Stop Telling Me to Be a Lesbian
Originally written on August 2
My Monday was my typical Monday night; heading home using public transportation with my headphones in my ear to tune out the noise of the world and create my own silo of solace. After a long day and hour and a half commute to work, the only thing on my mind was getting home, making dinner, and getting a head start on the next day's errands. Two hours later, I was home and my night began to resemble a Monday morning in the office—lots of hustle and bustle— excepted it was accompanied by a cheap bottle of wine.
As my bowl filled with spicy nacho Doritos and glass of Sauvigon Blanc began to shrink in proportion, my fingers continued to type with the bright light of my Macbook shining on my face. A few things on my to-do list quickly turned into an in-depth list of tasks including a bit of tweaking here and there for the social media marketing strategy I created for one of my freelance clients and also some graphic design work for my own radio show.
While work had my full attention, I received a phone call from a good friend of mine; one that always has a story to tell and never accompanied by a dull moment. As we talked and gave each other updates in our personal lives, career chit-chat and our love lives, I heard the words often heard by women who choose to focus on their careers and professional life during this time of building; "just be a lesbian."
While I didn't take any offensive to the words because of whom it came from, it did bring me back to past instances of hearing the same disclaimer and questioning of my sexuality and dating life because of my choice to focus on work.
A few weeks later, my current relationship status was on the chopping block again being the focal point of a conversation. "So, how long have you been single," I was asked. This time I did feel insulted and offended. My mouth tried to coordinate with the many thoughts going through my head. "Who said I was single?" "Because I'm not talking about a man all the time it's safe to assume I'm single?" "Where's your man?!" I gave a cliche response noting my lack of trust and jaded perception of other people's relationships to avoid my natural instinct of using lots of profanity to express my disgust with the question.
Your 20s, and 30s to be honest, is a time of self awareness and exploration. A stage in life often associated with dating, courtship, and weddings. For some this is the time to create a foundation to build on and begin the lifelong journey of love and happiness, while for others, the journey is filled with more bumps and obstacles in the road.
Many women like myself identify with the latter rather than the former, questioning of sexual identity and escapades are often under a microscope for other while we accept our journey. Are you dating anyone? Why are you single? I'm going to pray God sends you a good man.
The assumption of being a lesbian and being single is offensive for multiple reasons. One, assuming or pressuring a woman to be a lesbian makes women feel because they are focused on their professional careers and providing stability and financial freedom that something is wrong with them. The words tainted, damaged, broken, and many other are part of the negative connotation of these women. Since when is independence a bad, taboo-thing?
Narrow-minded thinking such as women are lonely and lacking value in their lives because brunches, lunches, dinners, and girls night outs aren't bombarded with discussion of a significant other is beyond ridiculous. While this meet ups serve as a time to catch up after a long-time of not seeing each other, why not enjoy the moment and share news about things you're passionate and happy about and not use it as another moment to point fingers at who hasn't come to terms with their sexual identity. Even if your friend is battling with their sexual preference, it's NONE of your business. Can you pass the apps and the bottle please?
You assume women that you think are "lonely," "lacking in life," or are damned to a life of being single, but what does that say about how we think about lesbians? While I'm sure the professionalism aspect of the situation wouldn't cause the LBGT community to be upset, but assuming lesbians are hard-working lonely women who have no pleasure in life is beyond offensive and crosses over to ignorant. I know of couples who are absolutely happy with their partners and I know single women, who happen to be lesbians, that find enjoy and happiness in other facets of their lives. So because you're in a heterosexual relationship, your relationship is better? Don't y'all get divorced,too? Sips tea.
The list of reasons why this one-sided, close-minded rhetoric goes on and on, the moral of the story is don't judge, or assume, anything about a person just because their happiness and joy comes in a different form than yours. As long as you're not hurting or harming anyone, what's the problem?
The next time you suggest to someone they change their sexual preferences because their journey is different than yours, consider minding your business. Or maybe you should re-evaluate your life. Are you not finding success at work and your guilty conscious is coming out? Is your envy causing you to bring someone else down? Or maybe you're the one that needs to reconsider what team you're playing for. Drops mic.