This issue of
Citylife

Living Lesbian

I invited five lesbians _ all strangers to me _ for a drink one night in late September. While we have featured many articles this month about a variety of gay issues, we struggled to find lesbians who would speak on record about various issues. So, Citylife’s staff, invited their lesbian friends for a ‘fly on the wall’ type evening, where they discussed various aspects of being lesbian in an anonymous forum. Let me introduce the girls to you…(all under pseudonyms).
Book
is 28 years old and a freelance illustrator. She knew since her early teens that she preferred girls, but suppressed her feelings and ended up dating and marrying a man for eight years before finally realising that being straight was not for her. She calls herself a ‘dee’ or ‘red’ which means that she is a feminine lesbian who likes ‘tom’, more butch lesbians, and is currently single. She also has a four year old daughter from her marriage.
Jen
is 26, comes from Chiang Rai and is a freelance writer. She is a ‘tom’ and came out to her family in her early twenties, breaking their traditional hearts. She has been in many long term relationships with ‘dee’, but is currently single.
Sali
, 27, is a sales girl and is bisexual, having had one relationship with a woman for two years after she had her heart broken by a man. She had her heart broken by the woman too and is currently looking for a boyfriend.
Pink
is 28, and is a ‘dee’ who is very feminine and quiet. She teaches in a kindergarten and has been completely open with her parents about her preferences since university: while her mother accepts it, her father doesn’t.
Koy
is Pink’s
long term girl friend. They have been together for three years, since Koy
was 24. She is a ‘tom’ and has never come out to her parents, though she has lived with Pink for many years, and together often visit her parents as ‘friends’.

Koy:
There was never any confusion for me, it was a natural journey for me to discover and embrace the fact that I am a lesbian. I didn’t have to be taught or told anything. We are girls, we talk about personal things so nothing was awkward for me, I just slowly became confident.
Book:
I come from a family of women; all the men have been divorced out. I grew up thinking that women were better and more responsible than men, so I think for me it was a combination of nature and nurture. I tried so hard to date (and even marry) men, but would find myself checking out girls all the time. I got married because of family pressure; I felt krengjai of my family and wanted to please them. I had never had sex before and when I had sex with my husband it just felt wrong. I finally left him, though he lives next door to me now.
Jen:
I have always been called ‘handsome’ by my friends. To the point where kratoey (transsexuals) would hit on me in high school, write me poetry, buy me flowers and declare their love!
Book:
When I was with men I didn’t feel as though I was cared for, but being with ‘tom’ I feel utterly cherished. They give me so much love and attention; I can never imagine going back to a man again.
Koy:
(laughing) Yes, but that is often the probation period, then things cool down like most relationships.
Pink:
You know that isn’t true, I have been with you for three years and you take care of everything for me.
Jen:
We are women, we know each others’ minds, we know that it is all about love, affection, caring and support. So, we really are able to make our girlfriends happy. All I want to do is find a woman I can care for. I don’t tell my boss that I am a lesbian, I don’t need to tell anyone. I just want to find my mate for life and mind my own business.
Pink:
Koy doesn’t like me to go out and meet other people so I never go to TD (tom, dee) parties. She gets jealous.
Koy:
I am so afraid of losing Pink that I don’t like her to go out at night.
Book:
It is hard enough for us to find each other, once we are together, we can’t lose each other. Lesbians take years to get over love, we are very serious about it. There used to be some TD pubs or parties, but we lesbians are not like gay men. We go with our girlfriends and don’t really want to meet other lesbians. We get jealous and we don’t want to flirt, all we want is to find true love and be with that one person always…be taken care of.
Sali:
I wouldn’t want anyone to know that I like girls, so I don’t want to hang out publicly with lesbians.
Koy:
I agree, we don’t need society to accept us. We don’t want to fight for any rights. We just want to be left alone with the one we love.
Book:
Yes. I don’t need anything from society; I don’t need to say who I am. I know who I am.
Sali:
Exactly. Can society handle us? I don’t think so. People think that gays are cute and charming, they work in creative industries and are very socially visible. We are just normal people with nothing special and we don’t want to highlight ourselves.
Book:
I have met many people who are very anti-lesbian, they tell me they don’t want to see it, to support it.

Koy:
Yes, sometimes they want to change us. They don’t believe we really can be like this.
Jen:
I had a guy the other day hit on me and tell me that he is willing to wait for me to ‘get over it’. Like being a lesbian is like having the flu.
Pink:
My father wants me to change. Women, by nature, are not extroverts like men, so we don’t have the same public face like the gay community.
Book:
While there are ‘hunters’, basically ‘tom’ who hunt ‘dee’ to sleep with, they are only promiscuous until they find their true love. Women are not promiscuous. We don’t want someone fun to have sex with like gay men, we are looking for a serious life partner.
Jen:
We can’t have sex without love. As a matter of fact sex hardly comes into it at all. I had a girlfriend who I lived with for two years. We never had sex. She didn’t want to, and I wanted to make her happy.
Book:
For women sex is about the emotion, the touching, the closeness, the connection…sex itself is a sideline. Many of my lesbian friends never even have sex, the ‘tom’ are happy to just wash their ‘dee’s’ hair, or feed them food or massage them.
Jen:
As a ‘tom’ I only give sexually, I never receive. I have never had an orgasm.
Koy:
That is true, I have never taken my clothes off in front of Pink. Sex is not the main issue for us anyway.
Pink:
I don’t ever touch Koy sexually, in our relationship she takes care of me, not the other way round.
Note:
From what I hear, it is the girls who have been abroad who seem to do two-way sex.
Sali:
When I was with my girlfriend I didn’t need sex either, I just needed her companionship. I became completely dependent on her. The only problem is that we are both women so we have strong emotions, when we love we love ’til death, but when we fight, it gets nasty too.
Book:
Yes, many of our friends’ relationships end because of jealousy, sulks, and strong emotions. We tend to have vicious fights and feel suicidal when our affairs end.
Koy:
Of course I would like to have a family one day, but it is not possible, so Pink is my family.
Jen:
I have never thought of children, perhaps we are still too young to think of it, but I would never want to have sperm inside me.
Koy:
Adoption is not an option either, how could I ever explain myself to my child.
Book:
Well, that is my problem too. My daughter is only four, but in about six years I will completely stop dating. I will devote myself to my daughter and not let her know who her mother is until she is old and has moved away from home. When my daughter is 18 I am going to open a harem!
Jen:
But why not just be open with your daughter?
Book: I don’t want to disrespect my ex-husband or parents either.
Sali:
Basically we just want to be who we are and find true love, but without rocking the social boat or upsetting anyone.
Koy:
I want to love and take care of Pink for the rest of my life, that is all I want.

While the evening started with the women very confused as to why anyone would be interested in their lives or thoughts, by the end of the night many admitted that the issues discussed were for the most part issues they had never really put much thought into. The general consensus was that they simply wanted to be left alone to find and be with their one true love. Society, rights, sex, and these issues were irrelevant.