for reading and commenting.
I will definitely be opening comments on all future posts.