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21st Century Lesbian Trailer Trash

These are the mad musings of a middle aged woman, dyke, nurse, poet. I have a dog, a cat, a mobile home, and delusions of grandeur.

Location: California, United States

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Is Simply Gay Good Enough?

Let me see if I can get this straight. (This pun was not intended but laugh if you are so moved. It works here).

HomoMojo has a new look. And it is there that I found a link to a blog entry regarding the Advocate's survey asking us queer folk if gay is OK. Or perhaps we prefer something like LGBT.

Without further ado, I give you the young man over on
Proceed At Your Own Risk :

The Advocate has too much time on its hands and is spearheading a campaign to replace "Gay" with LGBT or GLBTQ.

"Mom, Dad, I have something to tell you. I'm LGBT."

"Have you tried one of the new super-antibiotics?"

Personally, I'm content with Gay and Queer. But we could go back to confirmed bachelor and maiden aunt.

Later in the day this same bright fella turned me on to a theory of homosexuality posited by a biologist by the name of Joan Roughgarden. I went to the original article:

From the JUN/JUL 2006 issue of
Seed Magazine:
Credit: Catherine Ledner

Joan Roughgarden thinks Charles Darwin made a terrible mistake. Not about natural selection—she's no bible-toting creationist—but about his other great theory of evolution: sexual selection. According to Roughgarden, sexual selection can't explain the homosexuality that's been documented in over 450 different vertebrate species. This means that same-sex sexuality—long disparaged as a quirk of human culture—is a normal, and probably necessary, fact of life. By neglecting all those gay animals, she says, Darwin misunderstood the basic nature of heterosexuality...

Roughgarden, a professor of biology at Stanford University and a MTF TG person, published a book 2 years ago called Evolution's Rainbow in which she outlines and explains this theory.

Although the good professor discusses homosexual behavior as a kind of social glue found in more evolved species, it was this particular bit of animal erotica that rocked my lesbian world:

Japanese macaques, an old world primate, illustrate this principle perfectly. Macaque society revolves around females, who form intricate dominance hierarchies within a given group. Males are transient. To help maintain the necessary social networks, female macaques engage in rampant lesbianism. These friendly copulations, which can last up to four days, form the bedrock of macaque society, preventing unnecessary violence and aggression. Females that sleep together will even defend each other from the unwanted advances of male macaques. In fact, behavioral scientist Paul Vasey has found that females will choose to mate with another female, as opposed to a horny male, 92.5% of the time. While this lesbianism probably decreases reproductive success for macaques in the short term, in the long run it is clearly beneficial for the species, since it fosters social stability. "Same-sex sexuality is just another way of maintaining physical intimacy," Roughgarden says. "It's like grooming, except we have lots of pleasure neurons in our genitals. When animals exhibit homosexual behavior, they are just using their genitals for a socially significant purpose."

Well, that was fun.

As far as theories go however, I like the one that a friend of mine stumbled across many years ago. According to her, there is a biological imperative for lesbianism. Back in the Stone Age, when people dropped like flies, it made sense to have women in the clan with no interest in the rituals of procreation but a great interest in mothering should bio-mom not make it home from the mastadon hunt.

Be that as it may, the Advocate can call me whatever it likes. A lesbian by any other name smells just as sweet. But for some reason, this whole thing brought to mind the image of the one-eyed one-horned flying purple people eater. Except in my song she's called a flying purple pussy eater.


Blogger Kim said...

Ooo Ooo Ooo, I wanna be like you-oo-oo... LOL. I Love this!! ~ Nony

12:19 AM PDT  
Blogger ~ nellenelle said...

Great post... wait until tookie returns from the mastadon hunt and reads it! ;-)

3:58 AM PDT  
Blogger Simon said...

What is in a name?

4:28 AM PDT  
Blogger Cheryl said...

Pam, you have the best links! I read Proceed At Your Own Risk's post and loved it...wish I had time to investigate further but duty calls.

It seems to me that many species have a lesbian/female-only social model. Of course, I can't name a one but I've watched Nature for enough years to recall lots of instances where the females live in a gender-isolated colony and the males only present themselves and are accepted during mating season.

Of course, in reading your post, I found it hard to move beyond this:

"These friendly copulations, which can last up to four days..."

Wow, four days!

Wow! Four days!!!
; )

6:55 AM PDT  
Blogger just me said...

Going to think on the 4 days for awhile. Love yoru song title ;)

10:43 AM PDT  
Blogger Syd said...

