What of Apparent Elitism?

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What of Apparent Elitism?

Chilipepper Chilipepper
One of my close friends had recently (few years ago) finally admitted to herself and her husband that she was gay. This was after twenty years of marriage and two kids, and feeling a strange emptiness in her life because of her 'closeted' identity.

Her husband was understandably hurt ('So was she pretending all that time?') and their marriage is in limbo as she gets her education finished so she can move out and they can divorce. In the meantime, she is exploring the lesbian community in her area and meeting people. As far as I know, she has not had any relationships yet.

A hot button issue for her, though, that she brought up this morning was the coolness she was treated with by the community because she is 'still married to a man'. I'm not very familiar with the lifestyle, so I'm wondering if such 'elitism' is commonplace. Does it boil down to "You have to be EITHER Straight OR Gay and SHOW it"? Or is it just plain bitchiness of that group? Has anyone ever gone through this and what was your experience?

(I ask out of curiosity on my part, as well as being able to offer her proper support.)
10/04/2010
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Well.

Think of it like this:

If a lesbian was still living with her partner, and was still telling people that they're in limbo, would the group have responded the same way? Would there not also be that taboo of being somewhat With someone else and presenting yourself as single and looking?

But yes, there is a stigma against people who are still legally married and are seeking queer partners because it indulges the paranoia of women who have claimed to be "gay" and then come back around and said, "I was never a lesbian, I'm straight."

I mean, there are so so so many layers around this depending on which group it was that told her this, and where she lives, and... But those are some common reactions, yes.
10/04/2010
Tori Rebel Tori Rebel
I have had somewhat similar experiences. Any community - gay, straight, cyborg, what have you, will definitely have elitist members. I've come across women that weren't interested in me because I'm not a lesbian. I love women and men and everything in between and outside of those lines, but for some women it wasn't ok for me to be that way - maybe they had some kind of gold-star lesbian only standard? Not sure, but if they weren't interested in me, I didn't waste time finding out, I went in search of people who were interested.

My initial guess in my case is that some of them were involved with women experimenting with their sexuality and felt led or used on afterward? This could be what the women she's met so far are thinking - that she's not sure, is experimenting, or just looking for a little adventure. It does happen and I know women that have been in relationships and fallen in love with bi-curious women that ended up going back to a man or men in general and they get crushed. They could be trying to protect themselves but I'm not sure.

I've also had experiences with straight men that were no longer interested in me once they found out that straight men weren't my singular preference.

There's also a chance that there are people not interested because she is still married - I'm still legally married to my asshole of a husband, and although my current boyfriend understands it's just a matter of paperwork, I had another friend (who's actually an ex-boyfriend) tell me it's wrong to date while I'm still married - despite the fact I haven't seen or spoken to my 'husband' in 18 months.

Sexuality, like everything else, has its cliques, and its members that don't think that other people are 'allowed' if they're not as committed as themselves. It can be hard to break into any new community, and maybe she just needs to switch up the scene she's visiting - if she's going to gay-frequented nightclubs, maybe she could try a coffee house or something like that. Maybe try to find a group of lesbian and bisexual women with a common fairly liberal minded interest - they might be more likely to be open minded in general.

I wish her luck - coming out into a new sexuality is harder than you ever think until you're doing it. It will take time but she'll find the right people for her and her niche in that community.
10/04/2010
Chilipepper Chilipepper
I had never thought of it that way - the fact that others may think she's only 'experimenting' or being squiffy. She understands some have issues about her being 'involved' with someone else, but it's also affecting regular friendships in the group.

It just seems there's so little room to maneuver when one is in a transition phase.
10/04/2010
P'Gell P'Gell
Quote:
Originally posted by Chilipepper
I had never thought of it that way - the fact that others may think she's only 'experimenting' or being squiffy. She understands some have issues about her being 'involved' with someone else, but it's also affecting regular ...
Chili, I have lesbian friends and one of the things they all hate is something some of them refer to as "being Heichted." Anne Heicht started an affair with Ellen Degeneres, then "decided" after a while that it was "just a phase" and left Ellen for a man. Leaving Ellen with a broken heart. Too many of my lesbian friends have been used the exact same way by women who are trying on the Bi or "now I'm lesbian" role, for little more than the coolness factor involved. I've seen my friends' hearts broken by these kinds of women.

I'm not saying your friend is one of these women, probably not. BUT, she is still living with her husband and many people would say, "If it was that bad, and you were serious you'd move out, no matter what the financial consequences were." Many women who realize they are Bi or Lesbian have taken huge drops in income when they left the men they were with, but did it anyway to remain true to their real feelings and real sexuality.

