Lost in Transition

by


Since the 1950’s when women were allowed to frequent bars without a male escort the lesbian community has grown in prominence and become more widely accepted. At the time, the typical lesbian couple consisted of a clearly identified butch with a femme counterpart, essentially mimicking a heterosexual couple in matters of dress, actions, and customs.
This trend has slowly started to die out as we try to rid society of such rigid stereotypes, and lesbians today identify as everything from butch, to sorority sister, to suburban housewife. Why is it then, in this seemingly more enlightened world that some members of the lesbian community condemn their predecessors as sell-outs?
A recent article in the New York Times raises the issue of “butch” lesbians who opt to transition into males, thereby identifying as straight. This trend has not been met with great support in the lesbian community that feels that by “crossing over” you are betraying your lesbian identity. Some have even gone as far as to raise the question of whether or not someone who transitions was ever really a lesbian to begin with. The criticism however is not only reserved for butch lesbians who transition to straight males; their femme counterparts have also been accused of not being truly gay if they are attracted to a masculine persona.
In a community that has struggled for acceptance for so long it is unfortunate that some of their harshest criticisms are coming from within, is selling out really such a bad thing if everybody gets off?

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