I got my new FALAGABATATA (Federal Agency of Lesbians and Gays and Bisexuals and Transgender and Transsexual Americans) membership card months ago, but didn’t get my copy of the Lesbian Rules & Regulations manual until today. I think it’s seriously time to invite the good people at Corporate Headquarters to join us here in the 21st century and maybe put the manual online … you know, like everyone else in the world already did years ago.
I’ve written to them (Headquarters, not the monks) more than once suggesting that if they moved to online updates they might actually be able to release the new editions on time. But I sent the suggestions via e-mail, so they’re probably still trying to figure out what kind of sorcery is behind the mystical communication appearing on their Solitaire-playing machines. I guess it’s like everyone says — you can drag a dead horse out to greener pastures on the other side of the fence, but you can’t make it count all the eggs you’ve got in one basket with a bird in your hand.
When it finally arrived, it occurred to me that if I just got mine, there have to be other women who still haven’t received theirs yet. For long-timers like me, it’s more of an annoyance than a concern. I’ve been lesbianing for so long I can do it with my eyes closed. Even women who only been active for a few years should be able to get by for a bit without updated instructions.
But I do worry about the ones who are still waiting for their first book. I remember how amazing it was when I got mine (of course, it was still chiseled in stone back then because HQ hadn’t yet gotten the memo about the discovery of paper and ink). It wasn’t so much finding the answers to all the questions I had (although that was soooo helpful), it was more about having some tangible proof that I’d finally made it … I was officially a real live lesbian!
So for those who are still waiting for delivery, but especially anyone who only recently signed up, I thought it would be fun to take a quick flip through the pages and share some of what you’ll be seeing when you finally get your hands on your own copy.
And before anyone goes hurtling down the page to find the comments section and warn me about the penalties for unsanctioned distribution of confidential lesbian intelligence, I’m well aware of the rules. I’m not going to teach anyone the handshake, I won’t talk about how Gaydar really works or why we let straight people think they have it too, and I know when it comes to sex I’m not supposed to give any details and only say, “It’s not like what you see in porn.”
So, if you feel the need to leave me a strongly-worded comment or even report me, there’s nothing I can do about it. It won’t be the first time I’ve had my membership suspended, and probably not the last.
Like most of the revised editions I’ve (eventually) received during my lesbian tenure, the bulk of this one is a reiteration of some basic information:
– Must be physically and emotionally attracted to women;
– Not necessary to have sex with men or women to confirm your preference (the “or women” part was just added, so it looks like The Virgin Lesbian may be poised to be the new It Girl);
– Being a Gold Star may be a point of personal pride, but does not make one a “better” lesbian;
– Short hair is a choice and not a requirement, and the same holds true for silver thumb rings, rainbows/pink triangles and Doc Martens (in previous editions most of the footwear references were about Birkenstocks, so now they’re only about 25 years behind the times!);
– Coming out is a life-long process and not a single event;
– Vegetarianism and veganism are not required, but the preferred grocery stores are still Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods;
– The stuff about Lilith Fair is still in there … is that even a thing anymore? I though Sarah McLaughlin stop doing that like five years ago when she dedicated her life to torturing us with ASPCA commercials;
– Vibrators, dildos, strap-ons and other various and sundry accouterments are matters of personal preferences and neither required nor restricted;
– Not every woman who golfs, or plays softball or soccer is a lesbian; and not every lesbian golfs, or plays softball or soccer … hiking and camping are still strongly suggested (though no longer required);
– The Subaru Outback remains the vehicle of choice, with trucks still a close second;
– When in doubt, wear cargo shorts (I’m not even sure what this one means, but at the same time it makes perfect sense …)
There are too many new items to fit in a single blog post, but here are some of the ones I found particularly interesting:
– We love her and she’s made important contributions to our community, but Ellen Degeneres is not the official spokeslesbian (and I’m sure the writers of the manual will be happy to say that to her face just as soon as they can manage stop acting like it’s 1964 and she’s The Beatles whenever she walks into the room …)
– As the number of DSW (Dinah Shore Weekend) participants who were babies when she died or born after her death increases, it’s now required that that attendees familiarize themselves with who Dinah was and the basic history of The Weekend. Saying things like it’s “a celebration held in Palm Springs to honor Shore leading the lesbians out of the desert” makes us all look bad. Additionally, references to the event must now be capitalized … The Weekend rather than the weekend;
– Home Depot still refuses to change their slogan to The Lesbian Sephora, but they don’t have any issues with us calling it that (which is great, because the last thing we need is another McLesbian fiasco);
– Making-out with a friend to attract or titillate guys, does not make a woman a lesbian. In fact, trying to attract guys by any method is pretty much the opposite of a lesbian. At most, said girls might be bisexual. But it’s far more likely that they’re just drunk;
– The Heterosexual Coalition has requested that we maintain our policy of answering questions about the particulars of our sex lives by continuing to give the standard porn response. There continue to be concerns that the number of straight women being granted trial memberships in our organization after learning certain sex-related details is still too high. The same request has been made to our men’s division, as they’ve seen a similar spike in experimental memberships. As a means of demonstrating that the requests are not rooted in homophobia, and are simply part of on-going efforts to maintain their population of viable breeders and breeding-pairs, they’ve confirmed their intent to continue adding to the number states allowing same-sex marriage at the agreed upon rate.
– They also acknowledged that Arizona has gone completely rouge and is no longer in their control, saying, “That place is to extremists and nut cases what Florida is to wacky news stories.” They’re in the process of extracting their people and have suggested we do the same.
There’s obviously a lot more, but much of it is proprietary and I’m fairly certain I’ll be getting called into Headquarters and put on suspension for what I’ve already shared. I don’t want to push the boundaries too far and run the risk of having my membership revoked entirely. But if there’s anything you’re dying to know and just can’t wait any longer for your manual (or if you’re not eligible to receive one), leave your question in comments and I’ll look it up and tell you as much as I can.