Credit: WND
Pin It

My Sexuality Is Not Your Porn

Sorry (not sorry)

Add to Collection

To add this article to a collection, you must be logged in.

To men who think my sexuality is an opportunity to exert dominance over me,

Take five steps back, take a nap, and have a drink of water. I was not built for you.

When my palm is pressed in the hand of another woman, it is not an art exhibit for staring. My relationship is not meant to be photographed-especially with flash. You may ruin the artwork.

I'm not sure if your intention is to use your misogyny and blatant disregard for my sexual orientation to somehow make me interested in men, but it's not working. In fact, it makes me want to cut out your tongue.

My lips on the lips of my partner is not a billboard for the Democratic party or an open invitation for your opinion. I am not a Tinder profile begging for a man to complete my ultimate fantasy. I do not need your approval or your policing. You are not meant to complete me. I am complete. So please keep walking.

Being an openly gay woman, it is not uncommon for me to be heckled on street corners while I hold my partner's hand. Oftentimes, the catcalling consists of the blatant "LESBIANS!" screamed as we walk by. How profound. Man-can-identify-homosexual-relationship? (read in caveman voice)

However, sometimes the commentary takes the shape of inappropriate gazes, mouth licking, and sexual comments. It is almost as if I can see last night's porno replaying in the head of the oppressor. It is in those moments that I feel discomfort in my sexuality- the open expression of my love. Of course, political-activist-feminist-superhero me immediately reminds myself that this behavior is an example of misogyny and the grotesque double standard of homosexual relationships. The shame and discomfort quickly vanishes but the memory does not. The street corner becomes the spot that we discuss in conversation "remember when the guy who looked like kevin federline told us he was into lesbians?"

Queer people deal with a lot of garbage. Perhaps garbage is too light of a word. Fiery garbage. Better? Literal garbage on fire. Burning us. Oppressing us. We face discrimination, hate crimes, and injustice everyday. However, I've come to realize that there is something just as evil and far less discussed: the male gaze. The ludicrous idea that men have the right to comment on or question my sexual orientation.

I am not your school science project. You cannot change my chemistry with your hyper-masculinity. I am not built to be fixed, altered, or cut open. Is it too much to ask to simply exist?

Newsflash: Questions like "do you scissor?", "who is the man in the relationship?" and "can I join?" are not only extremely sexist, but also discriminatory. Would you prefer I inject myself into your heterosexual romance? Question your identity or ask who fits into gender roles within the relationship? I didn't think so.

I don't refer to myself as a lesbian. Instead, I choose to identify as a gay woman. I know that these two things are synonymous, but the word lesbian seems to incite an over-sexualization and pornographic stereotype that I do not wish to associate with. I know I should just own the word and care less. Welcome to my life of cognitive dissonance. (If any other gay gals have ever felt this, let me know.)

So men, next time you see me on the street, be afraid. If you want to stare, remember that I'm Medusa as hell. Turn to stone, misogynist. If my hand is in the hand of another woman, remember that curled fingers also make fists. Remember that my tongue is sharp and love is not my weakness. My sexuality is not your pornography. I am not a crack meant to be paved by your over-compensation. If you're going to say anything, let oppression not roll off your tongue.

In fact, it would be better if you just let me walk.

Leah Juliett is a poet, LGBTQ rights activist, musical theatre performer, and intersectional feminist. She puts pen to paper discussing politics, culture, mental health, the arts, and diversity & thrives on sarcasam and sololoquies.

Like Odyssey on Facebook

Facebook Comments