So, IMO, I don't think the other members of the lesbian community are being elitist at all. They are just protecting themselves and their other friends. If she really was serious about it, many people would say, "You'd leave the man you don't love. Not continue to use him for income, while still attempting to date."

Think about it this way, if she were in the process of a divorce and NOT lesbian, but wanted to date men, would most men be OK with her still living with her soon to be ex, for any reason and still date her? My guess is NO! Most people would say, "If you aren't in love with him, move the hell out. Money, education or anything else not-withstanding." It appears that she kind of wants the security and financial rewards of marriage to a man, while "testing out" whether "this whole dating women thing is going to work." Put her in a straight woman role, still living with a soon to be ex husband and telling men she wants to date, "It's only until I'm finished using his house and his money. Then, I'll be single and have my own place." See the issue?

I, for one, can't see how her husband tolerates this. I hate to be mean, but I'm siding with the lesbian community. She needs to make a decision, not take what she thinks are the best of both worlds. Sometimes being true to yourself takes a lot of courage, not leaning on an old habit, until you are "sure" you will be able to find someone else.

Being true to herself and true to her sexuality is more important than retaining a two person income. In most situations, one moves OUT if one wants to date others, no matter what the consequences. Lesbians aren't going to be any more tolerant of this "straddling the fence" than men would be. Sorry, but I totally see their side of it.
.
10/04/2010
Persephone Nightmare Persephone Nightmare
Quote:
Originally posted by Tori Rebel
I have had somewhat similar experiences. Any community - gay, straight, cyborg, what have you, will definitely have elitist members. I've come across women that weren't interested in me because I'm not a lesbian. I love women and men ...
I agree with this, Elitism happens in just about every community. I may not be gay/lesbian (I'm not even Bi for goodness sake, lol) but I know exactly what you're talking about.

An uber-nerdy example: Synthetik and I play World of Warcraft (I've had to take a small hiatus for a bit, but will hopefully be playing again soon). Anyway, there are *major* elitists in there. If you don't have the best gear/highest gearscore, the highest DPS (Damage per second), the best machines (computers), this or that achievement, aren't a hardcore player, and a laundry list of other things, then the elitist people want nothing to do with you. It doesn't matter to them if you're new, or what you're circumstances are, if you don't exactly fill out their "specifications" then they will pretty much kick you from the group, guild, or just ignore you. Much like the elitists out in the real world, regardless of the group/club/etc, if you don't fit their bill, then they turn their nose up at you. It sucks *a ton*, and it's unfortunate that there are people out there that do that.

However, just as there are not so nice people in every community, there are also kind, understanding, helpful people too.

My best advice is that she find a different "guild". That she find a different group of people to hang out with that are open to someone with her situation. I'm positive there are people out there that would welcome her with open arms.

(I know that WoW and this topic don't seem very similar, but it's probably the best example of elitism that I've experienced firsthand and can use to relate to the topic, lol)

/end of Text-wall

Edit:
Though P'Gell does have a good point about trying to keep their community "safe" I guess you could say. I'm not saying she's one of the 'Heichted' people, but they could be worried that she is. I don't know all the details of the situation, so, with P'Gell's comment, I'm officially on the fence about it, lol. I can see both side's points, but without more information, I must stay on my fence in my grey-shaded area.

(and I also agree with what P'Gell said about her husband, but that's just my opinion)
10/04/2010
PassionQT PassionQT
Quote:
Originally posted by Chilipepper
One of my close friends had recently (few years ago) finally admitted to herself and her husband that she was gay. This was after twenty years of marriage and two kids, and feeling a strange emptiness in her life because of her 'closeted' ...
My husband is bi, sometimes more gay. We made a choice to stay married but he has been questioned by his bf as to why he cannot choose straight or gay. It's harder living in the middle for sure, but its his choice. I just support him.
10/04/2010
Chilipepper Chilipepper
Quote:
Originally posted by P'Gell
Chili, I have lesbian friends and one of the things they all hate is something some of them refer to as "being Heichted." Anne Heicht started an affair with Ellen Degeneres, then "decided" after a while that it was "just a ...
This definitely made all the pieces fit into place, P'Gell. In complete honesty, I hadn't given much thought to it at all from the opposite side. I know she's struggling with trying to get her footing in the world (one of those married right out of high school types, so she never figured out who she was to begin with), and likely wasn't aware of how her situation looked to everyone else.

I had asked her if she was actively trying to find someone, and she said that she's searching for guidance and friendship right now, and is not expecting a relationship at this point. Again, I suppose that could also be interpreted as 'experimentation' by finding out what goes on.

