I’m noticing a disturbing trend, Anna. As I get older, more and more of my gay friends are turning straight. Most recently, an ex who has been exclusively lesbian (a gold star even!) just told me she has a boyfriend. Did I mention she’s been gay since the womb? Is this just because I’m in my 30s now and lezzies want babies the easy way? What is going on? Please explain this! It’s all very upsetting. —Hasbian Help
Anna says: Lucky for you, I’ve just come from the annual luncheon of the Every Former Lesbian in the World committee. It was held at the Hometown Buffet near the interstate. Perhaps as a throwback to their previous lesbian selves, 114 hours were spent processing and nothing got accomplished, although a majority did confirm they would “turn back” for Angelina Jolie, and many complaints were lodged about “Donna” leaving Orange Is the New Black.
I am sorry your ex and her new boyfriend struck a nerve in you. It’s always hard when our exes move on, even if deep down we want them to be as happy as possible, even if that happiness may conflict with our own perceptions and beliefs about that person. But! It’s not personal, remember that. She’s not bobbing for adam’s apples to spite you (hopefully). So dry your tears, HH. Speaking of, you know I love a good pun, but can we retire the word “hasbian,” please? It’s so petty and it diminishes a person’s identity to that of a light switch. She was ON, now she’s OFF. The end.
As to the baby-making theory, it doesn’t hold much water. Plenty of lesbians manage to get pregnant and remain lesbians. Melissa Etheridge comes to mind. Jodie Foster. Wanda Sykes. Etc. While it’s tempting to reduce your ex to a Huggies commercial, sexuality is more complex than that (I know. I didn’t believe it at first either). Just to be sure, though, I consulted science.
One study, conducted by psychologist Lisa Diamond tracked lesbians, bisexuals, and “unlabeled” persons over a 10-year period. At the end of the decade, Diamond found that about 8 percent of the 89 gay women she followed went on to change their identity to heterosexual, but many of them also chose to call themselves bisexual or “unlabeled,” which most would argue, still falls under the big queer umbrella. Even when women identify as straight, it doesn’t mean they aren’t hot for the ladeez. As Diamond notes, “A lot of these women will say, ‘Well, I’m calling myself heterosexual. I’m still attracted to women, it’s just that I don’t necessarily think I’m going to end up with a woman.’”
You’re right though. We can’t afford to lose any more gold stars. Let’s initiate Operation GMWOE (Gay My Way, Or Else) where we lock all potential wang-drifters into closets until they’re ready to realize the truth. The irony will be lost on them until they are gay once more.
If you want more on this topic, read my previous column, “Why do all the girls I date end up straight?”
Hailing from the rough-and-tumble deserts of southern Arizona, where one doesn’t have to bother with such trivialities as “coats” or “daylight savings time,” Anna Pulley is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. Find her at annapulley.com and on Twitter @annapulley. Send her your The Hook Up questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.