Today In The LGBT

August 2, 2012

As a public service GenderTrender has compiled todays Lesbian-related stories from the mainstream LGBT “blogosphere”:

The Advocate: “fascinating” article by Diana Anderson-Minshall, featuring Professor Bambi Lobdell, a heterosexual woman promoting her new book on “reclaim[ing] transgender men from lesbian or passing woman history.” The specific lesbian that Lobdell attempts to “reclaim” as transgender is distant relative and 19th century marksman Lucy Ann Lobdell , known as “The Female Hunter of Delaware County”. Heterosexual Lobdell’s rewriting of lesbian history is called “A Strange Sort of Being: The Transgender Life of Lucy Ann/Joseph Israel Lobdell, 1829-1912”.

 How “fascinating” is this het woman’s rewriting of lesbian history? From Anderson-Minshall’s first paragraph:

“Now Lobdell’s distant relative, professor Bambi L. Lobdell, has written a fascinating account of Joseph Lobdell — who she calls Lucy-Joe — and what happened after he moved to the frontier, married a woman, and bucked 19th-century social restrictions and gender expectations. It’s a fascinating story of forced marriage, arrest, and incarceration in an insane asylum. Although 20th-century scholars have labeled Lobdell a lesbian, the author, while incorporating queer theory and Lobdell’s own writings, makes a fascinating argument in A Strange Sort of Being: The Transgender Life of Lucy Ann/Joseph Israel Lobdell, 1829-1912 that there never was a “female hunter” but really a transgender man who would eventually be locked away from society and his beloved for insisting on being a man.”

Sounds pretty fucking fascinating, No?

Then again the author of the piece (and fascinated party) is Anderson-Minshall, the Advocate’s executive editor and long-time editor of lesbian media, now “heterosexually” married to her ex-lesbian “transman” partner.

Lesbian No Mo

Lobdell hetsplains to the lesbian reader how the lesbian subject, in her 1855 autobiography “The Female Hunter” erroneously identified herself as a women’s rights activist: “The autobiography presents an intelligent and strongly worded feminist manifesto for equal pay and opportunities for women and a personal refusal to live an oppressed life in the domestic sphere; she also presents her bold plan to seize freedoms and opportunities that women did not have legal rights to at the time by going out into the world in men’s clothes. The few newspaper articles available were modern retellings of older newspaper articles that often only featured Lucy as a woman who refused to stay in the place society set for her.” Hetsplainer calls the subject’s autobiographical assertions about herself “cissexist ignorance”. Hetsplainer informs lesbian readers that lesbians in history who “passed” as males to steal some form of freedom from “the man” would not do so unless they were “transgender”. Why on earth else would females risk it? “Considering the great deal of harassment and incarceration Joe experienced because of his gender presentation, I conclude that his reason for doing so was that he felt he was a man and brave enough to live as one openly.”

Gosh hetero lady! So all the persecuted lesbians and “passing” females in history must have been “male brained”! Who knew? What would we do without heteros erasing lesbians in articles written by “ex-lesbians” in the Advocate???

Hetero lady goes on to use Chaz Bono’s appearance on Dancing With The Stars as an example of how “We see variations of backlash when female-bodied persons who claim to be women enter traditional male spaces like sports, politics, or business, but when that person identifies as male, the amplified backlash reveals its transphobic fear.” But gosh hetero lady: there has NEVER been a lesbian or gay couple featured on that show. Much LESS a gender-nonconforming lesbian. Oops!

Lobdell goes on detail her anti-homosexual agenda: “I identify as straight, but am a strong ally for LGBTQ people. I teach gender studies classes at SUNY Oneonta, where I have been turned loose to teach classes in queer studies and transgender studies and queer literature, which the students seem to be hungry for. I love working with student groups exploring any gender or queer issues, and am trying to find time to reach out to communities near me to get more involved with queer youth, especially trans kids.”

