You can now preorder and presave my upcoming album Dream Girl.
I am behind bars at the bar,
parading myself like a prize at the fair,
but my intended audience is never there,
just this one guy, with grey hair and grey skin who always wants to buy me drinks,
fumbles his fingers across my pendant and mumbles pedantic, pretentious nonsense about how his soul is pink,
printed with my name,
and my eyes go on a journey from his smug face to the back of my head.
He tells me that my beautiful eyes are wasted on the beautiful girl across the room (he uses a slur to describe her, but I will call her beautiful),
and half of me thinks he’s right,
because me having a flacid fan club around me all night seems to have given her the wrong impression about who I am intending to attract,
and then I am right back where I started from,
night after night,
bored to baby blue tears as he babbles on, despite my blatant disinterest.
I have been polite,
and I have been puerile.
I have said it in so many languages to try and show the girl across the room that my tongue is cultured and intelligent,
but she can’t hear me over the blithering idiot that haunts a home he will never belong in.
It doesn’t matter what I say,
because he sees a pretty dress as a pretty clear sign that I’m just “going through a phase” and he sees himself as some kind of King of conversion therapy,
(It is just a piece of fabric, and he is just an unnecessary man…)
so he persists, undeterred by my constant resistance,
because the world has always belonged to boring men, so he doesn’t know any better, and women never know their own minds anyway, according to his phallic philosophy.
My lavender love,
aching amethyst that starts in my core, and crawls up through my body,
until my mind is conquered and quite mad.
There is a violence to your violet stare,
that look from across the room as I iron your shirts, and recall the time we were in a bar, and I told you, with no hesitation, that you needed a wife,
and you gave me that same look,
a gaze that gives an indication that my body is no longer my own,
and that my soul is on borrowed time.
Look at me now,
cooking your meals,
sewing up your shirts when they tear,
ironing with sweet lilac tears in my eyes,
because I miss the sadness that came before you,
I knew what to do with it,
but this? This gentle joy that trickles down the day,
from sunrise to sunset. This, I do not know how to handle, because I’ve never had it before.
I dream of a boat, in the breezy hands of the ocean,
fast and loose,
with drinks flowing and my honey at the helm.
It never sinks, and it never rusts,
it just parades us for the spectators we find at sea,
and I cook your meals,
I sew your shirts when they tear,
ironing with sweet lilac tears in my eyes.
You’re sweet to me,
home at a reasonable hour with hydrangeas behind your back, and a wicked smile,
and then you kiss me,
while my back is pressed against the warm oven,
wrinkling your shirt,
as if you enjoy watching me iron.
Hello, it’s me, your unfriendly, neighbourhood lesbian.
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 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 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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Green and Blue
The Day That She Met My Family
Our First Christmas
I Call My Lover By The Name Of The Affliction She Inflicts On Me
Don’t Bury That Gay. She’s Mine.
Strawberries spilled across the clean counter,
chased by the sharp silver of the knife that was shepherding them all towards the chopping board,
right next to the half pint of heavenly cream.
You told me that I’d get a headache,
from the heat,
and all my worrying.
Popped half a strawberry in between my lips with a kiss on my cheek,
and no word about how flushed and fevered my skin was.
I wailed as you whispered reassuring words,
I threw all the windows open with great theatrics as you chopped,
taking a brief break to take two ice poles from the freezer,
one blue, for you,
one pink, for me,
placing them both into my mad mouth,
until I was finally silent.
My frozen throat wanted to thank you,
suddenly more speechless as you stood on your tip toes,
one kiss, two kisses,
thunder gently breaking over my head.
Green and Blue
My mint madness breaks bulbs,
shatters the stillness,
broken glass panes are my only companions,
as I compile a long list of the reasons my suspicions are not just baseless paranoia.
There is grass inside my bones,
growing strong and defiant,
it wraps around my waist and my brain,
injecting invasive thoughts and conspiracies every time you touch me.
Do your hands belong to my loving, lime heart?
Will you always be true to me, blue?
The Day That She Met My Family
Met you at the movies,
sweet hands shaking as you hold me close,
stealing a cigarette from me,
though you don’t smoke,
because you’re choking on nervous energy,
and thought it might help.
