Remembering Ed

23 Jul

Just because.


Individualism and Gender “Identity”

23 Jul

You go girl. x

Lavender Menace

I’m working through some ideas here that really go against the grain of current beliefs (I use this word deliberately) about gender and sexual “identity”.

I think it would be worse now than it was in the nineties growing up as female and particularly as a lesbian. I think that Neoliberalism, with it’s bastardisation of feminism and the promotion of identity politics has made it worse.

There has been a cultural shift towards the primacy of the individual and rather than recognising and fighting against gender as being oppressive, we have just added more categories of self expression and called it “doing/queering gender.” Look, we are all special little snowflakes with our own personalities and ways of expressing ourselves in the world. That isn’t gender. Gender is hierarchical, gender is oppressive, gender is about hegemony, it is about class, it is not about clothes or how we feel. Let’s critique…

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Not My Name

23 Jul

He offers to be paid to mow the lawn. I agree and he starts in. The police arrive. There is a long conversation about some previous issue.

Then his line trimmer breaks.

He assures me he will finish. I say that’s all right, he’s done enough for the forty bucks. Which he has.

He says he will finish it himself, because that’s the kind of guy he is.

I finish it myself, the next week.

Then it rains. It rains a lot. About a month later, he mows all the grass without my permission.

I put up a No Trespassing sign on the fence, for a few days.

Months later, the neighbor asks me if I want some rocks. She is nice, I like her. Her son sits like a stone on the porch, as we arrange the rocks on my hand truck. They are nice rocks.

Recently, I am outside at night and the son is lying on the sidewalk by my fence, with a flashlight. He has lost a ball. He likes to hang out on the street in front of his mother’s house. He has his own house here in town. I do not know why he spends so much time here.

He is playing with his mother’s dogs on the street. His mother has half an acre of yard in the back with a six foot fence.

He tells me the ball is in my yard, that it was a bad bounce. The dog yaps furiously. I ask him to wait. He tells me that if my dogs are inside I could let his mother’s dog in my yard and that dog could find the ball. My gate is locked, as usual. I live with only one dog, and have for almost a year.

I again ask him to wait, and I get my flashlight and my glasses and find the tennis ball and hand it to him.

“Mrs. O’Brien, you’re the bomb!” he says.

That is not my name.

Lesbian FAQs

8 Jul


Saye Bennett

Because I so often find myself answering the same questions over and over (both in real life and online), I decided I start a Lesbian FAQs list.

If you have anything else you’d like me to add in a future post, please just comment here (Noteonly polite & serious comments will be published), or please email me at

So, without further ado, welcome to the Lesbian FAQ’s:

lesbianfaqs Made with #PicsArt

FAQ #1:  “Can any woman can be a lesbian?”

Answer: Nope.  See Magical Thinking.

FAQ #2:  “Which one of you (in a lesbian relationship) is the ‘man one’?”

Answer: Neither.  We are lesbians, therefore both women.

FAQ #3: “Are all lesbians either Butch or Femme?”

Answer: No.  In fact, very few lesbians are either, although many incorrectly label themselves as such (particularly as Butch). See: Deciphering Butch/Femme

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“Female Erasure” Funded at 105%

8 Jul



We don’t all get along, but by gum we can get things done.







6 Jul



6 Jul

Back around 1990 you told me never to ask you for anything again, because you put me on one of your credit cards and I spent a thousand or two more than you had in mind. And then decades later you stole my guitar and gave it away, and never told me until I asked. There are other examples.

I don’t know how to negotiate asking you for anything. The rules seem clear: never ask you for anything, and what’s mine is yours. It’s all yours, and you can take it away any time you want.

So. I have worked on learning to live without. This is my job. This is my art. The better I get at living without, the more likely I will survive the next surprise. The less I need, the less I can live with, the more I have.

I know you don’t see it this way. But it’s how I have learned to see it. My work is, ultimately, not to need anything, because it’s the only way to avoid the leash.

I don’t mean to say this is logical, or sensible, or anything like that. Just that this is the person I have become. One whose job is primarily to avoid the leash.

