I just miss you, in a quite simple desperate human way. Oh my dear, I can’t be clever and stand-offish with you: I love you too much for that. Too truly.You have no idea how stand-offish I can be with people I don’t love. I have brought it to a fine art. But you have broken down my defences. And I don’t really resent it.
—  Vita Sackville West, from a letter to Virginia Woolf dated 21 January 1926.
Anne Summers said: ‘Lesbians are regarded as being even more subversive than male homosexuals because they are not sexually or emotionally dependent on men and their sexual preference is a living defiance of the patriarchal precept that men are superior to women and indispensable to women’s survival’ (Summers, 1975: 159).

Lesbophobia is real. It’s the intersection of homophobia and misogyny. It’s the anger men experience at knowing some women will never be sexually accessible or sexually available for them. It’s the anger men experience when lesbian women debunk myths about their sexuality that they are actually bisexual or straight: it’s just that they haven’t found the right man yet. It is the anger men experience when lesbian women do not fulfill fetishized fantasies about the lesbian experience. It’s anger at how lesbian women deny men the opportunity to use their privilege to dominate women as they can in a het, relationship.

Lesbian Subtext in Maleficent?

Am I the only one who sees something else in this retelling of a classic tale?

I’m not just saying this because Maleficent is just about my favorite villain. This is a retelling from her perspective, despite being considered a villain. This technique is very much a characteristic of postmodern storytelling (much like Christopher Moore’s Fool, which tells King Lear from, you guessed it, the Fool’s POV). What is so fun about this technique is that we DO get to revisit the story, but from a point of view not belonging to the traditional hero. This allows for a lot of moral ambiguity to occur, whereas in earlier periods of writing, the hero was preferably staunch in his beliefs, and everything was black and white.

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Yes I want you more and more. You’ll like to think of me unhappy, I know…We’re still talking, you’ll be surprised to hear, about love and sodomy. Then Morgan [EM Forster] says he’s worked it out and one spends 3 hours on food, 6 on sleep, 4 on work, 2 on love. Lytton says 10 on love. I say the whole day on love. I say it’s seeing things through a purple shade. But you’ve never been in love, they say.
—  Virginia Woolf, from a letter to Vita Sackville-West dated 18 February 1927.
I identify as a queer femme because, to me, the term “lesbian” assumes that there are two genders to be attracted to: female or male… and I believe gender often manifests itself in a spectrum and variety of ways that go beyond male and female.
—  Paulina Hernandez
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StaceyAnn Chin - All Oppression is Connected (Spoken Poetry)

Here, the word lesbian seldom, if ever, is mentioned. Most, if not all, of the homosexual relationships here involve role playing. The majority of relationships are either asexual or semi-sexual. The absence of sexual consummation is only partially explained by prison prohibition against any kind of sexual behavior. Basically the women are not looking for sex. They are looking for love, for concern and companionship. For relief from the overwhelming sense of isolation and solitude that pervades each of us. Women who are “aggressive” or who play the masculine roles are referred to as butches, bulldaggers or stud broads. They are always in demand because they are always in the minority. Women who are “passive,” or who play feminine roles are referred to as fems. The butch-fem relationships are often oppressive, resembling the most oppressive, exploitative aspect of a sexist society. It is typical to hear butches threatening fems with physical violence and it is not uncommon for butches to actually beat their “women.” Some butches consider themselves pimps and go with the women who have the most commissary, the most contraband or the best outside connections. They feel they are a class above ordinary women which entitles them to “respect.” They dictate to fems what they are to do and many insist the fems wash, iron, sew and clean their cells for them. A butch will refer to another butch as “man.” A butch who is well liked is known as “one of the fellas” by her peers.

Once in prison changes in roles are common. Many women who are strictly heterosexual in the street become butch in prison. “Fems” often create butches by convincing an inmate that she would make a “cute butch.” About 80 percent of the prison population engage in some form of homosexual relationship. Almost all follow negative, stereotypic male/ female role models.

There is no connection between the women’s movement and lesbianism. Most of the women at Riker’s Island have no idea what feminism is, let alone lesbianism. Feminism, the women’s liberation movement and the gay liberation movement are worlds away from women at Riker’s.
—  Assata Shakur, Women in Prison: How it is for Us
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