Have lesbians gone the way of the dodo bird?
If so, you might want to think twice before saying it.
According to a West Virginia University librarian, that might indicate a phobia.
You may recall the results of a February Gallup Poll, wherein a whopping 5.6% of Americans placed themselves in the category of “LGBT…”
According to the report, one in every six Generation Z adults — 16% of 18-23-year-olds — assumed the identity.
Of people claiming the LGBT camp, 24.5% were gay.
But lesbianism was left in the dust: Only 11.7% aligned themselves with the “L.”
Meanwhile, bisexuals beat the socks off girl-lovin' girls with the pummeling percentage of 54.6.
And Gen Z? Seventy-two percent of its LGBT contingent identified as bi.
Bisexuals comprised about half of millennials (24-39-year-olds).
So what happened? Might many who'd have otherwise labeled themselves lesbian chosen to go the extra mile?
As noted by The College Fix, such an imbalance “has led to a number of lesbian feminists decrying the loss of old-school lesbian culture. The theory, based on the Gallup numbers, is that young people who…would have identified as lesbians are now coming out as nonbinary or transgender.”
“The Death of the Lesbian” author Aimee Anderson agrees:
As more masculine-bent women — lesbians, in particular — are transitioning to men, the lesbian community as a whole is shrinking.
“With new gains, there is loss,” she wrote in 2016. “I care about the extinction of an entire people: lesbians.”
But to West Virginia University humanities librarian Lynne Stahl — who's been schooled in queer theory — that's downright disturbing.
Not the notion that lesbian numbers are lowering, to be clear. But rather, that someone's describing it a certain way.
In The Washington Post — via “The Latest Form of Transphobia: Saying Lesbians Are Going Extinct” — Lynne recently laid it out:
As a lesbian researcher of tomboyism trained in queer theory, I find claims [of lesbian endangerment] at once absurd and frightening.
All roads, so far as I can tell, lead to white supremacy:
Extinction anxieties have long fueled nationalist, fascist and white-supremacist movements and often beget eugenicist agendas.
It's an interesting idea — we seem to perpetually be told white people are filled with anxiety and rage.
As for ladies who only like ladies, per Lynne, they've got a hard row to hoe:
Lesbians face daily adversity on political and cultural fronts.
And it turns out that sinister forces are trying to pull a fast one:
[B]ut attributing our fears to the growing trans population dangerously redirects attention from the institutions that actually harm us. Anti-trans groups are simply repurposing the rhetoric of extinction and contagion that drove 20th-century homophobia.
The way Lynne sees it, phobes are furthering the fallacy that lesbians have simply been “seduced” into transmasculinity.
If such were to be true, she surmises, they could choose their way back out of it — a perspective that shrugs off transgenderism as “‘just a phase' — “a dismissal every LGBTQ person is sadly familiar with.”
For older lesbian activists, there is something deeply sad about generations of females who don't want to be lesbians or even women. “What do we lose when lesbians disappear?” one lesbian in her 70s told me. “Everything. We lose our name. We lose our sense of self. We lose our ability to gather. And the more taboo it becomes, the less of our history gets told. In a millennium people will be saying, ‘We heard about these creatures called lesbians.' They'll dig up our bones. But the bones, of course, cannot talk.”
The grouping of “LGBTQ…” is a curious one. Some within the bunch are defined by their sex; others claim sex isn't a defining trait.
Clashes are sure to occur, such as this doozy just months ago in Michigan:
Gay Campground Gets Accused of 'Hateful' Transphobia for Banning Female Genitals https://t.co/GtsUGimspw
— RedState (@RedState) March 24, 2021
Back to Lynne, if people are going from lesbian to transgender, she suggests, so what?
But remember — courtesy of transgenderism, lesbians have a new farm team: males who are attracted to women and who also wish to become one:
Misogyny and homophobia still exist, and both still harm all women and lesbians. Advocacy for everyone who identifies within these groups is essential, including trans individuals who identify as lesbian or bisexual.
Bottomline — don't talk extinction:
Lesbians are not a species, and we feed existing racist, ableist and homophobic agendas when we invoke extinction.
It's an increasingly complicated era.
Personally, I miss the days when people were just trying to keep their car shiny and match their Swatch to their sweater vest.
But that time's long gone, and identity is the new Air Jordans.
Try to stay in style, and don't be a fill-in-the-black-o-phobe.
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