Professor Lobdell explains how lesbians and gays have it all wrong:

“When sexual attraction is reduced to a mere pairing up of opposite sets of genitals in our cultural understanding, the aspect of gender is absent. There seems to be an assumption that desire experienced by straight women is based on longing for sex with a body that has a penis, and desire experienced by lesbian women is based on longing for sex with a body with female genitals, as if gender is not a consideration. But what if desire and sexual satisfaction for some women are built around a desire for masculinity and masculine qualities and characteristics, but not a penis or traditional male body or person? We have such rigid boxes for what sex styles people can subscribe to, which greatly limits the potential for human sexual experience. Even today with the boxes of gay and lesbian more acceptable, those categories are still based on the genitals each body has, as if genitals alone are the source of truth about identity and desire. What if they’re not? What if genitals are not the core of a person’s identity or the single criteria for how to form intimate relationships?”

Oh Gosh! She’s a hetero professor of The Cotton Ceiling! THANKS Advocate for your ONE “lesbian” article of the day, erasing women’s history and telling lesbians how we are “doing it wrong” by rejecting the LADYPEEN.

Lets bail from the Advocate and see what Bilerico has for us today:

Oh my! What do we have here? ANOTHER article by heterosexual male pretendbian, pornographer and prolific anti-lesbian and anti-female activist Tobi Hill-Meyers instructing us about the “issue” of “prejudice” involved in lesbians and gays that don’t want to DATE opposite sex people! Two mainstream LGBT Cotton Ceiling posts written by heterosexuals “educating” gays and lesbians about “how we’re doing it wrong” in one day. Whew! My irony-expressing quotation marks are getting exhausted! Yawwwwwn…

Lets move along to AmericablogGay:

Editor John Aravosis has added a new blogger to the all-male roster. But this time it’s….. ANOTHER MALE. Shockingly, even John NOTICES this, stating he “would love to have more women bloggers on the blog, but it’s been tough finding them – am checking out two right now, but if you know of anyone – for the main or gay sites – please send them my way: john at americablog dot com. Thanks!”

HAHAHAHAHA. He doesn’t KNOW of any lesbian bloggers. Oh, and by “have more” women bloggers on the Gay site, he means “any”. BECAUSE THERE ARE NONE. Goddammit John for making me use more quotation marks you sonofagun.

Moving on to JoeMyGod, Towle and Pams:

Joe and Andy are wise enough to just skip covering any lesbian news today, Pam’s has Chick fil A.

That’s today’s wrap-up of Lesbian news in the U.S. mainstream LGBT blogosphere. GenderTrender is pleased to provide this service of keeping you up to date. Cheers!

[all bolding by me-GM]


37 Responses to “Today In The LGBT”

  1. weirdward Says:

    Thanks for highlighting this roundup – sexism & lesbophobia both alive and well in the lgbt movt – how unsurprising!

    There is also an increasing trend of reinterpreting lesbian novels as really being novels about trans characters – cos its not like lesbians should get to keep the few precious markers of culture and visibility that we have.

    It’s interesting the way (ex)lesbians who have trans partners want to trans-ify the world around them. Quite a few years ago my then-partner and I had an acquaintance whose partner had transitioned to a transmale, and she wasted a lot of time trying to (unsuccessfully) convince us that we were also ‘really’ a transmale and fem/het woman who ‘mistakenly’ thought we were lesbians.

    It’s like, they’ve become a believer in the delusion, and so everyone around them has to as well, because otherwise reality is too much of a threat.

  2. These gender-obsessed, half-brained twits make my head hurt.


    I get this throbbing pain about an inches above the bridge of my nose.


  3. anon Says:

    I love the one comment at the advocate about how it’s incorrect to try to conscript people from that time period into the “working class.” I thought the cool kids got irony.

    If you’ve never read it, you should pick up a later edition of Antonia Young’s book on Albanian Sworn Virgins. The preface talks about how after she wrote the original manuscript for a magazine article in the west, people came out of the woodwork in order to conscript her body of work into the capitalist trans narrative.

