Being a lesbian is chic, yet again

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When I read the headline to the article, “Is Being A Lesbian The ‘Hip’ Thing To Do?”, I expected it to be yet another article about how lesbians seem to be everywhere, even though they have existed since the dawn of time.

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However, it turned out to be a textbook example of “how to look supremely out of touch with reality and have it immortalized in print.” An excerpt:

Gay, however, seems to evoke more clout these days than stigma. Today the word “lesbian” does not mean butch or jock or drab. Rather it means power, sophistication and open mindedness. Svelte Bonique and Lisa could somehow reference art, politics, Manolos and stinky cheese in the same sentence. While chatting to B&L, we noticed another lesbian couple across the room giving each other a dainty kiss over a $200 bottle of wine. They were also wearing Chanel boots. Lesbian women rock.

Could I too enter the realm of the hip homosexuals?

We are in the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Fashionistas are actually squabbling with one another to see who spent the least for their fab duds. Conspicuous consumption is SO 2007. Cheap chic is in. Remember when lesbians were stuck with the stigma of wearing flannel way after the grunge movement expired? That’s right. $200 bottles of wine and Chanel boots, like flannel from the mid ’90s on, are out.

You two are two years behind the curve. Want to be in? Start wearing flannel again, preferably from H&M — or if you want to be especially fabulous, grab those plaid monstrosities from the 1990s out of your attic and use a sewing machine to make them more form fitting. Leave Rodeo Drive and get thee to the attic, stat!

(Also, here’s a friendly public service announcement to the writer of the article: Commending someone for purchasing a $200 bottle of wine says only one thing: you don’t know wine. There are plenty of exquisite wines in the $10-$30 range, and plenty of duds in the $100+ range. I can point you to a fabulous $12 Alsatian wine, but it’s one of my closely guarded secrets, so no soup for you.)

OK, enough finger wagging about the crassness of fiddling while the economy burns. Let’s get to the part about lesbians.

First, acknowledging that lesbians can be sophisticated and powerful is a good thing, even if you base sophistication and power on how many stinky cheeses they can name, a skill one can pick up by surfing Wikipedia intensely for a couple of hours. (Oh, there goes the snark again. I can’t help it today. OK, think positive thoughts. Think positive thoughts.)

Second, “butch” is not incongruous with “sophisticated and powerful.” I’m happy as a lark that the fabulous femmes of the lesbian sisterhood are getting more visibility — as they have been generally absent from the media and the public consciousness until the debut of The L Word, but this doesn’t mean that butches are to be considered relics representing a less fabulous era in lesbianism.

Take, for example, Rachel Maddow and Ellen DeGeneres. Forget $200 bottles of wine — they can probably buy several vineyards between the two of them. Furthermore, since the litmus test of whether one is “sophisticated and powerful” seems to be based on how comfortable one is around semi-obscure appetizers and alcoholic beverages, here’s a video of Rachel Maddow making a cherry julep.

I think I’ve made my point.

All right. Perhaps I have been a little too harsh on our new fan o’ the lesbians. I recognize that she was overwhelmed by the fabulousness of a few lesbians in her presence, lesbians who broke the stereotypical vision of lesbians that she held in the past, and this caused her to covet membership in the circle of lesbians who are still bold enough to flash bling in this decidedly un-blingy era. Baby steps, baby steps. I’m going to graciously accept the love.

I’ll just end with this: A shared love of pairing wine with sopressata sausage does not mean that our admirer will like dating women, however, because once you get into the bedroom, there will be no pairing anything with sausage, if you get my drift.

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