Archive | February 4, 2014

My presentation on Saturday at Current Pagan Studies

I think I’ve finished my presentation and I think I’ve found all the typos and weirdnesses but I will look at it a few more times. We are only allotted 15 minutes so I had to narrow the scope of the paper to just Lesbiphobia and not include the other problems I asked about in the Survey. Maybe next year I can address the other problems. I am going to mention somethings from it but not go into my data.

It’s over 30 PowerPoint slides as it is. That’s enough for the end of the day. I was supposed to be one of the first presenters on the first day but they redid the schedule and moved all the gay topics to the last session on the end of the first day. Followed by fellow TOILALBWS member Marie Cartier with a book signing for her book. Baby, You are my Religion: Women, Gay Bars, and Theology Before Stonewall (Gender, Theology and Spirituality), Which will really be cool. Go Marie!

I was really amazed at how many lesbians flat out refused to take the survey even though it was anonymous. Several said they mistrusted how I would use the data but couldn’t explain why they felt that way. Several didn’t want to commit to paper how they felt about the “invasion” of their sacred space by transgendered mtf even though they would say it in an email or on the phone. They didn’t want to commit to what others would interpret as prejudice and what they felt was the right to their own sacred space and they really resented hets not understanding why it was a problem. Yes, there is something called straight privilege.

What I found interesting about the het responses to the survey was how little they understood what a lesbian was. 100% of the hets replied that they were not prejudiced against lesbians which flew until you read the comments they made and proved how lesbiphobic they really were. For the record, being a lesbian is not dressing masculinely, it isn’t just what we do in bed. It involves the whole person and how that person interacts with the world. We aren’t women cross dressing as men. That’s called drag. So many people focused on a behaviour and decided that was all there was to it and they sounded a lot like the things people used to say about African Americans.

There was a total lack of comprehension that there was something called lesbian culture and that the reason most hetero pagans never saw lesbians was that they were made to feel at the very least invisible. It reminded me of the time I took my students to a Reclaiming Beltane ritual and how all the lesbians including myself felt invisible and that unless you were hetero you really weren’t acknowledged or welcome which made even my straight students feel badly.

This will be interesting.