We got some tickets for later,
to see something romantic,
so your panic over our actual plans wouldn’t feel like such a death sentence.
I sensed a presence,
without even calling my papi on the ouija.
You insist that they’ll be pleased to see me,
but not you.
It wasn’t true,
but you had found the idea at the back of our closet,
got lost in it,
and let it burrow inside your brain,
so nothing I said would settle your nerves.
So confident you used to be,
(my Yoda impression did not help alleviate your anxiety),
and I repeatedly reminded you that they were just people,
but you weren’t ready to accept that they’d accept you,
so all I could do was hold you tight,
and hope that you’d understand eventually.
down in the meadow,
making a mess of my make up,
painting new pictures,
as we pose for photos,
that will one day reside on top of our fireplace.
I haven’t been aflame for a long time,
tired from the torment,
I am burrowed under the earth with you.
I am borrowing some of the light that shines from your soul,
so that I can see the patterns in the path that led me to you,
how they deviated,
but always landed in the same location.
down on her luck,
but a charm to me.
How the yellow of the sun reflects so beautifully on the bruises I spy,
every time your shorts slide a little too far up long, strong legs,
that your father once remarked would suit horse riding well.
You don’t ride horses.
You run, wayward,
waving through wheat and obnoxiously tall grass,
like a disgraced Prime Minister,
or an Austen heroine,
and then you collapse next to me,
kissing me instantly,
wordless and passionately,
and I hope that we stay,
a whole spring,
a whole summer,
through the rain and boredom that follows,
until the Earth begins to bubble again,
and new flowers are formed,
beneath our searing souls.
Our First Christmas
The Queen’s Speech will be on soon.
We are in a palace of ripped wrapping paper and sentimental consumerism,
playing house under the Christmas tree,
as the aroma of dinner beckons from the kitchen.
You trace the diamonds that you’ve left on my neck,
soft whispers, with a bottle of cheap booze between us,
as the anthem rings out from the ignored television set.
You spill vodka down my dress,
the sailor stripes across my chest are wet,
your former drink working it’s way through the fabric, to my breasts,
and you are so apologetic,
dabbing, so dramatic, with the napkins that were left on the coffee table.
Tinsel tangled around my wrists,
fevered, delirious kisses,
our bodies glisten and glow under the flicker of fairy lights,
and your voice is warm, as it whispers in my ear.
I Call My Lover By The Name Of The Affliction She Inflicts On Me
My madness, tall and tepid.
I hunger for one last kiss.
No longer level headed.
Blinded by my thirst for bliss.
Burn through me, ‘til I’m embers.
Azul eyes. My soul is screaming.
Sweet winds, sunsets, September,
Autumn time, and I’m reeling.
Betray myself to love you.
Dreaming that you will come true.
Hooked on this hysteria.
I’m a fool to want you, blue.
Pity me, I need you, blue.
Let me live, my lover girl.
Don’t let me get lost,
lose it all,
lose my mind.
OOPS! it’s already gone,
and I’ve given you my heart,
with your initials carved in each curve and crevice.
Oh my love,
is it really such a disgrace,
to fall in love,
to stay in love,
to find new madness in the estate of my affections every morning,
when I wake up in your arms,
and my body grows and glows,
fertile and full of emotion?
Let me live for you, my lover girl,
and the life I find inside of me.
oops! it’s already done.
The walls have a warmth to them,
because you are standing and staring at them,
spilling sunshine and asking my opinion on paint swatches.
I am overwhelmed.
There are so many walls.
So many rooms.
I have so little to give,
just my dresses in a bent and struggling cardboard box,
and as much of my vinyl collection as we could carry from the car.
There is a waterfall erupting all over my shoes,
because the boy is making it clear that he would like to see the warm walls.
My nail polish is chipped,
but I am cheery,
chasing the high of my garden defying the odds and blooming before my eyes.
There is a child round my waist,
chipper and cherub cheeked,
asking for ice cream,
with pleading brown eyes that I recognise as my own.
Then there is you, Blue,
prying the boy from my body,
careful not to crush the rose bushes with his flailing legs,
as you take him off to the freezer,
like you used to do with me.
I am so satisfied.
The boy no longer clings to my waist.
