A conference for lesbians*

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.

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34 thoughts on “A conference for lesbians*

  1. I would be interested to see if they plan on a workshop to allow gender critical lesbians and other lesbians* to talk though heir points of view. Or will gender crits be classified as transphobic nazi and dismissed as a class. Even at michfest, these kind of workshops happened.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. They might as well have put the word lesbian in quotation marks … ‘lesbian’ … it’s just as much of a parody as the asterisk … but perhaps they didn’t want to offend any ‘lesbians’!

    Now I’m gonna tell a little ‘back in the day’ secret. When we organised lesbian events, be they dances, marches, festivals, conferences, etc, we didn’t use a qualifier, and we certainly didn’t pander to anyone who wasn’t a lesbian. If a woman who wasn’t a lesbian wanted to attend it was with the understanding that she would be assumed to be a lesbian because why else would she be there?

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I’m not so sure this asterisk thing is a problem unless the conference is assumed to be a meat market. Aside from the non-asterisked Ls that I presume would be speaking, Gs and Ts could go there, or even straight pastors and politicians, and say, “Let’s air out the bad blood between us.” This whole safe space idea is ridiculous to a Cold War veteran.

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  4. One has to wonder if any actual lesbians will be present? Also, what the heck is interphobia?? With all these phobias flying around, it’s amazing these delicate flowers can even muster the strength to leave their beds.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. “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.”

    That whole thing just screams COTTON CEILING at me. “Positive lesbian* visibility” “scaring” “homosexual women” sounds like a different way of telling Lesbians its just bigotry on your part to not want the Ladypeen from a positively visible lesbian*

    Liked by 3 people

  6. This is a pathetically badly timed advancement of their agenda – they are probably all sat in trans-mission control wondering whether to advance now or wait for even more mass approval and political validation before going in with the coup de grace to lesbian and feminist movements. i think some of them may have noticed The Awakening – the outspoken, intelligently argued objections and resistance to trans ideology emerging on social media among left wing feminists and lesbians – women arent falling for the same old autogynephile bullshit anymore and theyve sent out the flying monkeys too soon…

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  7. If you look at the profiles of the co-founders/organisers – they don’t seem like hardcore transactivists/allies – it’s hard to figure out what their agenda is with this asterisk stuff. Are they trying to fend off a potential criticism/boycott/attack by getting their ‘inclusion’ in first? Are they bored of the ‘what counts as a lesbian’ conversation – which is how the B got added to the LG in the first place? Are they from places where the transagenda is not so totally wild, and the asterisk seems hip and harmless? I’m just puzzled, because amongst the co-founders/organisers I only see one ‘queer-identified’ lesbian (and no transbians).

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree, I dont think most of the lesbian organisers are infected by transies, see also the countries where they come from. The * is for saying its not just about and for lesbians, its for all women who love women (?), exclusively and non exclusively. But then I saw this tweet from one of the organisers and changed my mind: Lovis Cassaris: ‘Some lesbians have a dick, some lesbians are queer… Get over it!’ And that right there is lesbophobia, something they profess to work against. What a laugh. I read it started from a lesbian only workshop and had to include other groups for financial reasons etc (I wonder if the lesbian workshop included transwomen?). They better should have stayed with the lesbian only and find sponsors, or perhaps European states that support such a conference to combat lesbophobia. But that abusive reaction by 1 of the organisers speaks volumes. We just cant be lesbians and be simply accepted.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. This sort of rubbish must be sooo infuriating. I maybe het but I am so much on your side. It’s vile what’s being done to lesbians. I’m an old second waver and it horrifies me. Back to the dark ages. We’re going to have to fight the same fights (or similar) all over again.

    Liked by 1 person

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