  4. silverside Says:

    I’m doing research on a woman who lived from 1914 to 1991. I’ve tried to be reasonably open minded and scholarly. But I’m still pretty much convinced she was a butch lesbian. In the past, it was very difficult for some women to conceptualize their love for another woman unless they were “male” on some level. But I really suspect that this particular woman moved on from that position. Plus, stupid people like Lucy’s relative really seem to misjudge how strict gender restrictions were for women. The woman I am researching worked as a sales clerk in a shoe store, a job that was considered MALE at the time (and is now dominated by teenage girls), But she was able to get this job because she passed. Her older sister married at 17 to a man who beat her. Pretty much anything other than an existence like her sister’s would have been considered male in her time and place, so she rebelled. But I don’t think she ever really considered herself a male. She just liked wearing pants, making a decent wage, and having a girl friend. I think for a time she enjoyed the masquerade and fooling people. But I think the joke got old for her after a time, and she just wanted to be herself without a fake name or all the pretending. That does not make you trans as far as I’m concerned.

    • I agree. Of course wanting to throw off the sexist yoke of “femininity” during such an oppressive era doesn’t make a woman “trans”. Some of the cases of posthumous appropriation of cross-dressing women as “trans” that most enrage me are the war-time ones. Women during wartime cross-dressed to survive, to forage for food and fuel without being raped, to stay close to a beloved husband, brother or father at the front lines without being treated as a prostitute or “camp follower”, to support and protect a lesbian lover as her faux “husband” while her male relatives were unable to support and protect her due to conscription, injury, etc.

      Calling them “transwomen” now is just…more sexist appropriation by people (males) who understand NOTHING about women’s oppression, women’s tough choices, women’s real lives — it wasn’t that long ago when being a woman alone without a male “protector” meant it was open season on you by unscrupulous, rape-minded landlords, bosses, neighbors and pretty much anyone who wanted to take advantage of your vulnerability. Of course some women who could get away with it tried to “pass” to protect themselves, their children and their lovers.

    • cabochon Says:

      Silverside! Your Lost Womyn’s Space blog is one of the best women’s history blogs ever and is a constant pleasure for me.

  5. And I guess Izzy Pettibone from Road to Avonlea must be a trans boy! /sarcasm

  6. Interrobang Says:

    It’s a really shocking example of revisionist history to apply modern concepts of gender fluidity to historical documents. It doesn’t make sense at all to assume that the subjects in question thought of themselves as what we would call “transgendered” now, or to appropriate them into that framework, either.

    I’m not sure it entirely makes sense to label certain historical figures (such as Lucy Lobdell) unambiguously lesbian either, but that’s because it’s not entirely certain from context (I haven’t read the autobio) that she had the concept. On the other hand, if one is reading strictly from her actions, it’s fair to consider her lesbian, although I still think “transgender” would be an awful stretch, since “passing” isn’t about self-identity at all. (It’s not what your name is, it’s what they call you.)

    Who’s next, Sappho?

    • Oh, yes, didn’t you know? Sappho was CALB (Coercively Assigned Lesbian at Birth) just because she was born on the island of Lesbos?

      Who knows? She might have been a “transwoman” — it’s possible — it was a long time ago, right? Ahem. And as we all know, “might have been” is good enough for the re-writers of history.

      I’m sure some middle-class, white, male in drag with a Women’s Studies degree somewhere is busy re-writing Lesbian history.

  7. yttik Says:

    “But what if desire and sexual satisfaction for some women are built around a desire for masculinity and masculine qualities and characteristics, but not a penis or traditional male body or person?”

    This made me laugh out loud because I think she’s got it all backwards.The truth is, many het women are attracted to men IN SPITE of their “masculine qualities,” not because of them. “Masculinity” creates men who can open jars and change tires, but the rest of the “characteristics” are darn near impossible to live with 🙂

    I’m sorry that lesbians are so poorly represented in the mainstream LGBT blogs.