Wow. I haven't copulated for 4 days in, well...ever. And even the thought of it exhausts me now.

I'm good with the blanket use of "gay". Too many labels are confusing.

1:40 PM PDT  
Blogger Sangroncito said...

LGBT...and I was just getting used to calling myself queer.

Being LGBT is the highest level of human evolution our species has attained to date!

5:31 PM PDT  
Blogger NursePam said...

Oh gawd Syd. You've got me rolling on the floor laughing my ass off. I just spit all over my computer screen. If I could go for 4 hours I'd hang a sign on the front of my house ;^)

LOL Nony! Careful what you wish for. Being inside my head can be kind of like Candy Land on LSD.

Nelle, I'll be interested to hear her reaction.

What's in a name indeed Simon. I think there are times when it's important and times when it is not.

It boggles the mind Cheryl. I believe the article said that something like 450 species show homosexual behavior as part of the social pattern.

I thought it was kind of a fun title too JM ;^)

...and I was just getting used to calling myself queer.

Don't I know it Sangro. I wonder at what point I'll just say "the heck with it" and decide to be not cool anymore?

8:39 PM PDT  
Blogger Cheryl said...

Syd said: "Too many labels are confusing."

I agree. I think it's really a Karl Rove, Right Wing, heterosexist and homophobic plot.

A. Keep us confused (especially those of us in the vicinity of or beyond the half-century mark, because we are much more easily confused). Take our minds off our dwindling rights and the insidious cultivation of the fascist state, I mean the theocracy.

B. Foment division between those who have adopted the latest trendy handle and those who are still so uncool as to continue to use "lesbian" and will never attain the requisite coolness level needed for entre into the GLBTQ elite. (Please make mine a GLBTQ on rye toast with mayo?)

C. Having the multitudes of homosexuals calling themselves by a wide assortment (with many of them using more than one term to identify themselves) gives the false impression to the scared-shitless idjit red state base that our numbers are far larger than the 4 or 5 lesbian women in each state (though I hear Tennesse is fairly infested with them nowadays). There are only 4 or five of us in PA, right? Somehow, I always seem to run into the same four or five women...

Yep, Rove's gearing up for his push to salvage the mid-term Congressional elections. I'm sure he and James Dobson are behind this.

; )

10:01 PM PDT  
Blogger Ting's Tang said...

Cheryl, I can vouch for Tennessee being infest with lesbians LOL. My partner and I see 'family' every where we go. No one seems to be very out though, so K and I call TN the world's biggest closet! *grin


And personally Pam, "gay" fits me just fine because I am so "happy" with Kirche! *giggle

4:15 AM PDT  
Blogger NursePam said...

Oops people! It looks like we really wound Cheryl up ;^)

I don't know about lesbians in TN Caly. I know my sister loves the state. Maybe there are a lot of free thinkers who just aren't in your face like they are on the left and right coasts.

7:49 AM PDT  
Blogger Ting's Tang said...

I get the impression in the year I have been here thats is sort of a 'do your thing but don't wave flags and we will look the other way state". Which in a way is ok I guess, except they also look the other way when it comes to giving us our rights, which irks me to know end. *sigh but in the short term it is at least nice to be able to keep a photo of K on my desk and not fear losing my job over it.


10:23 AM PDT  
Blogger Cheryl said...

I ran into the same thing in east-central PA, Caly. Lots and lots of lesbians in lots of closets. Too claustrophobic for me! I'm a country gal with a city girl attitude...not a very good combination! Lol!

8:16 PM PDT  
Blogger Pat Kirby said...

Er, how does one pronounce LGBT? It sounds like a sandwich.


10:48 AM PDT  
Blogger NursePam said...

rofl Pat!

Lessee. Elgubutt?

7:13 PM PDT  
Blogger KMae said...

I like Gay, Lesbian & Dyke... DYKE is good for feigning stregnth, because seriously couldn't you just bitchslap all these asswipemotherfuckers that think they're so superior because they're hets?? hurl-o-rama!
And speaking of straights, back when I thought I was, lasting 4 days was no sweat becuase men are just so easy..(get 'em up, get 'em off..) Women on the other hand are each different, complicated & need a lot of time, hence 4 days is tooo much, I need NAPS...
L O N G naps!

1:08 PM PDT  
Blogger Mocha said...

Four days of using my genitals for a socially significant purpose? Ok. Sign me up.

My bags are already packed. I'm ready to make the sacrifice in the name of science. (*sigh)

4:43 PM PDT  

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