I Want to Be a Lesbian

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When reading a collection of Alison Bechdel’s Dykes to Watch Out For I’d have the feeling that I should’ve been born a gay woman. Maybe Mo had something to do with that.

I’ve just finished watching all the available DVDs of The L Word. I’d long been curious about the series but avoided it because it was something I’d have probably watched with Charles.

While Sex and the City, the movie was nothing special it did leave me wanting more. I chose The L Word.

The moments that moved me the most were of one of the least featured characters: Max, the transman. It hadn’t struck me before how rarely ftm transsexuals get media attention. Male-to-female transpersons become common on television (perhaps not for the very best of reasons). But the genetic women who feel that their biological gender doesn’t reflect who they really are barely exist in the popular imagination.

Anyway, Max. When his father referred to him as “son” was a very happy moment. His making love with a gay man was a wonderful instance of slipping free of sexual norms.

And there was Shane. My response to her was pure “Wow!” Even her voice was androgynous. And I have a fetish for white shirts with sleeves a bit too long, cuffs slightly too large.

Shane’s erotic popularity in the show baffled me. In Los Angeles would she really be the gay woman all other gay women craved? And not one of the more conventionally beautiful women in the cast?

I had hopes for the lesbian-identified guy in the early episodes. But he out lesbianed the lesbians. His relentlessly correct vegan, anti-patriarchal jive was more like a parody, something the producers intended I think.

I’m sure it seems silly but I normally looked away from the screen during the sex scenes. My funny little streak of Puritanism that fears being sexually incorrect as it were.

The L Word was just OK for me. A soap opera with all the expected limitations, though the makers strive valiantly to be urban and hip.

Unlike Dykes to Watch Out For it didn’t really make me feel that I should’ve been a lesbian.

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