So why are we so angry when someone becomes a “former lesbian?” Because they often ignore the idea of sexual fluidity or bisexuality and go straight back to, well, straight. It gives mainstream society the notion that we are changeable; that lesbians really are just waiting for the right man to come along — the one to save us from exhaustion and “emotional dysfunction.”
Further more, people like Charlene Cothran can be used to help the Christian right in attacks against the LGBT community at large. It fuels their attempts to keep us away from basic human rights, like protection from being fired for being gay or the ability to receive the benefits of our partners.
Diamond said that these public figures are just as unsure as anyone else can be what the future holds for their own sexual desires.
“On one hand, I laugh when they’re like ‘I’m pretty sure it’ll never happen again.’ Well I’m pretty sure that you were pretty sure that this wouldn’t happen the first time,” she said. “It’s obvious that nobody really knows what you’re going to find attractive in 20 years. There’s a great thing about finding examples of women finding women they want to be involved with and going after that, that can be an incredibly powerful thing just on the level of a feminist level: You want something, go get it, regardless if it fits your previous pattern or not. It empowers us to see images of women going after other women because they want them then to agonize about what they call it. To see attractive, successful women going after other women, I can’t help but feel it’s a good thing. It makes it normal, it makes it possible for a girl to say ‘What am I feeling for this friend?’”
We can all benefit from the studies that illustrate the fluidity of women’s sexuality, and understanding our friends and partners who don’t identify themselves as women who are only ever going to be attracted to women. Hopefully, the ones who have a public platform to discuss these issues based on their own personal experiences will acknowledge and explain it when given their soap box opportunity.
“The mistake is in thinking that they are an Everywoman that calls
herself a lesbian and that that is the ‘right way’ or the ‘authentic
way,’” Diamond said. “The truth is that there are a million different
lesbians with different life stories and views of relationships. It’s
not threatening, it’s nothing to be afraid of. It’s something to embrace
and be proud of.”