you can’t deny that a woman’s sexual history with men is considered first and foremost when discussing her lesbianism. Sally Ride? Can’t be a lesbian, she married a man. Eleanor Roosevelt? Can’t be a lesbian, she married a man. Every historical lesbian, all the way back to Sappho, has to have her lesbianism questioned, critiqued, and ultimately denied, all because they had, at one point, interacted sexually with men.
Personally, I consider this an especially cruel form of homophobia. Not only were these women denied the right to be lesbians while they lived, but they can’t even be recognized as lesbians in death.
And to top it all off, they are so often denied to be lesbians on the basis of ‘bi erasure.’ You can’t say Sally Ride was a lesbian because she was married to a man so that’s bi erasure. It’s a kind of homophobia that’s masked under the cover of LGBT activism and representation, when in reality it’s not just erasing lesbians, it’s replacing them with ‘better’ versions of themselves: lesbians attracted to men.
I’m not saying bi women don’t exist, or don’t get to take pride in the women who have represented them throughout history. But you don’t get liberal brownie points for coming after lesbians and co-opting history that doesn’t belong to you. Stop being homophobic to make yourselves feel better about being marginalized. It’s rude, it’s cruel, and it’s useless. Take pride in the women and history that is actually yours.