Posted in Blog, Personal, Writing

Why Can’t Men Leave Lesbians Alone?

Hello, it’s me, your unfriendly, neighbourhood lesbian.

Blue ticked bitch, besties!

I’d like to start by saying that when I refer to men in this blog post, I am not talking about non binary people. Maybe we won’t be compatible (but maybe we will…), but I have no issue seeing them around because we share experiences and understand each other. I am also not talking about trans men, who, again, might not be a match for me (but again, maybe they would…), but are not a problem in wlw spaces.

I am talking about cis men in wlw spaces.

The audacity to like my profile when you’re not only a cis man, but also a TORY??????

The majority of experiences I have had with cis men in wlw spaces are predatory, with them being creepy and invasive, harassing me and other women who just want to find other women, so the question is, why are dating apps enabling this?

We are not even talking about people who could be considered feminine, and questioning their gender, these are legitimately cis, masculine, heterosexual men who are very comfortable with the idea that they are men. Many of them will openly admit this in their profiles, despite having a profile set as a woman “by mistake”. Some will even have their gender set to “Man”, but will inexplicably be shown to lesbian women, and be allowed to interact with them.

I blame Drake’s new album for this.

I have received abusive, homophobic messages from cis men, including men implying that my sexuality is a result of sexual trauma or child abuse, men implying that they can “fix” my sexuality, men pressuring me to accept their advances, men insisting that I should just try to be with them (I have, and I had a dreadful time) as well as men pleading to see private pictures and videos of me and other women. I have reported these men when I’ve encountered them but nothing has happened, and frankly, they should not have had access to my profile in the first place.

How to lose friends and alienate lesbians…

I used to get some harassment when I was deluding myself that I was bisexual (happy Bi month to my former siblings by the way, thank you for taking care of me over the years), but it was nothing in comparison to the way men have treated me since I began being real about being a lesbian.

This is not just a problem on widely used apps that include cis and straight people like Tinder and Bumble but it is also an issue on apps specifically intended for LGBT women and non binary people interested in women, such as Her and Zoe. If apps specifically made for us are no longer safe, what are we supposed to do?

Cis men on your LGBT+ women exclusive app? It’s more likely than you think…

This might just seem like I’m complaining over a mild inconvenience but this is a major safety issue. Hate crimes against the LGBT community are increasing, not only in the UK but across the world, so having safe spaces where we can communicate and be open about ourselves is important.

LGBT women have faced rising homophobic and transphobic abuse through dating platforms from cis men, along with messages full of fetishisation and fantasies. There have been cis men pretending to be trans men to avoid being banned from LGBT focused apps, only coming clean about being cis when they’ve matched with somebody, which puts real trans men in danger of abuse and harassment. Trans women face harassment from men who sign up purposefully to fetishise them and dehumanise them, but the majority of apps have no interest in stopping this clear abuse of the rules.

I also have no clue what you’re doing here, buddy.

There are some men that I can believe may have made a mistake setting up their profiles (although why they haven’t noticed and started a new profile is beyond me) but there are also many who had a clear motive when setting up profiles that will be shown to lesbians, especially when they do so on apps that are clearly and undeniably for women and non binary people only.

Why do you require a lesbian to do that? Go play dress up by yourself lmao

Women will have profiles deleted for having too much cleavage in a picture, or for using a swear word when responding to harassment, but men specifically setting up profiles to harass women who are clearly uninterested are left to do as they please, and all women can do is complain to each other because the platforms don’t care about our safety or wellbeing.

It’s literally impossible to be straight and bisexual at the same time, my dude.

So, here I am, complaining to women (and probably some men and non binary pals) who read my blog, hoping for change. Part of me knows it won’t happen. In the UK, lesbians are still harassed in the street and online. Women in general are subjected to regular harassment and breaches of our boundaries. The public is turning on the LGBT community, labelling us as “woke” and “loony lefties” because we want equal treatment for our trans family, and so, with all that in mind, do I expect this predatory behaviour to stop? No lmao, I’m just tired. That’s all. I’m exhausted.

Posted in Blog, Pride Month 2021, Writing

Why It’s Time For White LGBT People To Stop Expecting Black Trans Women To Throw Bricks For Them

Every single year, the Pride discourse begins. What is acceptable to wear at Pride? What is acceptable to do at Pride? Who is acceptable at Pride? (As a bisexual, my invitation is fair weather, so, as always, my solidarity is with the Ace community who have it even worse than us) And of course, the inevitable debate about what Pride should be.

Is it a protest? Is it a celebration? Should we allow corporations to be represented, if it means we get to see Ariana Grande? Should police be allowed to attend? What about tories? It’s contentious, as all family gatherings are, but we get through it every year. The one other thing that also makes it through the year and resurfaces around summer time is the story of Marsha P Johnson.

For those who don’t know, Marsha P Johnson was one of the key figures in the fight for LGBT rights. A founding member of the Gay Liberation Front, the co founder of S.T.A.R with Sylvia Rivera and a leading activist in AIDS awareness, Marsha P Johnson was a trailblazer for LGBT rights in the United States, and threw the brick heard around the world at the Stonewall Riots.

Marsha’s story has been passed down through many generations of the LGBT community, and deservedly so, but every year, it becomes clearer that while some in our community enjoy lionising Marsha P Johnson, they are not ready to have a conversation about why the expectation is still on black women to do the heavy lifting when it comes to activism.