    • GallusMag Says:

      LOL well said.
      I do want to comment on the tire changing thing. Every woman should know how to, and feel confident in changing a tire. It is something every able-bodied woman can do no matter how strong. I encourage every woman reading this to take a half hour and be secure for the rest of your life that you can easily change a tire and be on your way easily when the inevitable occurs. No woman should be stranded due to a flat tire. If you learn how to change one once you will never have to worry about it again.

      Go out into your driveway/street and examine the undercarriage of your vehicle. There should be a notch, or two notches, visible on the bottom of the side panel of your car near the front and rear wheels. That is where the jack should be placed. If you cannot see it, check your owners manual or google your car model online for jack placement. But pretty much every car has these notches to guide you.

      Go into your trunk and locate the jack, jack handle, tire iron. Pull them out. Check your spare/”donut” so you know it’s condition and where it is for when you need it.

      Take the hubcap off of one of your rear tires. Your tire iron probably has a flat edge on it’s tip for this purpose. If not, you can use a screwdriver or any handy object (metal nail file, stick, etc.) to slip under the edge of your hubcap and pop it off. Once you get an edge up you can use anything to pop it off. Put it on the ground face down and take your tire iron (the tire lug-nut wrenchy thing) and use it to see if the nuts will move. They will probably stick a bit. Get them each to turn. COUNTERCLOCKWISE. Remember “righty tighty, lefty loosey”. If you cannot loosen them, place the tire iron on the nut and stand on top of the arm, using your body as leverage. Bounce up and down if you have to, until the nut moves. Go around and do that to all the nuts. If you can’t position the tire iron sideways on some of the nuts, put the jack in position, insert the arm and lift the vehicle until the wheel can turn. Position the wheel to get the last few nuts and lower the vehicle, then loosen the last few nuts.

      Now you have prepped the tire to be removed. Place your jack into position and insert the crank. Raise the car until the tire is an inch or two off the ground. Use your tire iron and go around loosening all the nuts equally. If you remove one side first the tire may shift and press against the remaining nuts so it’s best to go round and round and loosen them all equally. Then remove all the nuts and place them into the well of the hubcap you have placed face-down nearby. That way you will keep them all handy. Pull off the tire.

      You can examine your disc brakes and brake pads for wear at this point if you want (optional).

      Now for the easy part.

      Push the tire back onto the wheel bolts. It will probably sit cockeyed, that’s okay. Grab your nuts and screw one onto each bolt. Tighten each one by hand a bit as far as they go. Now push the tire flush and secure against the wheel housing. The best way for small or unmuscular people to do this is to sit on your ass and use both feet to press the tire against the wheel housing. Don’t be afraid, just push that fucking thing flush. With your feet holding it in place tighten the nuts by hand all around and then tighten with the lug wrench. Now get off your ass and apply all your weight to that wrench to tighten those nuts. Remember, righty tighty, lefty loosey. Get back on your ass and give that tire one last push with your feet to make sure it is flush against the tire housing and the nuts are as tight as you can get them.

      Now lower the jack until the tire is resting on the ground. You can put the tire iron on and give a quick jump onto the arm now, as you did when you loosened them, to make sure they are completely tight. You can rejack the car enough to spin the wheel and bounce gently on the arm of the tire iron on all of them if you want to be a perfectionist. That’s it! You’ve done it. You spent half an hour practicing something that means: You now never have to be stranded again for the rest of your life due to tire failure!

      Always keep a working flashlight in your car.

      • GallusMag Says:

        Oh, and replace your hubcap by tapping it back into place gently but firmly. Either with your fist, a rubber mallet, or a heavy oblect wrapped in something soft (hammer wrapped in towel, rock wrapped in towel. Try not to dent it. 🙂

      • Thanks, GM! I always suggest that after young, able-bodied women get their tires rotated or replaced at a commercial place, they INSIST on being allowed to hand-tighten their lug nuts themselves before they leave the tire store or mechanic. These commercial ventures use mechanical lug wrenches powered by compressed air and they often put them on too tight for even a young, fit woman’s arms to loosen. The lug nuts don’t need that last bit of torque to stay on and be safe. Just ask the mechanic to show you how to tighten your lug nuts to YOUR limit (after they back the lug nuts off a bit using the compressed-air lug wrench.) You can tighten them down again in a week just to be sure that they’re not working loose. Those darn compressed-air lug wrenches are what get so many women into unnecessary trouble on the road.

