If you’ve had just a cursory poke around littleaussielezzy.com you will have noticed that I like to use the terms lez, lezzy, lezzy’s, etc. You get the drift. I say the full version “lesbian” a bit, and I also use the term gay as well as some other terms to describe us lovely homo’s.
I purposefully use the term “lez” because I quite like it. I do not however like the term “lesbian” quite as much. Kind of leaves a bad taste in my mouth. And it conjures up a very unappealing image in my mind of a fairly drab looking chick, wearing lots of brown, having no style, with a mono-brow and a hairy chin. Please forgive me if this describes you – I mean no disrespect. At different times this describes me – minus the mono-brow that is, and I don’t wear much brown Tweezers are definitely my friend…
Anyway, I was talking with a friend the other day about my coming out story. I told her how I’d realized I was a massive homo after I fell in love/lust with a close friend at the time, and how I’d finally joined the dots re my sexuality and self-identity and why I’d always felt so different as a result of this. I told her how I made myself sick for weeks and churned myself up in knots prior to having the courage to make the big announcement to my olds and start to get on with things. Long story cut short is that I was 23 years old, had just left a very unhappy straight marriage, had a very small baby, was starting life from scratch with pretty much nothing, was going through a hideous divorce including some delightful court proceedings that went on for some years, and on top of all that I felt like I’d just discovered who I was and I was driven to embark on this new life. It was a terrifying and stressful yet exciting time of change.
This particular day I called my parents into the same room on the promise that I had something I wanted to talk to them about. I’d done this several times over the preceding weeks, but managed to avoid getting them both in the same place at once and used other diversions to avoid saying what I really wanted to say. Fear seemed to be getting in the way. Mum has always been a Catholic and even though one of her brothers is an out gay man, there was always a little weirdness from mum when she talked to me about this as a kid. She loved him, but I didn’t know how cool she’d be with me. Dad on the other hand spent most of his life on building sites and I was pretty sure he’d be very uncool with it.
On this particular day they came into the room and all three of us stood there looking at each other. They looked concerned. In hindsight, I’m not surprised because I was a bag of nerves and must have looked awful. So I started to say “There’s something really important that I want to tell you”…. Long pause. I was having serious heart palpitations by this point. Then I tried to say “I’m a lesbian”. Only what actually came out of my mouth was “I’m a L….” at which point I just about choked on the word and got stuck on this weird “L” sound in the back of my throat. After trying again, I ended up saying “I’m gay!” at which point I burst into tears and officially lost the plot. My oldies were absolutely beautiful and hugged me lots after saying “Oh is that all, we thought something was wrong!” Then mum held me at arm’s length, looked me up and down and said “really?” – Hilarious! They were wonderful and I’ll never forget it. We hugged and talked and cried a lot over the next couple of hours and I felt the weight of the world had been lifted from my shoulders.
So back to the word “lesbian”… Maybe it’s some repressed Catholic stuff in my psyche that causes my distaste for this word. Maybe it’s the negative cultural stereotypes that are so often bandied-about and connected to the word.
A good friend of mine has an equal if not stronger dislike for the word lesbian. She really dislikes it. Her thoughts are that it conjures up a very unappealing image – kind of like the one I mentioned earlier only much worse. She says it has negative connotations and isn’t something she wants to be labeled with. She prefers to refer to herself as gay.
Another lez friend of mine has no issue with the associations the word engenders, but instead dislikes the word on purely linguistic grounds i.e. she doesn’t like the way it sounds or the way it feels when she says it. This isn’t a woman who is prudish at all mind you, she then proceeded to tell me how she loves the word c*nt for instance. I’d have to agree with her on that one! Great word
I don’t actually think lesbian is a dirty word. I do think it’s a word worth reclaiming perhaps and associating with more positive things. At the very least I’ll continue to use the terms lez, lezzy etc. with huge pride.
Yes folks, my name is Loz and I’m a Lesbian.
p.s. I hope you read till the end. This post is a little longer than usual. I’m feeling wordy today…