While I’m sure many do not have that expectation, it’s clear that some do. As seen in a tweet from British political party “Northern Independence Party” where they finished a thread on boycotting corporate sponsored Pride events with “Important to note that this isn’t advocating for black transgender women to throw bricks at the police. …Unless?”

This party‘s online support is heavily made up of white left leaning people, and the tweet was engaged with and supported by many white left leaning people, but are any of them willing to discuss the fact that a black woman, especially a black woman, even looking at a brick in a police officer’s presence is likely to face police brutality? While this may seem like a joke to comfortable, very online leftists, the violence faced by black women, particularly black trans women is not a joke.

Black people receive harsher sentences when charged with crimes, if they even make it out of a confrontation with a police officer alive. If Marsha threw that brick now, today, at London Pride, she would likely end up in hospital, and when she got out, Prison. They would make an example of her, they would humiliate her, because she was black, trans, and inconveniencing them.

We see white activists doing the same things that Marsha did all the time for causes like Extinction Rebellion, but they aren’t treated in the same way as many black activists, as we saw during the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020. Middle class, affluent white people within the movement openly admit that they can afford arrest, because they’re likely to get away with a fine. They can stomach an arrest because it won’t effect their future. They can handle an arrest because they won’t be manhandled.

That is privilege. Marsha did not have that privilege but she took a risk, and thankfully, she was fortunate enough to come away with her life. That isn’t always a sure thing, and anyone who paid attention to the Black Lives Matter protests would know that, wouldn’t they? The whole point was that black people are treated differently to white people when the police are involved.

It’s easy to tweet about what a black trans woman did, or post a cute webcomic about it on Instagram. It’s easy to invoke her name, but I think a lot in our community need to ask themselves “Would I use my privilege as a white person to throw a brick for her?” If the answer is no, stop expecting it to be done for you.

Black trans women in particular are some of the most vulnerable in our community. Facing daily violence, threats and discrimination, along with some of the highest rates of murder in our community. Black women already have to be everything to everyone, everywhere. Black women began the Black Lives Matter movement in 2013. Black women have been key parts of the fight for LGBT liberation, risking their lives over and over again, so is it really right for anyone to be asking them to do more?

This Pride month, I would like for white people within our community to ask what they can do, to repay the black women who threw the bricks for all of us. I don’t just mean putting up a graphic on Instagram or signing a petition. I mean real, genuine action. Speak to a black woman within our community, hear their stories and really listen. Volunteer at hotlines for at risk LGBT people (many are staffed by and serving black members of our community). Offer a black woman in our community a platform, offer real solidarity that doesn’t wear off when you get uncomfortable hearing her talk about white privilege. Stop thinking that adding our skin colour to the Pride flag is enough to defeat anti blackness in the LGBT community.

The black women of the LGBT community have heavy shoulders, because they have always been there for us, so this June, it’s time to live up to the example set by the elders of our community, who have previously stood in solidarity with black women and stop expecting them to throw bricks for you.

It’s time for our generation to grow up and protect those who have spent their lifetimes fighting for us, before it’s too late.

Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Writing

Free and Fearless

As it all turns out,
to be in love,
or to be yourself,
IS brave and stunning,
no matter how much mumsnet mocks you for it.
You love and you live in a free and fearless state,
knowing that time is an ever changing thing,
and that you could go back and forth,
be acceptable or unacceptable on the whims of the rest of the world,
with no control,
but you go on.

You go on,
because there’s nothing else left to do.
Cops don’t come when death threats dance outside your door,
so you dance with your lover, under the light of what little moonlight creeps through the kitchen window,
paint your face like a warrior to hide your wounds,
you love and you live in a free and fearless state,
with the door closed,
because the world is full of cowards.

The world is afraid of how beautiful you truly are,
so they turn away,
they stab wildly in the dark until they find blood,
and the world drinks and drinks like your pain is the potion that will solve all their problems,
but still,
you go on.
You soldier on.
You dance on.
You live on.
You love and you live,
through the trauma and the drama,
because there’s nothing else left to do,
and you were born to be free and fearless.

Read more about International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia

Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Personal, Writing

Here’s To The Kids Who Wear Purple

You taught me to love,

showing me how to put familiar fondness

in the single fondant fancy I would find,

hiding in my lunch box,

alongside salad sandwiches,

that tasted of

“Have a good day.”

“Come home safe.”

“You are the thing I have loved most,

in this wild, wide world.”

about-sd2016-v3.jpg

I watched you wash my clothes,

turning them from fashion to compassion,

sending me into the world each day,

wrapped in wishes that I would be wise and well,

sending me to sleep,

with stories,

soft pyjamas,

and a small nightlight made of the stars from the sky,

you always taught me was mine to aim for.

protest-kissing-1050x700.jpg

So,

why,

when I loved someone,

who loved me too,

the way you taught me,

with kindness,

selflessly,

more than I had ever loved anyone,

in this wild, wide world,

did you suddenly stop?


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Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Writing

Girls Like Us

New York knows you.

Small stem,

to tepid titan,

coaxing the clouds,

from the sky,

and the stars to the sidewalk.

They gather,

gasping at your glow,

as you break free,

and breathe,

for the first time,

on your own terms.

venus 1.jpg

Small smile,

small girl,

big dreams,

at the ball,

on the roof,

gazing at the gallant night,

that belongs to you.

Take the night.

Take the stars,

from the sidewalk,

decorate your darling face,

and walk,

walk,

walk,

to bloom,

in the blue of the morning light.


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