I Kissed a Girl

(Part 8 from 8)


Published April 10

Make It Stop
by Karen Smith

My girlfriend tells me, "Make it stop." In those three words, she's echoing every single thought I have seen most educated, middle-class gay people express. She wants it to end. The prejudice, the hatred, the objectification, the alienation. The gay culture that will do just about anything to rebel. Even break rules. Even hurt each other. Men hurting men. Women hurting women. Estranging us from what we need most in the face of heterosexual dogma -- our community.

My girlfriend didn't get a promotion at Swish! Systems because the executives felt that having a lesbian in a senior position was bad for marketing. Or maybe they're just fascist, neo-Nazis who hate gays. It doesn't really matter. What matters is that she deserved the job, and someone else got it.

My girlfriend has resigned from her job. She has too much self-respect to keep working for a company like that. So I'll take her to a gay bar to cheer her up. Except, she hates the bars. She says women are constantly harassing her there, feeling her up, propositioning her, just like men used to. She says she can deal with it when she doesn't get respect from heterosexuals or white males who whistle at us when we hold hands. But she doesn't have a clue why she doesn't get respect from 'her own people'.

My girlfriend's crying because she's sick of being a lesbian. It disturbs me because her tears make me wish I could change the world so it wouldn't hurt her anymore. So I'm writing this article, in the hope that it might reach some people out there -- gay or straight -- people who, like my girlfriend, are sick to death of the status quo and want to see different things. We need a new manifesto. We need to rebel within the appropriate limits of rebellion, and reform our culture in line with the demands of reform. Or something like that. Am I getting through to you? Can't anyone see that it's about fucking time we became, not what we are, but what we are meant to be?

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