sometimes i think gay (& bisexual) men need to dial back on how willing they are to let straight cis women in our spaces
and like, that’s a loaded phrase – this obviously isn’t all gay men, and i know that at the end of the day a handful of straight girls being at a gay bar isn’t the worst thing that could possibly happen… but as a lesbian i feel a lot of painful emotions about cishet women being in my spaces, especially when they’re sometimes chosen before women like me.
the other day i was on a social media site (that isn’t tumblr) and a straight woman made a post about how she felt included and wanted to be a good ally but felt left out and worried that she’d be “ruining the gay atmosphere” or what have you by being in gay social circles and being straight. lots of gay men responded with things like “you belong here!!!” and “we’ll take care of you!”
and man, i couldn’t help but feel a little burned. i know the idea that straight women and gay men get along famously (because of their “shared” love of men) is in large part a big heterosexual scam by the media to make straight women more accepting towards gay culture, but i really do see things like this happen sometimes and it can really fucking sting
i mean, i would imagine any lesbian, bi, or trans woman being passed over in favor of the company of cishet women would be hurt because we’re actually a PART of the lgbt community, and that’s an obvious factor here – but the thing that really hurts is how gay men so rarely consider our feelings about the matter anyways.
i think a lot of gay and bisexual men don’t understand the complex relationship between lgbt women and straight cis women. i don’t think they understand that our relationships with cishet women can absolutely be as traumatizing as their relationships with cishet men.
this cishet woman came into a gay space to wax poetic about being an ally and how she worried she didn’t belong – and all i could think of was the hundreds of times i’ve been in HER spaces feeling like i didn’t belong. and spaces for cishet women are everywhere – i feel out of place at the hair salon and the clothing store and the mall and the straight bar and the movie theaters full of straight movies.
for lgbt women cishet women are our mothers, sisters, aunts, grandmothers, and even children. we have spent our whole lives carrying the weight of knowing we are not like them. i don’t even think it’s entirely the fault of gay & bisexual men that they don’t understand the depth of our oppression or our experiences with cishet women and the damage it’s done to our womanhood – there isn’t a lot of media that has bothered to explore it. the average person doesn’t understand the volumes of unspoken pain cishet women have caused lgbt women, even if they are completely aware of the damage cishet men do
a part of me really believes that this behavior isn’t so much gay & bisexual men choosing to side with and throw their lot in with straight women as it is a fundamental lack of understanding of the women in their own community. and it hurts.