I do appreciate the feedback.
10/04/2010
clp clp
I don't see this being a question of elitism. Although this situation manifests in any kind of group gathering, this particular one seems more like an unfortunate one.

I don't want to sound like I'm sticking up for those people, but I do know what it feels like to think that a newcomer is calling themselves one thing when they aren't. Now, I'm not saying this of your friend, but any gay that has had their heart broken by a straight knows better than to get involved one again--especially if they are currently married. Remember that these are only first impressions--if these same women were to give your friend a chance, they would find the real situation and a great person, to boot. Alternatively, if you friend were to give those women a chance, she might find that their assumptions are indicative of the person and see that they just aren't worth her time.

I would advise your friend to remember that not all people are like this, she just needs to find the right niche. It may feel like it is a matter of straight vs gay, but ultimately it is just person vs person. If someone doesn't want to let you in, just say 'fuck it'. Move on to the next person, roll the dice, and just keep playing the friend game until you are satisfied.

--I'm kinda with P'gell on this, I want to add. You do have to make up your mind, but I only see that as necessary if she is looking to date (which is completely up to the person but it seems like waaaaay too early from the outside). If she is looking for a community to help her through a difficult time, then she just needs to stick with it. Don't give up! People are out there and willing to help.
10/04/2010
P'Gell P'Gell
Quote:
Originally posted by Chilipepper
This definitely made all the pieces fit into place, P'Gell. In complete honesty, I hadn't given much thought to it at all from the opposite side. I know she's struggling with trying to get her footing in the world (one of those married ...
Thank you for taking my opinion in the manner in which it was intended (friendly. )

I hope she can find what she is looking for.

But, my guess is she'll have to find some time alone to work out her feelings, not to mention be considered "serious" by part of a community.

As you know, you can't move forward while still anchored in the past. You have to make the effort to take a chance and break into a new World and a New Life.

Best wishes to her.
10/04/2010
Liz2 Liz2
Quote:
Originally posted by P'Gell
Thank you for taking my opinion in the manner in which it was intended (friendly. )

I hope she can find what she is looking for.

But, my guess is she'll have to find some time alone to work out her feelings, not to mention be ...
Great response! Any change is difficult and risks are involved. As long as she is willing to move on to a "new world and new life" she will make it but there will be misunderstandings and disappointments along the way.

Also...all best wishes to her as well.
10/04/2010
Madeira Madeira
Quote:
Originally posted by P'Gell
Chili, I have lesbian friends and one of the things they all hate is something some of them refer to as "being Heichted." Anne Heicht started an affair with Ellen Degeneres, then "decided" after a while that it was "just a ...
This, being dumped for a guy sucks. It would suck less if it was "well I'm bisexual, and we just didn't click" but the whole "I was actually never attracted to you" thing really... REALLY fucks with your head.

It makes you feel really awful, and yeah the whole testing it out thing does tend to raise some brows.
10/05/2010
Gingy Gingy
I don't think it has anything to do with elitism. I think it's more that people don't want to be mocked and are sick of people wanting to experiment with them. and the whole Lesbian "Lez be In" thing.

There's also the fact that people don't want the baggage of a woman living with her husband still. When people come "out" they want to be "out" and its hard to be accepting of being put back in the closet by someone who isn't sure of themselves. She needs to figure out what she is and what she is going to do about it.

And if shes really a lesbain she shouldn't be further using her husband so she can finish school. She needs to pull up her big girl pants and move out on her own.
12/23/2011
Owl Identified Owl Identified
Honestly, if you've never been in the situation, it's easy to judge this woman. I know a good friend of mine in childhood had a mother that went through this situation, and it was heartbreaking for everyone involved. She's still recovering financially from the divorce, not to mention recovering emotionally from the fracturing of her family (three kids) and losing her best friend of 15 years (her husband). I am not going to cast stones at this woman, because it's all easy to say what you SHOULD do as long as you don't actually have to do it. It's ESPECIALLY easy if you're straight. This is a fucked up time to be going through a divorce without an education; there are no jobs even for young grads, let along older, uneducated people that have been out of the work force for a while. This woman is not exactly what we'd call "competitive" in the current job market.

That said, I wouldn't personally get involved with her. Too much baggage. You can't expect anyone woman in her right mind to want to date a woman still living with her ex - whether they are male or female. Honestly, the gender isn't the issue. It's the unresolved shit. You date a woman (or man) and you date their baggage, too. Who wants to sign up for a middle aged woman that is JUST coming out after decades of knowing, and still being married and living with a man? Not for me.
12/23/2011
Total posts: 14
Unique posters: 11