Tuesday, July 18, 2006

21st Century Lesbian Warrior

Guest Columnist: Genet

This is my first column for Becki Jayne's blog. I'm one of those lesbians who reads everything, and I've noticed that since we switched from lesbian feminist liberation to the "gay" rights agenda, something has fallen between the cracks. Lesbians I meet today are longing for lesbian space, and I think we forgot just how new our movement really was. It was fragile, and easily overwhelmed by the hugely corrupt gay male sexual establishment to the detriment of lesbian feminist ideals.

To me there is poetic power in the lesbian separatist ideal -- not a literal separation, but a separation based on agenda. Ever go to a lesbian party where the energy was intellectually great, the food marvelous, and the conversation feminist? Yes, men were at these events, but the agenda was lesbian. That's what I mean by separatist. Don't be afraid to create powerful lesbian space, and then invite allies to join us within our own created moral lesbian majority. Hey, I like the ring of that!

I support lesbian revolution in any way you care to define it. That's right LESBIAN. NOT GAY, NOT WOMEN, but lesbian. I hope this column speaks to lesbians who are interested in nothing less than the romantic utopian ideals that so energized our movement from the earliest times.

Long ago, I envisioned lesbian images as the creations of genius, and I have been searching ever since for lesbian community - a community of friends, a community of political activists and a community of passionate creative women worldwide.

"Equal rights" is the wimpy term -- you know, the bust your butt attempts to change laws, meanwhile patriarchy just changes the rules again and again. What we forgot about was lesbian sisterhood itself.

As I told a friend recently, LGBT = No Lesbians. Ever notice this about the gay rights establishment? My philosophy is very simple: lesbians were born on earth to be agents of creative change and revolution. We were not born to have children, no! We are not the same as gay men, heavens no! And we have a passionate desire to create new worlds.

Am I biased? Yes. You'll read about my loves and hates. I not a go along type of person, but I do love passionate uncensored ideas. Blogs can do this.

How can you tell you're in the presence of true lesbian sisterhood? It's easy. Do you feel empowered and excited? Do you feel everyone gets it? Are you unafraid of the power of the labrys? Is connection and collaboration effortless? Are you miles away from that community deadening phenomenon known as social services?

When Becki Jayne first revealed her 1993 work of fine art, Madonna, Lover and Son, I knew I was seeing lesbian creative genius at work. We were making lesbian love sacred, we were seeing lesbians elevated to sainthood, and we were breaking out of patriarchal molds.

Patriarchy longs to waste women's time. Think of all the time and energy women have spent on single issues. Think of all the good we could do if we encouraged and collectively helped each other. But a funny thing happened on the way to the revolution. We got sidetracked. We lost our focus. We lost our lesbian feminist passion to corporate sponsorship, or addiction programs or yet another mindnumbingly boring charity event.

Do we have the power to create a romantic utopia of ideas? Do we want to build on the lesbian visionaries of the past, present and future? The past speaks to us, and the future is calling us.

At the first CLOUT (Christian Lesbians Out Together) conference in the early 1990s, an open letter from Sally Gearhart was read to the group. In the letter, she said that the lesbians of the future actually talked to her when she met her first girlfriend in the dark pre-lesbian feminist era. Mary Daly writes about Matilda Joselyn Gage, the 19th century feminist visionary, as Matilda visits her apartment outside Boston. Sonja Johnson, the radical lesbian ex-Mormon, had a connection or a vision of all her Mormon women ancestors, as they filled the room she was working in.

These are lesbian visions of the past, and our feeling for a future.

I want this column to incite ideas. Yes, I intend to offend lesbian officialdom. Yes, I am intellectual and historical and poetic. Yes, I believe lesbians are a chosen people. We are chosen when we choose to bond in sisterhood with each other, and to radically reject patriarchy. Yes, we are proud to be radical, and unafraid of any name or any group. We are the ax carrying women of Ancient Crete, we are the horsewomen of Tibet, we carry the Naginata as samurai women, and we love freedom. We even sit at the last supper with a lesbian Jesus and lesbian apostles.

I support visionary lesbian art, and I detest and am bored by stupid depictions of lesbian self. Think L-Word. Think pornography and objectification, and I hate pornography. I believe lesbians should support each other first, that our dollars should go to lesbian causes, and that we should strive to be as well read and well educated about our own past as we can be. We are not a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich -- LGBT. We are lesbians. Not gay women! No. I believe we are the greatest and most passionately free women the world has ever seen. So let's start acting like it.

Let's build our shining lesbian city upon a hill, let's remember what it was like to ride a horse through the steppes wielding our sword of power. Let's remember a time when we were not slaves, and failing to remember, then let's invent! For those of you out there, you'll see my literary allusions. For those new to the lesbian world, you need to get a library card and read! Read and prepare yourselves for the coming conflicts.