Today I found this couple while browsing YouTube. They are both female and identify as male. One of them, I watched a few videos of hers and she mentioned the word “lesbian” at one point when talking about her history, but she now identifies as “pansexual.” The other one, I’m not sure how she describes her sexual orientation, but at any rate, they are in a relationship with each other and both identifying as male. In their videos, they do their best to perform masculine mannerisms and speak with low voices.
I’ve heard of lesbians identifying as gay men before, and it seemed silly to me in theory, but now I’ve seen it with my very own eyes. These two women call each other by male pronouns and male names, encourage each other in their transitions, talk in deep voices to each other, and call each other “boyfriend.” I’m just gobsmacked.
I’m so shocked that women-loving-women don’t want to honour their female bodies or call themselves women or lesbians. It’s shocking to me because being a lesbian has been the best thing about my life ever since I became one, and I wouldn’t give it up for anything. Neither my partner nor I identify with the feminine role, neither of us enjoy being “treated as women” by our sexist society, and neither of us perform femininity. This is completely normal for women, and quite common in lesbians. It doesn’t mean we’re men, it means that the feminine gender role is oppressive bullshit, and actual women don’t identify with it. My partner meets most of the criteria for “gender dysphoria” according to the DSM, since the DSM criteria for “gender dysphoria” is basically a list of traits describing lesbians. And yet, here we are, two happy women in love with each other, going around with short hair every day, her with men’s clothes on, me with a mixture of women’s and androgynous clothes, neither of us ever talking about makeup or shoes or purses, because we don’t give a shit about those things. Both of us happy in our female bodies, and enjoying each other’s female bodies on a regular basis. Why on Earth would we want to modify our bodies and look like men?
These two obviously believe they will be happier if they look like men. I can’t possibly say whether that is true or not for them. Who knows, maybe they hate being women so much that they will in fact be happier when they look like men. I shouldn’t care what other people do with their own bodies, right? Their bodies, their choice. But I’m upset because this isn’t just a couple of people, this is a lot of people. This is an epidemic of lesbians deciding they cannot be women and they have to make major body modifications so that they will look like men. This is lesbophobia.
I know what would happen if I wandered over to their YouTube channel or blogs and asked the question, “Why not just be lesbians?” I’ve heard it all before. I don’t feel like a lesbian, I feel like a man. It’s okay to be a lesbian, but I’m not one. I’ve always been a man, I’m just making my body match my conception of myself. And the list goes on. But I’m not interested in individual people’s feelings as much as I’m interested in looking at classes of people. There are things going on in multiple countries involving many people that I’m looking at. The questions we should be asking aren’t “What gender do I feel like?” or “How should I present my gender to the world?”, we should be asking questions like “Why do so many women not want to be women?” and “What is making so many lesbians believe they are men?”
I wish I could somehow make these women think about what they are really saying when they say they are men. They are saying that because they like short hair and baggy clothes that they must be men, because women couldn’t possibly be that way. There’s no reason for a woman to think she’s a man other than a strong belief in a list of sexist stereotypes. But gender nonconforming women such as these two are living proof that those stereotypes are wrong, that women are not the way our society defines them. Women can and do wear short hair and clothing that is marketed to men. We can and do love other women. We can and do enter the skilled trades, work with our hands, build things and take things apart, play video games, and smoke and drink and swear. Women do these things and these are things that women do. We don’t have to modify our bodies to do these things either. If I tried to say any of this to people who are transitioning, I would get dismissed as old-fashioned and transphobic.
Sadly, the belief that women, including lesbian women, are perfect the way they are and don’t need to change, and don’t need to give any shits about society’s ideas about what women are, is an old-fashioned belief. What’s in style now is lining up at the gender clinic for synthetic hormones and surgeries so that people can express themselves. Being your true self by changing your self. Expressing your innate identity by refusing to accept the body you were born in.
I’m not buying this. This is sexist, homophobic bullshit.