Today I met with somebody that I used to be friends with. After several months of not speaking, I decided that I needed to face her. I wanted to put her behind me, and not feel this sick-sad feeling in my stomach whenever I heard her name.
I used to care about her deeply. She is smart and funny, and we had the type of friendship where I could show up unannounced for tea. We could talk for hours, or take silent walks together. We'd see each other several times per week, and phone each other even more than that. I could tell her everything and she knew that I would always be there in a heartbeat to move a mountain or slay a dragon if that was what she needed.
I used to love her. Deeply. As one loves one's closest friend. For a long time, she was the person in the world that I felt closest to.
And then I lost her.
Rapunzel cut all her hair off and everyone was totally into it but one unexpected consequence was that she kept getting hit on by women.
After like the tenth time it happened she wanted to say to the girl, “Is this still a thing, that only lesbians have short hair? Can’t pretty much anyone have short hair now?” But then she was like, Eh, yolo, and they made out.
Centuries of an assortment of books being written; decades of different genres of movies being made and the ever-increasing amount of overdue gay-pride festivals can’t seem to quench my insatiable thirst for a pure, melting-my-heart lesbian/gay love story.
Indeed, there are little sprinkles of lesbian stories here and there, but never are they the type of stories that are untouched by controversy- they are never the type of love story that is totally unscarred.
I have grown weary of “chasing pavements”, searching for a truth that I know exists; a truth that proves that not all lesbian “love” stories involves the breaking up of happy male-female marriages or the run-of-the-mill experimentation involving two straight females searching for a love minus problems that they hope they can find if they minus the man from the equation. It’s a truth I know exist because I am testament thereof and here is my, true, lesbian love story.
'When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person by an emotional link that is stronger than steel.
Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link, and get free' Catherine Ponder
Oscar Wilde said that to forgive your enemy was the greatest revenge.
I think that he was right.
I know that one of my greatest lessons and challenges has been forgiveness. I have an elephantine memory and I have in my time remembered infractions going back to primary school days.
Lesbians have issues. I have issues with lesbians. The world has issues with lesbians. Lesbians have issues with the world. And we all have issues with ourselves.
I have kept myself removed from more distinctive lesbian flocks for the majority of my happy-go-lucky life. Until recently.
In an attempt to overcome my judgements, I like so many tortured souls before me, have turned to writing. Well blogging. Cos it’s quicker and easier and people might actually read it. And this is all I will say on the matter.
Lesbians are different. We chose to not accept the typical ways of hetero life as what we want. We WANT different. And then we hate being branded as different. The inacceptance of not being accepted is mildly amusing to me most days.
Some of you may remember my previous post (Surviving Cape Town: A Single Lesbian’s attempts). A lot has happened since then, and it deserves an update. I was stunned and amazed by the response my post generated, as I had no idea that so many women felt the same way. I’ve had lesbians seek me out on social media, and I even landed a little freelance writing work. I’ve even had girls contact me from faraway places: Thailand, Australia, and Simon’s Town.
I’ve met lesbians who were going to get married, lesbians who secretly eloped to Paarl to get married, and lesbians who have been married to men. I’ve communicated with caffeine-addicted PR hotshots and psy-trans hippies. I’ve met a single gay mum, a girl with a ‘chequered past’ (her mother’s words), and a woman with the most beautiful sense of urban Woodstock chic you’ve ever seen. I’ve also met an ADD artist, and a lesbian who’s never been with a woman. My orgy of Sapphic coffee meetings wasn’t limited to the Mother City, though. During a recent visit to Jo’burg, I even met a talented tattooed photographer, whom I now dub ‘ladydude’.
I’ve been introduced to concepts like masculine femininity, queer and gender fluidity. I’ve learnt about Unitarianism, Sado-Masochism and Political Lesbianism. I’ve also discovered that a ‘flat white’ is Capetonian for cappuccino.
Insane? Yes. Wonderful? Yes. Filled with gratitude? Totally. Screw up my coffee order again? Not a chance.
I have lesbians coming at me from all directions, from out of the woodwork to out of the closet. But this isn’t a brag-fest. I want to share my insights and observations with you. Read and learn, introverted lesbian grasshoppers.
First thing’s first. Contrary to popular belief, women won’t know you exist if they can’t see you. Flying beneath the radar will only result in you bumping your head, on rather low things. Granted, it’s taken me a while to figure this one out, but – finally – I get it. Write for AllThingsQueer, or go to a CTL discussion evening (which, by the way, I have yet to attend. I have ‘lesbian inundation’ as an excuse to give to Lara). Don’t be over-zealous at first. There’s no need to work the room, or go balls-to-the-wall at Beulah. Start off small and meet a couple of people at a CTL event. Get their contact details. Then, meet one-on-one for coffee, a beer, or shark cage diving. Whatever you’re into, really. Social media is also great for creating a dialogue to get things started – just don’t use it arbitrarily. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if you send someone a friend request, introduce yourself and say something interesting or mildly amusing. A ‘bbm me bby’ usually isn’t part of the Forging Meaningful Connections 101 syllabus.
I have dated a lot. Not commercial pilot a lot, but for me, it feels like a lot. I started dating when I was 19 years old, probably a bit later than most, when I fell head over heels in love with someone who was totally wrong for me. This happens to everyone, I’m sure, and just like everyone, I got my heart broken and thought it was the end of the world (spoiler alert: it wasn’t!). What happened immediately afterwards though set the tone for a lot of the relationships that followed. I began a quest to ease that terrible heart break by looking for someone new to fill the void. Of course, as we all know, this strategy doesn’t work and I soon realised that you just have to get over heartbreak in your own time.
Since then I have had on average 1.5 relationships a year, and I am now 26. I am on good terms with (almost) all of them. We speak. We keep in touch. Some were more serious than others. Some were good, some were shitty. I was in desperately in love with some, I was momentarily in love with others. But one thing is true for almost all of them. It was me who broke up with them.
If I had to describe my romantic inclinations, I would generally site William Thacker of Notting Hill and say “I’m a fairly level headed bloke, not often in and out of love…”, but the evidence says otherwise. Please note here that I am a fairly well-adjusted person, and I am pursued by very few ‘relationship issues’ demons. How did it come to be, that level headed, unromantic me, has so many ex-girlfriends? I am not a “playa”, and I am often single for long stretches of time, I don’t rush into relationships, I don’t (often) accidently keep one night stands (I never said I was a saint), and yet I have this huge suitcase of exes.
Part art project / part social experiment / part stereotype-breaker.
To view more, or submit your own, visit whatalesbian.com
Telling and listening to “coming out” stories are always fun. Lesbian 101 tells me it’s one of the most important stories I own. Yet there is one story that beats my out-of-closet experience hands down. My first proper “straight-girl” crush. It, or rather the thought of her, still move my lips into a self-indulgent side smirk.
I feel a loud-lipped lesbian rant coming on, and seeing as though my usual channels (nicotine, alcohol and food) through which I normally air my anger are no longer available to me, a good old blog vent is in order.
So what's the problem?
A couple of weeks ago, when I went to my first therapy session, I was faced with the predicament of admitting to a male psychiatrist that I have a female partner. Anxiety gripped my insides, and fear churned in my veins at the thought of this confession. You see, normally, I don't declare my sexuality outright unless I've measured the atmosphere and have tactfully and subtly raised questions or concerns which reflect my (obviously) pro-gay stance.