Exposing Male Violence Against Lesbians

34. Anonymous 25/06/2021

I used to attend regular book club meetings that were held in a “queer” space. I naïvely thought that I would be welcome, as I am a lesbian. After one of the meetings, the discussion about the book had finished and we were chatting about other things. I was talking to a woman, who knew that I was a lesbian, and a trans-identified man, who went by the pronoun “he”, used an androgynous name, and who had made no effort to start presenting as female. I mentioned that I had recently told my parents that I was “a dyke”. The woman immediately corrected me and informed the man that I was NOT a lesbian, but “part of the rainbow”. Shortly after that, the man asked me out on a date. I then had to stop attending the meetings because it was no longer a safe space for me. People who buy into the idea that it is never okay to call yourself “gay” or “lesbian” – that everyone HAS to use the "queer" slur to describe themselves – are putting lesbians in danger, even if it’s just the discomfort that I experienced at having a man ask me out in a “queer” space after I already said I was a lesbian, and the indignity of being told in front of a man that I have no right to call myself a lesbian – in a “queer” space.