French-nailed Lesbian

I came out to the world as a lesbian in 1976, when I was 16 years old. Had come out to parents and family at five but since I wasn’t all that sexually active before my mid-teens it never really came up.

Back in those days, baby lesbians didn’t really have alot of choice as to gender identification. The only way to get to be around girls in any real, interpersonal way, was thru sports. And certainly it was the only way to get to see them naked. Locker room time was what I was in it for. There was a sort of requirement to be a “tomboy”. To throw and hit various balls in various ways. The better one was at it the more gay one seemed to be.

Frankly, I suck at sporty stuff. But back then it was the only option. So I joined teams. I played softball and golf and rugby and basketball. Well, if one could call me running around trying to not get hit by people or missles really “playing”. But it got me action and so I adapted.

I was fast. As long as I was a le to avoid tripping on my feet my coaches always found a way to use me. Stealing bases and so forth. Hated it.

I went to college in a southern state, where the rules were very different. One could be of three primary camps and you had to decide what you “were” from the get-go. There was Butch (do-er, fix cars, etc). Femme (do-ee, cook and clean the house). And something called ki-ki, where you got to be both a do-er and a do-ee. Which was what I knew and so.

Unfortunately most Southern lesbians of that time despised ki-ki women. You might as well be (gasp! The horror!) bisexual. They didn’t know what to do with it.

Most of the students were from Northern states so the general butchy thing applied. Four more years of sports. However, I found Crew, which is a really tough sport, and built a body like Mortal sin. Which is never a bad thing. And at least no balls or javelins or other projectories were involved so I was pretty safe.

I have been arrested for holding my girlfriend’s hands in public. I have marched in Chicago’s early Pride parades and gotten arrested there, too. I am living breathing example of the history of our poor battered fight for equal rights in America.

As time has marched inexorably forward I have slowly divested myself of my butchy little past. I suppose I am a lipstick lesbian although the times now are such that I no longer even need that label. I live a fairly traditional lifestyle with my butch wife. I’m a do-ee for the most part (except for my birthday and Christmas and when wifey wants to really spoil me for some reason). I am an animal psychologist but it’s really a part-time job to keep me busy. I am definitely the caretaker in my household.

I was recently accused of no being a feminist by a well-intentioned but totally wrong acquaintance. Apparently my French nails are just too much for the woman. Apparently I am supposed to be some amalgamation of male and female, that metrosexual thing that’s so popular nowadays.

Feminism is all about rights to be what one is. It’s about being politically involved in the so basic right to reproductive freedom. It’s abou raising awareness of the plight of women and children in this country. It’s about fighting the held belief that we are somehow inferior to men. In a nutshell, feminism is about fighting all of the subtle and not-so-subtle expressions of misogny that is rampant in our culture.

When I was a kid I didn’t get to clearly express my sexuality. And now, all these years later, after all the inner turmoil I have been thru in finding out who and what I am, I am not about to change. I am a woman who shops at Victoria’s Secret. I do not “look it”. And I do not have to.

Go femmes go!

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12 Comments

  1. Tiger said,

    February 7, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    This brought a huge smile to my face! I, too, love the caretaking aspect, and regardless of the gender of the person I marry, I will remain a caretaker. I mean, hell, what’s a femme to do? Thanks, Splint.

  2. February 7, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    You so funny! Missed you when we were nuts the past couple of days;)

  3. Susan said,

    February 7, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    Very well said! We all deserve to be who we are- not what others want us to be or what we think we should be. (((hugs)))

    • February 7, 2010 at 4:19 pm

      Thanks and so true. It’s a sad thing that a minority that has such an inclusive community attempts to box it’s members in. But those days are mostly gone now, thank god.

  4. Karita said,

    February 8, 2010 at 9:09 am

    Great post. πŸ™‚

  5. sexualselfinjury said,

    February 8, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    Liked your blog. I wish I could forgive myself.

  6. February 8, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    Nice post! πŸ™‚
    I agree about feminism and the freedom to be ‘whatever’, including non-compliant with lesbian/gay stereotypes.
    I have found, myself being bisexual, an extremely low tolerance for bisexuals even now, mainly by the self proclaimed ‘real’ feminists; the ones one would imagine to be most open minded. Which is kind of surprising of course. That I am not ‘good enough’, clear enough, on the barricade enough, somewhat a threat etc.etc. But it is probably more sad than anything.

    • February 8, 2010 at 1:37 pm

      Yes. Freedom is what it is, not within someone else’s guidelines. Not easy to combat.

  7. moreheads said,

    February 9, 2010 at 10:48 am

    Yes Feminism is NOT dead! We’re a “ki ki” more to the butch side, we like the word Dyke because it’s stronger the lesbian. But we are the caretaker, we had the kids.

    We were spit on once for being who we are, it was one of the most humiliating things that ever happened to us RIGHT OUT IN THE OPEN!

    Great post!

    Ravin (ManyVoices)


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