The Lesbian Who Taught Me What My Problem Was

I thought I hated my teacher. Turns out, I hated myself.

Comments

1

Leslie Feinberg isn't a woman.

2

You just posted a 2000 word screed on slog today complaining about being called transphobic, then you misgendered one of the heroes of the trans rights movement. Not a great look.

3

1&2, check your facts. Feinberg self-described as "anti-racist white, working-class, secular Jewish, transgender, lesbian, female, revolutionary communist."

4

And then there are humans, the mammals cursed with awareness of self.

5

I had to learn square dancing in high school and got paired with the biggest flaming faggot in the whole school, a very tall effeminate black boy. Oh, he loathed me as much as I loathed him and we wouldn't hold hands even when the gym teacher yelled at us. I even muttered, "I'm not holding hands with that faggot!". All the other kids were beside themselves with barely suppressed glee. "Look! That lezzie has to dance with the faggot!". Yeah, hilarious. I prayed a lightning bolt would strike the gym and burn it to the ground and I could go back to being ignored on the softball field...

I hated H. Stone because he was so very Gay and I didn't want anyone to figure out that I was a budding lesbian...because in our small town of Nowheresville, Virginia, the lesbians were all mannish and had facial hair and supposedly owned one of the pizza places in town. I started going in that pizza place, trying to surreptitiously study the women as I ate delicious and inexpensive pizzas...they must've laughed at me when I went home...

Anyway, Harry Stone, I am very, very sorry I called you a faggot. I was in the closet and terrified of anyone finding out. I bet you were, too. I hope you survived Nowheresville, VA and accepted your beautiful self.

6

"I never understood this, why I, of all people, was so falsely and unfairly pegged as gay. Sure, I had a bowl cut and was completely uninterested in boys, but this was 1996. Why would you be into boys when women's soccer was finally in the Olympics? I mean, sure, I might have occasionally had feelings about women, but that was normal. Everyone has crushes on their girlfriends—right?"

This is wonderful...and exactly how I felt. Surely all the guys really wanted to mess around, but of course we seemed to have this social compact that we'd agree to pretend to be into girls for some reason or other. Obviously, I was exactly like everyone else.

@5 Don't you just love the self-awareness adulthood brings? This is why you couldn't pay me to go through being a teenager again.

7

One of my favorite thing about Katie's writing is that she doesn't rationalize - or excuse or apologize for - her foibles. We all have foibles, but 99% of us will tell you why it's correct that we get to continue to be a dickhead. Humility takes huevos!

8

@2 it took me 18 seconds to google this, re: Feinberg:

'I care which pronoun is used, but people have been respectful to me with the wrong pronoun and disrespectful with the right one. It matters whether someone is using the pronoun as a bigot, or if they are trying to demonstrate respect.'

9

Katie, never the less, dicks are cool. Using the derogatory term Dick to describe yourself or other's bad behavior or believes is sexist. As in, I didn't like your article from April, your a cunt. People's body parts are not evil even if there not yours.

10

@9 Please tell me you're being ironic, or are you really that obtuse?

11

@9 "you're a cunt"
It's best when being a grammar nazi to be correct yourself.

14

Another excellent piece.
Thank you, Katie.