Thanks for this, Ellen.

Firstly, welcome to the sapphic sorority. Yay for you and coupling out AND proud. I’m proud and happy for you.

Secondly, on a personal note, your invocation of Rich’s definition of Compulsory Heterosexuality has helped a nascent piece of mine along. I hope you’ll read and enjoy it when it’s out (and ahem proud).

Bizarrely my own experiences with this concept are twofold.

When I was a lesbian teen all my sexual desires were gay. I didn’t really suffer any equivocation of my gynephilia. And at the time CH made that OK cos everyone and everything was yelling at me that I was a boy

Yay. Attracted to girls. Good job.

Except that all my thoughts were of being a girl with another girl. So CH was helping police my gender.

Then much (so much ugh) later when I came out as a trans woman CH reared its ugly head again. I was married to a straight woman. That’s kinda a side issue, except that I wanted a woman who was into woman.

However, early in transition, because there are elements and times when you feel like a tabula rasa I started looking at men. I wasn’t attracted, but I was looking and thinking ‘so you’re what I’m supposed to be attracted to?!’.

Like WTaF?! I’ve fucked men. They’d have told you I was a straight man. They’d have been wrong on both counts. Yet here I was, a middle-aged trans lesbian, being policed by CH again, and wondering if I should find a nice man to settle down with.


So… I’m so glad both of us have thrown off those shackles.

Thanks for a great piece.

Much love,


Capricious by name, steadfast by nature. Trans femme dyke. Smutsmith. Provocateur. Witch. Poet. Slut. Idiot. Kicking names and taking ass.