I wish he was,
because this room smells sterile in a way that makes me unsettled,
and it would be so uncouth to cling to you,
as our tears fall,
and a man tells us what we already know.
I don’t know how I will tell the boy.
He’s a man, now,
but every man becomes a boy again when faced with fate’s cruelty.
I don’t know if I can comfort him as he cries,
when I am already falling apart just thinking about it.
The doctor’s doom fades away,
and we are on honeymoon again,
holding hands as the sun sets over the south pier at Blackpool,
the Irish Sea singing a sweet song about how life is just a fantasy,
if you let it be.
Let me dream.
Don’t let go of my hand, Blue.
Don’t Bury That Gay. She’s Mine.
Your heartbeat is so heavy inside my head, and your breath is a beautiful, laboured melody, that I know I will eternally hear. I am afraid of what happens when I am alone again.
I have been alone. I remember the way I watched the sun obsessively, seeing it rise, admiring it as it hung high in the sky all day, and then weeping as it vanished.
Don’t go to sleep. I remember life before you. My eyes were so weighted, constantly underwater. I used to watch the sun, wait for the moon and hope that it would bring me some comfort, but it never came.
I blame myself, Blue. God, I remember my life before you. I would look in the mirror, making eyes and putting lip gloss on a stranger. There was someone like you once, but neither she nor I was awake and realising what we were witnessing, so when the pain of parting sank in, it came as a surprise.
I am not surprised now. I am an old woman now. I am on autopilot. I make you a pot of tea. I check in, yet again, with our son, to see when he will swing by. I ask him so casually. I do not mop the monsoon of tears as I speak. I simply ask when he will visit his dying mother. I do not recall his response, and I make you more tea, then I fall to the floor in frustration, when I realise you are surrounded by an army of teapots, full of cold gold, that can’t stop you from taking this journey.
I remember life before you, Blue. Before the boy. Before the big house in Edinburgh, that I was afraid of, when we first moved in, because all I had to fill it was a few dresses, my notebooks, and my old records. I remember life before I would wake up to a warm woman, who held me like I was something precious.
The boy will be here soon. I kneel beside the bed we have shared, and I beg for your forgiveness. You hold my hand with as much strength as you can muster, and I must have fallen asleep, because in just an instant, I hear the front door slam, and your voice, strangled but still sweet calls my name.
The hands of the clock want to hurt me. They have stolen hours, and the sun is setting. The world doesn’t seem to understand that you are mine. They don’t understand that I won’t let them take you.
The boy is in the door way. He is trying so hard not to cry, and I know that because he is biting his lip until it threatens to bleed, like he used to as a child, when he was so afraid to be vulnerable. He doesn’t remember life before you, Blue. I almost envy him.
I remember life before you, Blue. I remember how much my loneliness would cannibalise me. I remember retiring to a dark room to die before I’d even lived, because real life didn’t seem like it was made for girls like me. Then you came along, like a miracle, or a Christmas wish, and I looked at you with such childlike awe, because at last, my heart had a purpose, and the pain would stop and I could finally cry because I was happy and…
The pain never really stopped. It just slept for a little while, but the sun always rises, everyone and everything wakes up eventually, and inevitably, so does pain. I can feel it stirring in my stomach, stretching and yawning as it pads around in an old housecoat, making coffee and reading our love story in the morning papers.
I don’t want to remember life before you, but it’s coming. I can’t fight my head and my horrid memories. They are scrambling and shouting, pushing as they make room for you. I don’t want you to be a memory. I want you in my arms. I want you in the car next to me. I want you in the bed, smiling like I’m worth waking up to. I want you smoking roll ups with me in the garden as I write a stupid sonnet about how stuck on you I am.
It’s coming. I am desperate. I’ll try anything. You asked me to read the first poem I wrote for you at the funeral but I can’t because it’s so stupid, and so frivolous, and the girl I was back then didn’t really know you, she just wanted to fuck you, and Blue, I’m so in love with you now and you’re killing me. You’re killing me.
I am making tea again. Nobody wants it. I have never liked it. I am doing it anyway. I hear you laugh a little, down the hall, and I am struck by how much it still stuns me. How beautiful and essential you have always been, and how much it will hurt to recall your laugh, when the memory of it is all I have left.