        My disabilities are increasing as I age, but I think I could still change a tire on level ground in a pinch — but not if it were in a compressed-air-driven strangle-hold.

        We can also carry a length of pipe that fits over the end of the lug wrench which increases the torque we can apply. Remember the old dictum attributed to Archimedes, “Give me a long enough lever and a place to stand, and I can move the earth.”

      • yttik Says:

        LOL, that was wonderful, Gallus.

      • GallusMag Says:

        AWWWW! So sweet. x

  8. DaveSquirrel Says:

    “Bambi” …. really?

    It sounds like Professor Bambi was rather embarassed to think of her relative as a lesbian who had to cross-dress in order to escape marriage, something few women ever escaped. Now in today’s shiny sparkly world of speshul jenduh snowflakes, professor Bambi has :::reason::: speshul snowflake twanz person. phew!

    This is so totally re-writing (lesbian) herstory, as well as brushing under the carpet all the crap women had to endure with marriage and endless babies.

    this whole crap is so anti-female, anti-lesbian.

  9. Bev Jo Says:

    Thank you so much for this, Gallus. I have been fucking furious about men re-writing our Lesbian history and being the “Lesbian” columnists for “LGBTcrap” publications for years now. The men appropriating Lesbian identity have been doing it way out of proportion to their numbers. How convenient for the gay and bisexual men to not have to deal with Lesbians at all? When they need representation to show they are not all men, they just get men pretending to be Lesbians.

    They went after poor Teena Brandon years ago, though her mother and friends insisted she was a Lesbians trying to pass to have more freedom and never a trans.

    Trans do not exist! It is a cult and a fantasy. (Sorry, but it drives me nuts whenever they are treated at real, which just feeds the cult.)

    It is hard to enough to find/prove that famous women today are really Lesbians. And Butches are not represented in the media at all. Not even in the Lesbian media. (The only one I’ve seen was a contestant last year on “The Voice.” No, bald Beverly McClellan was not Butch, but I appreciated her and Vicci Martinez being so out.)

    They want to take every single thing away from us.

    Oh Kitty, I can’t tell which end hurts more, but yes, they are a pain in the ass…..

    You are so right, yttik, that women are with men in spite of their male qualities. They just make do.

    That was a fantastic tire changing description, Gallus. You are now also our champion in safety!!!


    I am forever proud to be a Lesbian. I never wanted to be a boy or man. I just wanted to be in love with other girls in peace. I hope to hell they don’t try to say we all were trans after we die….

  10. ethicalequinox Says:

    THANK YOU GM FOR CONTINUING TO BE SO DAMN AWESOME! Yes that deserves ALL CAPS FOR YOU! I wish I could be as persistent in keeping up with all this as you are. Maybe someday…

    And I will second what you said about learning how to change tires. It would be impossible for me without a “cheater bar”…damn torque.

  11. silverside Says:

    It is also interesting that Bambi ignores and rejects Lucy’s OWN WORDS on the subject of herself as a “female hunter” and her own thoughts on feminism in favor of trendy theory. That is especially bogus. It’s very hard to find first-person accounts by women before the 20th century, especially if the women were not of the educated middle class. First-person acccounts by women of color, working class women, especially lesbians of these groups, are especially rare and valuable. So as a historian, if you’re lucky enough to find something written by rural working woman living in an intimate relationship with another woman, you should engage with her own words very seriously. But no, Bambi’s queer theory academic pals know better what she was than Lucy herself speaking for herself. Pure crapola.

    • Ashland Avenue Says:

      Beautifully put, Silverside. The extreme arrogance of “correcting” this woman’s autobiography…unfuckingbelievable.

