- Messageboards

In Depth or in Distraction => Creativity Section => Topic started by: chkdsk /f C: on May 28, 2018, 11:05:12 PM

Title: H*story
Post by: chkdsk /f C: on May 28, 2018, 11:05:12 PM
Once upon a time, a 20 something year old went for a drink in the Duke of Wellington. In the women's room, she met three friends. They sat down around a table to drink and talk. At some point, the atmosphere in the room changed perceptibly and puzzled, she asked her friends what was going on. They said, there's a transsexual woman sitting at a table behind you. Eventually, she screwed her head round and had a look. She didn't like what she saw. She looked longer than acceptable politeness because she didn't feel polite, she felt dismissive. What she saw was a scrawny woman, in a beige, calf length skirt, hunched over the table, looking utterly cowed with two friends valiantly pretending to ignore the rest of the room. Then she felt bored and wanted to get back to talking about the important business of being a 20 something year old lesbian, in Hackney, in 1988.

That is not quite true. She did feel bored but she also enjoyed the taste of clubbiness and the license to look without approval, in that room where every woman had to run the gauntlet of inspection. She liked the novel feeling of being in the majority. It was like being back at school and running with a hundred other feet hammering across the concrete to where there was a fight. Or at Pride, going down the tube escalator and all the gay men hammering their beer cans on the metal while singing they weren't going shopping. It felt cosy but also dull, with a twinge of shame salved by another drink. She, the transwoman, was a very slim target for all that sense of belonging. Still, lesbians are accommodating about working with what's available and it made a change from body hair or wondering when Ellen would ever come out.
Title: Re: H*story
Post by: chkdsk /f C: on May 28, 2018, 11:59:02 PM
And then there was V, for Vanessa, not her real name but one her parents probably considered. V was a woman who thought she might be a lesbian. She came from a comfortable, middle class home. Her mum was on a lot of committees. V was training to do goodly works. She insisted my background was deprived. She was a pain but a potentially useful pain. I took her to the Duke of Wellington's women's room and introduced her to my friends. She sat down and immediately started talking about the importance of not drinking South African produced Appletiser which naturally, the Duke didn't sell. Undeterred, she banged on all night with a fluency in the righteous lingo that left me standing, albeit I hoped this heavy handed lesson in turgid mimicry of lesbian conversation might put a stop to further wallowing in shared oppression. I thought the next time, when I wanted to talk about theatre, cinema, music, (which I went to at least four nights of the week), books or the glories of women, I'd get my way by threatening to bring back V. What V wanted was a bit of rough in the form of me (god help us) or any other lesbian who'd be overcome with unrestrained lust at the mere glimpse of her cleavage. She had an answer to everything. She'd found her metier and unflaggingly kept on. She was the very embodiment of lesbian perfection and the women I usually drank with, didn't know how to object.

I never did invite her back and she went on to marry a man and build a comfortable, liberal career. As for us, we used an amalgam of her names for signing up to utilities in the house share.
Title: Re: H*story
Post by: chkdsk /f C: on May 29, 2018, 12:16:56 AM
Back then, I thought that dishonesty, selfishness, stupidity and a side serving of an unacknowledged interest in violence, was pure heterosexuality but later, I met lesbians who were not that different. There was the same inexplicable, unexpected introduction of mawkish interest. The breathless fey concern. The pregnant pause before inserting the topic of genocide, mass murder, indescribable barbarity, into ordinary conversation. And the look of expectancy, waiting for me to digest this ghoulishness.

As it is, I lump them all together; the women I remember seeing as a child on telly at the edge of the ring at mock fights between Giant Haystack and someone (Big Daddy?), women who demand to be 'taken' (without having previously said what they want), women who want to talk about 'your people's suffering' (apropos of nothing related), women with an instinctual turn of phrase that is excessively aggressive, and other aberrant types of behaviour I don't feel like enumerating but which include hypothesising about the statistical probability of transwomen with penises blending in so you can't tell them apart from the rest of the population, or standing out like circus freaks. For the red top press, the potential for this to run and run must have superseded finding one legged black lesbians in Hackney sponging off the state.

But there are unexpected advantages to this naked stoking of the fiery furnace with the image of the hirsute transwoman doing a cervical smear test; it is much much easier to identify than any of the earlier rulings about what was or wasn't acceptable lesbian behaviour. I'm prepared to put this to good use. Based on my supposition that where there is a great gnashing of teeth and a great wringing of hands, and two angels and a fiery sword, and god knows what else but it's vital and crucial and now is the hour to fight them on the beaches, that there too, will be all the rest that I loath and hope desperately to somehow avoid from now on. Any lesbian who I meet for the first time, at the first opportunity, I'm going to ask, "transwomen, problem or not a problem?" I've been waiting for this simplicity all my life.
Title: Re: H*story
Post by: chkdsk /f D: on Jun 09, 2018, 11:00:56 PM
From the archives:
Title: Re: H*story
Post by: hellohowareyoutoday on Jun 09, 2018, 11:08:07 PM
Can we get a tl;dr of this please? Maybe it would get more traction with a pithy tl;dr
Title: Re: H*story
Post by: chkdsk /f D: on Jun 09, 2018, 11:50:39 PM
I trust you. You read it and then write the pithy tl;dr.

I can't remember it all now and it's too long to read.