This year there is going to be a European Lesbian* Conference! Yeah!
…wait, what is that asterisk for?
“Our aim is to hold an inclusive European Lesbian* Conference. We insist on calling it a lesbian conference although we recognize that, as with any category or label, it may be contested and insufficient to describe the diversity of our communities. We are aware that many previous lesbian gatherings have struggled with issues about who should or should not be included at the conference. However, using the word “lesbian” is part of the political struggle for visibility, empowerment and representation. Therefore we will use “lesbian*” with an asterisk, so as to include anyone who identifies as lesbian, feminist, bi or queer, and all those who feel connected to lesbian* activism.”
Oh, for fuck sake. Just as I suspected, spelling Lesbian* with an asterisk is sorta like putting a footnote with the fine print underneath. You see the title “Lesbian” and you’re like, “Yeah, lesbians!” and then you read the fine print and it’s like “This is not actually for lesbians. This is actually for everyone in the goddamn world.”
The “queer” community must have taken their cue from advertising, where companies will advertise that a product can make you lose 40 pounds in 1.2 seconds, become magically 10 years younger, and walk on water, but then you read the fine print and it’s like “This product may not bring any results whatsoever and fuck you.”
So this “lesbian” conference is actually a conference for anyone who is a lesbian, a bisexual, a feminist, a “queer” (which can mean anything), and anyone who “feels connected to lesbian activism,” and who knows what the hell that last part means. How can anyone “feel connected to lesbian activism” unless they are actually a lesbian and doing activism?
Here’s the background on the conference:
“European lesbians* lack the fundamental structures, tools and mechanisms to fight lesbophobia, sexism, misogyny, transphobia and interphobia, racism and all other types of discrimination experienced daily by members of the community. For the past five decades, outstanding lesbian* activists have dedicated a great deal of their energy to struggles indirectly related to their own needs and thus contributed to social change. With that, they have paved the wave for us today. Whereas all minorities included in the LGBTI community have managed to gather and structure their own forums, councils, and meetings in addition to the general LGBTI organizations in Europe, this has not been the case for lesbians*. Last Fall, at the 2016 annual ILGA Europe Conference held in Cyprus, a specific lesbian* workshop took place for the first time in years. More than 70 lesbian* activists from all over Europe had the opportunity to come together and realize that, despite differences in political, legal and financial status within the European lesbian* movements, there is a common and urgent need to focus on lesbians* needs, struggles and oppression, to empower and to increase our visibility and broaden networks.”
Ugh. The only way it makes sense to say that lesbians have to fight transphobia is if we’re talking about masculine lesbians who get mistaken for men and if “transphobia” in this context refers to the fear of women who look ambiguous and unfeminine and impossible to categorize. I wouldn’t call that transphobia, I’d call it sexism and homophobia, but if someone is actually a lesbian and wants to call this transphobia I won’t put up a fight about it, she can name her own experience. However, what “transphobia” probably means in this context is that men who wish to call themselves lesbians are rejected by actual lesbians, and no, lesbians shouldn’t have to stop rejecting such men. Lesbians are not interested in men in any form, even if they get cosmetic surgery and make themselves look like Barbie dolls, we are still not interested. Female homosexuals are interested in females. We are homosexuals, not homogenderuals. And you know what, men who make themselves look like Barbie dolls are not the same “gender” as lesbians, either. Actual lesbians are not a caricature of gross, disgusting, male-defined pornified femininity. To think that not only are female homosexuals interested in men, but that we also should be particularly attracted to men who have a fetish for our oppression, is fucking insane.
To continue on with the background of the Lesbian* conference:
“Because our voices are not loud enough, our stories are not heard and we are losing the track of our own history; because positive lesbian* visibility still scares even homosexual women; because lesbians* at the forefront of change are still invisible; and because we have never had the opportunity to articulate our lesbian* needs in structured approach on European level, this lesbian* workshop led to the decision to organize a European Lesbian* Conference on October 6-8, 2017, in Vienna, on International Lesbian Day. This conference is the first step in the long-expected and needed construction of a strong lesbian* movement in Europe that will bring together a diverse team in the organizing committee by making it as inclusive and representative as possible. The conference will offer a platform for the empowerment of lesbian* communities, will open discussion on the needs and struggles, the successes and achievements, will create space for the lesbian culture and the history of lesbian activism and with all of that it will set a foundation for building of a strong lesbian* movement in Europe.”
Did you see that sentence that says “because positive lesbian* visibility still scares even homosexual women”? What the fuck does this mean?? Almost every time they mention lesbians on this website they put an asterisk next to it, and this is the only time they say “homosexual women.” Apparently homosexual women get a special mention for being a subgroup of the “lesbian*” community who are afraid of positive “lesbian*” visibility? Man, that is super suspicious and weird. I looked for some contact information on the site but there wasn’t any. Someone needs to ask these clowns what the hell they mean by homosexual women being scared of positive lesbian* visibility, because that is fucked.
You know what I love more than anything? POSITIVE LESBIAN VISIBILITY. I love it without the asterisk, because I love when female homosexuals are visible– you know, those of us who are female and attracted to females?
The wording of this conference makes it sound as though lesbian voices just aren’t loud enough. But lesbians are speaking. Lesbians are protesting, we are blogging, we are writing books, we are making videos, we are organizing spaces for lesbians to talk to each other. The reason we are made invisible and not heard is because lesbians are hated in society and because we are being silenced and marginalized by people who don’t want female homosexuals to be able to gather together or even name what a female homosexual is. The incorrectly-named “LGBT” and “queer” communities are some of the worst offenders in this silencing. That is the FIRST thing I would talk about if I was making a lesbian conference.
It shouldn’t be the least bit difficult to figure out who to include at a lesbian event. Only lesbians should be included at a lesbian event. DUH. It’s time for lesbians to get exclusionary. Special snowflakes and men of any stripe get the fuck OUT.