It has gotten to the point where I mostly request lesbian books from Netgalley because well, I don’t really need a reason, do I? ‘An American Queer’ is the collection of columns Lee Lynch wrote over decades and it was so interesting to see the evolution of a country and queer life in general.
Queer life is nothing like it’s portrayed on The L Word, especially not when you live in rural America or any other part of the world that isn’t West Hollywood and I bet West Hollywood isn’t even like it is shown in that show. Anyway, I’m losing focus.
Lee Lynch writes about every day life and reading a personal column is kind of like reading a personal blog which is something I love. I know this comes as a total shocker but getting glimpses into other peoples lives is fascinating and even more so, when you share certain part with them or can at least relate. Now, I have no idea what it must have been like coming out in the 1960s, I can only say how it is in the 2000s.
It’s interesting to see how many things have changed but also how little they have changed. There is never only one side to a story and this collection is a nice cross section of the past quarter of a century. All along I kept highlighting passages and nodding my head in agreement because I could see myself reflected in her words.
Of course it’s not a novelty but somethings she just managed to put into words that I had struggled with but seemed blatantly obvious once I read it.
I also loved reading about her personal life, the glimpses of The Girlfriend and I shed some tears when she died because again, it all felt so familiar. I could go on and on, trying to explain to you why I loved this collection but the essence of it is, if you like to stick your nose in the lives of other people, then this is for you. It’s honest and heartfelt. It educates baby dykes like myself about how far we have come but also how far we still have to go. Here are some quotes that I liked:
“One becomes used to the undercurrent of oppression. I’m not sure I know how to function without it.”
“We look back to our predecessors and think, how brave they were. Yes, they were, but so are we. We forget how vulnerable we are.”
“Calling ourselves gay publicly is one of the most freeing and validating acts available to queers. Then there are the great semantic wars: is it okay to call ourselves queer, dyke, faggot – is it all right if straight people o? Names that decimated us not too long ago are now defiant challenges to our detractors.”
“There is no way I can measure up to the impossible expectations I expect my new employer to expect of me.”