#ABWomenSpeak June 13 - GNC Centric - Transcript

16/06/2021

After identifying and living as a transman for years, Benji (GNC Centric) accepted that she is a lesbian and reidentified with her womanhood. She is a lesbian and detrans community builder who flew to Calgary from Ottawa to attend the event.

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Imagine a young Canadian woman who has just come to terms with the fact that she's a lesbian. The first thing she'll likely want to do, is meet others like her. In Canada, other than the Vancouver Lesbian Collective, there are NO lesbian specific events, groups or spaces. So she will probably go online, as the rest of us do now in the age of COVID. This is when she will notice the extreme censorship of lesbians online.

Twitter has many vocal lesbians, however stating that you are only attracted to females can get you temporarily or permanently suspended. Instagram and tumblr have fallen in line with this recently. Many lesbians who've been removed from these platforms seek refuge in private Facebook groups, only for those groups to be reported and removed as well. So while you can try to create a public presence or a private community as a lesbian on social media, you do so knowing that at any moment you could lose it.

Reddit, once the host of a bustling lesbian community, from late bloomer lesbians to butch lesbians to lesbian dating advice, is now decimated. In June 2020, the platform removed thousands of "hateful" subreddits. You may wonder, what could be hateful about lesbian discussions? The answer is that we vocalize that our orientation is based on biological sex. In it's place, we have "inclusive" lesbian subreddits which host memes about how males who label themselves "lesbians" should have a right to sex with homosexual females.

So if all our public spaces like Dyke bars or lesbian university groups are gone, where can lesbians meet? The honest answer is that its really difficult for Canadian lesbians to gather, socialize or organize as a distinct group. Often, our only option is Queer Women's Events, groups or spaces, which almost always include males and often centre bisexuality to the exclusion of homosexuality. We used to have Dyke marches that were female only, they now centre bisexuality and lesbians are meant to see this as progress.

It's gotten the the point where a lesbian at an LGBT event could face severe consequences for vocalizing that she is a homosexual. As a result, many lesbians stay home, rather than bite their tongues about their sexuality in spaces where they should be able to express themselves freely.

What are the consequences for lesbians who don't bite their tongues? In many progressive environments, the concept that sexuality is based on sex and not gender identity is seen as regressive, so the appropriate response is to shun or punish the lesbian who expresses she is a homosexual. This can take various forms; an entire social circle blocking you overnight, being removed from women's groups or LGBT groups online or in your area, people contacting your employer to report that you are hateful, professional associations removing you from their ranks for spreading bigotry, your child's school will no longer let you volunteer, you will be harassed by colleagues until you quit your job. These actions are seen not only as acceptable lesbophobia but as justice.

I know of one lesbian who went to a queer women's event in Toronto and when she spoke up, saying this event seems to be entirely for bisexuals and focused exclusively on heterosexual sex, everyone shamed her. They tried to correct her, that lesbians can enjoy heterosexual sex, and called her a bigot. Then most of them blocked or unfriended her, some of whom were professional relationships. Imagine being a young lesbian in that room, witnessing the result of speaking up for homosexual women.

Simply put, the dominant narrative has been set by LGBT organizations and influencers. They operate on the assumption that lesbians are privileged over queer women and we don't need our own spaces anymore. The leading LGBT organizations and influencers have also re-written female homosexuality as including males, they've even gone so far as the re-write our history, claiming that lesbians have always included males in our sexuality. LGBT people have always disagreed with one another. Within the LGBT, we have always expressed unpopular opinions about the community. We are now expected to be a monolith; to only ever agree.

So why hasn't the average Canadian heard about this? Because of the extreme consequences for anyone who opposes this narrative, lesbians in canada have been unable to publicly oppose this narrative en masse. Even if a large group of Canadian lesbians decided the risks were worth it, where could we vocalize ourselves? On social media, the options are limited and once a post gets a certain amount of traction it would likely be removed. Traditional news media in Canada is unlikely to cover this as they prefer to follow the sanctioned narrative set by LGBT organizations; that we are a monolith and all accept that lesbian sexuality includes males.

We have entered an era where homosexuality has once again become the love that dare not speak its name. This pride month, take a moment to tell a lesbian you know, that even if she feels she is alone, you support her right to find others like herself and express her female exclusive sexual orientation.

Thank you.