Being a lesbian kinda fucking rocks. Being a lesbian, a homosexual female, is an amazing experience I wouldn't trade for the world.

I grew up hating being gay. I had a deadly combination of internalized misogyny and internalized homophobia, feeling both like I wasn't 'normal' because I was a woman who didn't adhere to the female socialization game, and that I wasn't 'normal' because, well, the word indicates typical behavior - and homosexuality is pretty rare and non-typical. And there's nothing a teenager or young adult wants more in her life than to fit the hell in and have community, so I went through the motions of desperately trying to convince myself and act like I was anything other than a lesbian, but to no avail. I was a confused 20 year old internet-addicted loser, and when I couldn't stand to hate myself and play make-believe any longer, I was confronted with the reality that what I saw in the mirror wasn't some well-adjusted, feminine opposite-sex attracted woman but a hairy, feminist, pussy-loving butch dyke. And then I had no choice but to accept what I saw (and ultimately, to accept who I am) and I moved onto a better chapter of my life as a lesbian.

Accepting myself has been a difficult journey. Having an amazing girlfriend with whom I have plans to get married to in the future is definitely enough to anchor me and prevent me from questioning my orientation any further, but it does not mean the world I live in is any safer for me to traverse. Lesbian bars are non-existent and gay spaces in general are more overrun by bad actors and heterosexuals than ever before, and even peers my age look at me sideways when I say no, thank you, I'm not interested in men. I deleted social media when I realized just how bad its homophobic liberalspeak had gotten in recent years and despite having access to infinite portals into cyberspace, I am isolated on the basis of my sexuality now more than ever before.

But, you know what? The few lesbians I have found on the internet and talk to semi-frequently have been the most wonderful, intelligent, empathetic, driven, ambitious, insightful women I have ever known in my entire life. Sure they're all online and I struggle to find women who are same-sex attracted in the "real" world, but talking to these few e-friends gives me hope that offline community is out there - it just has to be found, or built, or co-constructed. Something like that, anyway.

I talk a lot with my friend Lily about cyberfeminist technology, separatism, and other ideas for a lesbian feminist future. We talk about earthships, sustainable living, permaculture, garden-keeping, ethics. The freedom I want that can only be found in an eco-friendly lesbian commune doesn't exist, or at least I don't have it yet. But our talks make me feel like I can breathe, it pushes my head above the water so that I'm no longer drowning, and that's more than enough for me right now. I reflect on our conversations when I'm thinking about what I'll plant in the garden this year, and when I'm looking at the thousand non-fiction feminist or lesbian-related PDFs I've downloaded, and it gives me comfort. It's like if I take my boat out into unmapped waters I can just look to wherever the rays of the lighthouse's beacon pierces the thick grey fog, and follow it to safety.

Autopoiesis, at least as I have it copy and pasted from who knows where, 'refers to a system capable of producing and maintaining itself by creating its own parts.' I find a lot of lesbian lore is like this, as newborn and novel as it is, it seems to be this ever-evolving, shifting, living thing, transformed eternally by the gentle desires of all the lesbians out there who envision a future that features themselves and those they love in a grassroots heaven. All of my stories embody this autopoietic nature, furthering both my own personal lesbian lore and agenda and how I understand myself as a lesbian. For instance, I love lesbian retellings of classic myths, tales, and religious stories and so I repurpose these imaginings, reify them in my own spiritual worldview and cosmic understanding.

I also love to dig into the very deep, very visceral nature of lesbian love. You could find a million articles on just how profound same-sex female friendships are, and take a magnifying glass to it and see the same skeleton in lesbian relationships. Talking about wanting to devour my girlfriend whole or sleep inside her skin to non-lesbians is all but inviting psychopath killer comparisons, but talking to another lesbian about the inherently complex relationship between two women and the need to be closer to your lover will typically elicit an understanding "yeah" or an enthusiastic, knowing nod. Wanting to sink your teeth and claws into her, wanting that kind of crazed, wild animal sex because speaking with your body is the only way we sometimes feel we can be seen at all, is all par for the course of lesbianism. It's a rite, a ritual, a spell. Magic. Holy, divine. Being a lesbian is to be a witch, part of an interconnected network of threads and wires and sinew, to be invited to the moonlit sabbath not in the form of a letter hidden in a sealed twine-bound envelope, but in the form of a birthright.

And writing this all down reminds me, again, how being a lesbian, really fucking rocks.

EDIT: 4/23/24 Happy Lesbian Week of Visibility!