This subject was an autohijack in the femme/butch thread so I thought it would be neater to spin off a new thread rather than continuing the hijack.
Getting the “toaster oven” as a proverbial reward for recruiting a new lesbian came from an episode of Ellen, IIRC.
There was a bit of controversy resulting from my quote of Jeanne Adleman:
“It took me five years of uncertainty to believe that I could be good enough to be a lesbian, could equal the qualities I saw in others. I was helped by recognizing that the particular group of lesbians and nonlesbians I worked with shared progressive political commitments around, for example, race and class.”
Emphasis in the original.
Just because someone announces to the world that she’s now lesbian by her own fiat — and I believe she certainly has the right to determine that for herself — to be able to participate in lesbian group cohesion, it isn’t necessarily that simple. I think the underlying issue is “Can we count on you to stick with us when the going gets rough, or are you just a fair weather friend?” Because it isn’t always easy to belong to a minority group that many feel citizens free to despise openly. That’s why Adleman feels it goes along with progressive political commitments. “We want to know if you’ll stick with us in the struggle.”
As for my lesbian bona fides, you’ve seen the posts I’ve made on Sappho, quoting her poems in the original Greek along with translation. That’s what you get when a bookish linguistic/literary geek is also lesbian.
The lesbian coming out process is a matter of establishing a relationship first with oneself and then with others. It’s an ongoing process as the self is explored further and further. I hate to use such a trite cliché as “a journey of self-discovery,” but that’s what it is for me. To exist with a lesbian identity in society, I needed to build relationships with other dykes based on mutual acceptance and respect. (OK, mutual sexual hots would be just as good too.)
Violet: We’re not that different, Corky.
Corky: Ah, let’s see. This is the part where you tell me what matters is on the inside, and that inside of you there’s a little dyke just like me.
Violet: No, she’s nothing like you. She’s a whole lot smarter than you are.