I wish it wasn’t like this, and there is more to me. You know that. You have been very kind, you have been endlessly supportive. But the leash is always there.

I don’t know why I allow this. It’s a bit of a sad deal, this tawdry mess, these broken dreams. These shells breaking under my feet across the floor, these alarming early morning sorrows. Why do you own this. Why do I let you. Why didn’t I make something else where you couldn’t get in.

I should have left decades ago. I should have chewed through the leash, broken a few teeth in the process. I should have ran until I could not run anymore.

I did run, but I didn’t run far enough. I’ll never get rid of you. You’ll die before me, perhaps, and you’ll still be there harping at me like a cockatoo on my shoulder, pointing stuff out, being corrective, chirping. You’ll never go away.

I am stuck with you forever and ever. What to make of this? The brilliant advice you gave me, the obvious fact that you never gave up on me, that you never wanted to end this communication?

You are my mother. I can’t fix this. It’s not a thing that can be fixed or even needs fixing. We just are, mother and daughter. Stuck.


“Going Home to Mother”



Finding the Lost

2 Jul

On the plus side, you are one hell of a good writer. Stay strong. x

Wary, Contrary and no Virgin Mary

I’ve been feeling old, lately.

Ugly, aged, and… 2 dimensional.

So much has changed in the 3 and a bit years since my mental health crisis. I’m an entirely different person with an entirely different life. In so many ways that is a positive result, but there’s one long-standing aspect of that recovery that has really started to get to me.

I don’t have an identity anymore.

I think many addicts go through this when they step into recovery. You mourn the loss of your chosen substance(s), and the people who came with them. Addicts design their entire lives around their ability to get high so when they take that requirement away from themselves it very quickly becomes apparent just how substanceless their lives were when they lived under the influence.

There was a lot of catching up with the world to be done when I quit Escapism.

I suddenly had all this…

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Losing the Ocean

2 Jul

I was a child in West Los Angeles, and we went to the beach. I would confront the waves, and I learned to dive under them as they broke, and swam out beyond the breaker line to float. It was magnificent.

Then we went away to Massachusetts, and lived by a lake. I learned her too: her leeches, her snapping turtles, her moonlight mystery at night, and then in winter, her changing surface, her shining wonder, her icy treachery.

Then I came back to L.A. in the late 1970’s. I went into the ocean.

She tasted different. She tasted wrong.

I dreamed of her for decades. Sometimes I lived in a glass house and she would beat upon the house with her waves. Sometimes I would walk along her coast for miles and miles, looking for something. Sometimes I would walk north, sometimes I would walk south. But I never went into her. Not after that time.

And then I had other dreams, where I was more inland and walking, walking down Olympic Boulevard, where I saw the triple rainbow once in my early twenties, right after walking by a lightning strike so close the air turned blue around me.

Or walking in Hollywood, further in. Looking at the sky, looking for her, trying to see which way she was. Always heading towards her. Always drawn.

I lived in the Seacastle Apartments for a few years, around 1980. Before the earthquake came and they made everybody leave. It was like a Hollywood set, with a huge, dingy, mirrored foyer, with aging white carpet, dodgy elevators, and a stone cathedral on the third floor. I played my flute there.

I didn’t have an ocean view. That would have been expensive. I didn’t have a view at all, but I could hear her, always. Sighing and soughing and occasionally roaring.

I had a woman friend, we liked to take acid and go to the beach. That was all right.

I left again, and I came back again, but I didn’t go to the beach anymore. And then I left, for good I guess, 20 years ago.

I miss her. I miss the way she sounds, the way she smells. Even though I know she probably tastes even worse now. It’s not her fault.

Sometimes in the summer, I bicycle near the Pecos, and even this poor trapped little creek, she smells like river. She smells like ocean. And it takes me back to when I would tramp up a Malibu creek that led to the Pacific, and hunt tadpoles, and wonder at the magnificence of water.

Four Latina Lesbians Still Seeking Justice

2 Jul

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