  12. Interrobang Says:

    Sorry to stick this here, because I think you ought to see it, GallusMag, and I can’t think anywhere else to put it. It is sort of germane to the topic, but feel free to delete this comment if you like:

    Using off-label hormones on female fetuses for “sex normalization purposes”, to prevent lesbianism and tomboyism, among other things.

    The idea that some people think neither of these things is sex-normal for female people to the extent of trying dangerous in utero experimental repairs is quite horrifying. (Superannuated tomboys represent!)

    • doublevez Says:

      There are a lot of queers and lib fems in health policy advocacy who are going to backpedal on this one. You can’t both work against DES *and* support injections against lesbianism.

      • Interrobang Says:

        I’m especially appalled at whoever’s idea that being a tomboy is somehow bad, and/or more a matter of nature than nurture or whatever. Homophobia I can at least grok, because it’s a thing and it’s in the zeitgeist, even though I don’t condone it (WTF is it to anybody if anybody else is gay, seriously?), but you’re going to shoot your unborn daughter full of drugs because she might not like pink enough to suit you?! Madness.

        I’m sure if I had been born 15 or 20 years later than I actually was, I’d be in some kind of a gender reeducation camp by now. I’m not lesbian, but I *am* someone who, at the age of three, exclaimed “Oh, yuck! A doll! Just what I never wanted!” in public. I’ll tell you, though, if it comes down to the Gender-Conform or Die Brigade versus the lesbians in a hot war, I’m on the lesbians’ side, all the way, for more reasons than I care to enumerate, most having to do with what incredible amounts of BS gender is, and how the definition of “woman” in popular culture seems to get smaller and harder to do every day, and *somebody*’s got to say “Enough!” somewhere.

    • Violet Irene Says:

      I had to take a steroid twice while I was pregnant, because my baby had to be delivered very early and it helps their lungs mature faster. That stuff is not benign, it can cause BRAIN DAMAGE. There’s a real risk to be balanced between breathing and brain damage, when giving steroids to premature babies.

      It’s sick enough people would try to eliminate lesbians and “tomboys” in this way, but to risk the baby’s life and health with it is even more shocking.

  13. Noanodyne Says:

    Excellent reporting, Gallus

  14. Violet Irene Says:

    Anderson-Minshall….you know, I had a spooky experience, years ago, reading “Bitch” magazine and Diana’s partner (I think her name then was Susan) had reviewed some trendy books on “Genderqueers” and FTM topics. And in the process of this simple book review, came the revelation that she had come to terms, while reading these books, with the fact that she experienced “gender confusion.” And then she signed the review Jacob Anderson Minshall, the name she goes by to this day. Just like that, read some books for a freelance job, and get sucked in, no more lesbian woman, no more lesbian partnership, now a “hetero man” and poor Diana. I was so shocked, I felt like I had watched someone wrap their car around a telephone pole.

    • Goddess wept…that’s so very, very sad.

      It’s like waking up one morning and discovering someone you have cared about has signed a billion-year contract to be an indentured servant to the Scientologists or something equally horrifying. It’s so amazing to me that the people inside the cult can’t see it the way we see it.

  15. One of the most disturbing posts I’ve read here yet. They’re going to (fascinatingly) “reclaim” all the brave, strong women of the past?

    We know where this is going don’t we. It will soon be “discovered” that most if not all of the forward-thinking and visionary women in recorded history were actually transwomen: men in dresses.

  16. rubyfruit2 Says:

    So frustrating when the “queer” movement, not only attempts to wipe out lesbians of the present but also of the past.

    I am loving your “hetsplaining” label. Encountered a lot of that lately so I shall start using it

    This is a really important blog for lesbians and for radical feminists. Thanks

  17. […] Trans dogma says that any FAB woman from history who disguised herself as a man, to go to war, to get an education, to live with a female lover, or simply to live freely, was actually a ‘trans man’, because nobody who does anything strong or brave can possibly ha…. […]

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