The bottom line with this, I guess, is that it has Sacchi Green’s name on it as editor, and really that should be guide enough to the quality of the contents. It is certainly more than enough for me.
As a straight male who has merely written some ‘f/f’ material and who entirely accepts that gay and lesbian love is right and natural, I have to visit the minds of lesbian ladies – as revealed in their writing and reading – with the same quiet respect I would visit any other temple.
I came away from this visit quite awed.
There is some very hot material in this, including Cheyenne Blue’s ‘Nurse Joan’ and Danielle Mignon’s ‘Are You My Mommy’, some very warm and touching – such as Anna Watson’s ‘Tamago’. There is humour here, and perceptiveness, and a very real sense of the truth behind the stories and the courage of the writers in revealing it.
It would take too long to commend each of the writers individually. All I can do is to commend, very sincerely, the book as a whole. I do so without any hesitation.
I am no longer young, though I’m a long way from old, and I have spent my adult life asking myself – and sometimes the world – what I call ‘the hard questions’.
Quick blast of theory: I’ve said many times that the most dangerous lies are the lies we tell ourselves. They’re often the most insidious, too – from the ‘one more biscuit’, ‘one more cigarette’, ‘one more drink’ won’t hurt lies of the dieter, the smoker and the alcoholic through to the ‘well no doesn’t always mean no’ and ‘women like it a little bit rough’ or ‘he keeps hurting me but he loves me and I know I can change him’.
They’re all lies, all self-deceptions, and I believe we accommodate them in part because to the human being the brain is an environment which, like any environment he/she lives in is one that we want to keep ‘comfortable’. It’s the furry gonk, the family photos, the plant in the isolated workstation, the cushions on the sofa, the carpets underfoot, hot food and drink at home, the choice of color on the walls, the hangings and the bedding. We adapt our environments routinely to make them comfortable and I believe the brain is little different.
So we tell ourselves self-comforting lies. If we’re rich and powerful we convince ourselves that poverty is not our problem, if we’re weak and afraid we convince ourselves that we are better than the person of different race or color, creed, gender or sexual orientation.
And the only way to get round this is to ask ourselves hard questions.The first of which always needs to be “do I believe this because it is true, because I have genuine evidence, knowledge that it is true, or do I believe this because – fundamentally – I want to.
The answers are not always easy to deal with. In the next instalment I’m going to share with you some of my questions and particularly some of my answers.
See you soon.