I know I’m lucky to have it as easy as I do. I’m a lesbian, which means I don’t have to put up with any crap from men. In fact, I’m exempt from patriarchy, and women are just so easy! I don’t have a care in the world, being gay. I don’t have to worry about getting married or having children – I can just share my closet and my hair products with my girlfriend and live in a state of bliss while vacationing on Olivia Cruise ships.
If only any of it were true.
I feel bad for any woman who has ever said, “I wish I were a lesbian,” and then tried it out purely because she thought life would be “easier.” That’s what they usually say: “Ugh, it’d be so much easier if I were a lesbian!” But they are thinking about the fun parts, which do exist, of course, but I have to thwart the idea that being gay makes life any less sucky. I’m not even going to argue that it actually makes life more difficult (although I’m sure many would say that is the case). I just want to tell you straight ladies that you shouldn’t go gay if you want “easy.” If you want easy, consider becoming a nun.
Typically women say they “wish they were a lesbian” when they are one of two things:
- Frustrated with the male population
- Dismissing rumors that they are gay
Since number two is usually said flippantly and generally by celebrities (see: Annie Lennox), let’s discuss number one. Now, I totally understand number one. Guys can be selfish, crude, dirty, sneaky and even abusive at their worst. But women can be all of these things, too. Women lie. Women cheat. Women steal. Lesbians do all of the above. And the worst part is they will do it with your best friend, your ex-girlfriend or someone you probably hang out with on a regular basis, because the dating pool is exponentially smaller, especially if you live in a small town.
If a guy (or several guys) has done you wrong, a woman could be the anecdote. However, you’ll have to actually be interested in and attracted to them. They can tell if you aren’t. (You have gaydar, while we have the ability to pick up on straightness and the likelihood of bisexuality/a pre-lesbian revelation. Sometimes we choose to ignore it, but that never works out to our advantage.) And if you do decide you could totally date a woman, you’ll find she comes with baggage, just like any dude, and will have her own tics you’ll have to live with. (Because you will live with her, and much sooner than you had expected!)
When it comes to commitment, a lot of women are looking for a long-term companion. That’s true. But there are a whole slew of queer chicks that aren’t interested in meeting your mother (who you probably aren’t out to yet, anyway). They are the female-equivalent of a “player” and they are probably the ones you are attracted to. (See? It’s just like with men!) If there’s a good woman and a good man out there, they’re probably hanging out together, wishing they could meet a nice girl who shared their interests in dinner parties, slow dancing, foreign films and holding hands.
Women can break your heart, too. If you become a lesbian and you are never heartbroken, you are doing it wrong. And that’s why you can’t just wish yourself into lesbianism.
But let’s say you are still considering making the move. It’s been a particularly heinous breakup for you and Dude X, and you are fantasizing about moving in with your best girlfriend because you’ve kissed her before (Katy Perry-style) and you wouldn’t have to try so hard with her. You could be yourself. Consider the actual difficulties that are specific to being gay: You can only get married in a few select states; you often meet people who threaten your safety or general well-being; you face opponents everywhere, everyday, who are mad at you for being different; you consistently have to adhere to things that are set up for “normal” people or couples by adding addendums (Groom? N/A. Partner: Not of the business kind). In some states, you can lose your job for being gay. In some countries, you can still be killed for it. It can generally give some people a free pass to harass you in public, or for your family to disown you, or for you to feel uncomfortable in your own home, school, church or city.
I love being a lesbian. I truly do. I love my wife and I love being around smart, successful and fun women all the time. And really, I didn’t have a choice in the matter. (Baby, I was born this way.) But I definitely didn’t take the easy route, so when straight women say, “It would be so much easier to be a lesbian,” it pretty much makes me feel like you think I copped out. So if you’re truly over men and want something that takes less energy, seriously – get thee to a nunnery.
Trish Bendix is the managing editor of AfterEllen.com.