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To Be a Lesbian in Ukraine

I shouldn't say that I'm looking forward to leading a normal life, because I don' know what normal is. This has been normal for me.
Martina Navratilova

No, Martina Navratilova is not a Ukrainian. Nor she is a Russian, but she is our next of kin a Slav. She was the first to declare out loud: l am a lesbian and I am proud of this! This happened after she had decided against returning to Czechoslovakia, staying in the USA. This statement of hers, published in the Daily News, turned out to become a huge outrage resulting in most terrible consequences. Her appearance on the court was invariably accompanied by a torrent of abusive roar from the audience. But not so many years had passed and she became everyone's heartthrob met on the court by cries of sheer admiration.

Well, what our land (please hold the epithets off) has to do with that? We are undergoing certain changes too, if not as fast as we'd like. A couple of decades ago even these innocent lines could hardly be written. As the ancient Chinese observed: any phenomenon taken to the extreme turns into its opposite. Evidently this principle of evolutionary development is not limited by China's boundaries. Everyone knows that it is before dawn that the night is the darkest and that one does not have to take train to move from crazy love to hatred. We all still remember that dark night of ours, and even if it happened to be a polar one, the dawn is inescapable.

So, a teen magazine is now discussing problems of same-sex love and even advice is given. This is already a new generation whose representatives were born simultaneously with the appearance of new freedom in the country. While another paper, meant for adults, not so long ago ran an article telling about the idea of those, who were raised by our Soviet underdeveloped society: in one of Russia's towns doctors tackle the problem of lesbianism in a very smart way patients are given medications causing severe fits of nausea and vomiting and on this background they are shown lesbian porn... Should I be pronouncing this aloud, I'd give some minutes to digest the info. I wonder how can the mental and spiritual orientation of these (factors of homophobic sciences with imbecile understanding of human sexuality be called? Even if we assume the patients did develop disgust towards females, the question prompts itself: did they feel drawn to males? The answer is clear. And what they are to do? To love cats and dogs? So our dawn has not settled everywhere yet there are places where the honor of gynecologic chair is cherished more ardently than one's own humanness.

Speaking of myself, in my green years I fancied exclusively men (the same said Woopie Goldberg's character, a lesbian, in Boys on the side). I admired their robust bodies and wished to be as fearless, strong and noble (ha!), falling for some boys at a time. But in 7-th grade my hour struck and I fell in love with my female teacher. That crush could not be compared with anything I had experienced before everything else just ceased to exist for me. I remember writing her name on a piece of paper and feasting my eyes on it, awed by hoW ravishly beauteous simple words can be... I kissed this paper scrap and my heart stopped beating with rapture. What else could I do? Since one can conceal such feelings only resting in the grave or mausoleum, this all was crowned with a most entertaining talk on the subject women are to love men, and vice versa (thank God not in front of the whole class). Incidentally, to stand out in her eyes I turned inside out and very soon became the best student (which was of the same category as if my grandmother would decide to become Cindy Crawford's look-like). I wonder if this can be cured with emetics? Being now that teacher's age I cannot imagine a romance with a 14-year-old. But then I shrank into myself and in the chats of girls about boys that bored me rigid I kept my own counsel, having income firmly convinced that I am the only one of the kind. At that time I did not even hear of homosexuality. The most breath-taking for me was the filmed novel by a Russian writer about a teen-age girl who got romantically attached to an adult woman. It was I! But since Soviets were not supposed to have any quirks the girl straightens out by the end of the film and befriends a boy with whom she has been at loggerheads at the start of the picture. It was such a betrayal for me!

Now the chapter two as it were. The first love (both blissful and agonizing) was followed by a cascade of infatuations, especially during the University years. It is here that I heard the word lesbian (at 19!) for the first time it was pronounced with such contempt that no doubts were left concerning its utter indecency. Nonetheless I found girls drawn to me more often than boys. They sighed in the process: l wish you were a guy! (it turned out not to be in the way in most cases).

For the first time this happened when my best girlfriend stayed overnight in the house of my parents who made the bed for both of us on one couch (what irony!) probably to give us a chance to discuss boys in a more intimate atmosphere... Well, if the paradise exists, it was it. As the heroine of another favourite film "Heavenly creatures" said: "We have perceived a bliss that was ours". But just a few years later the same parents started displaying anxiety the time came to marry the daughter off. Sure they won. Mummy, it was this happiness that you meant for me??? All kinds of bans concerning marriage pale in their monstrosity before psychic pressure forcing you to live with a partner who is foreign to your heart and soul. However every cloud has a silver lining they say my golden lining is a sweet creature of school age, a woman meaning the world to me, whom I try to give what I consider of the ultimate value for myself freedom, which is far from easy in child-rearing. So, marriage struck me as something so suffocating, tedious and stale compared to which all our congresses of the Communist Party of the Soviet times look like quite a joyous event. But tastes do differ and it's great we all are so different, so unique, that we were not assembled on the production line. Truly diversity is a spice of life.

(c) Lesbian ConneXion/VlaanderenI cannot bypass the question of same-sex marriages here. It's beyond my comprehension too why subject one's relationship to the burden of problems of everyday life if every date with can be fresh and magic? And of course a one-member family is the soundest one. Being alone is my second love, I have had enough romances to realize that even the most mutual love brings a whole lot more pain than pleasure. This is just the case when happiness is nothing but a period between two afflictions. I never feel bored or lonely, though after watching such films as Bound I may experience the yearning for communication with a like-minded soul (embodied of course). I find myself falling in love not so often these days (something is wrong with my head probably). I am no longer interested in green girls there's still too much infantilism in myself to tolerate it in others. On the given stage my lifestyle is complete celibacy though I'm dead sure there's a legion of women who could turn my gay head.

This is a fact of life that nowadays there is an increasing number of women who don't make much of men while being unable of loving women due to Pharisaical upbringing. Still they do get married, these women with lack of love in their eyes and with dreams of a forced orgasm, living with men for the sake of money or prestige and thus fortifying legitimized prostitution.

A Frenchman named Stefan gave such an answer to the question of a newspaper how he found Russian women: l noticed (and what to say about us!) that your girls walk around holding hands. First I thought: o-la-la, so many lesbians in Russia! But later I was given the explanation: they are just friends. Monsieur, it's not true! The number of women who are aware of their true nature and who accept it is on the rise. But I, for one, do not ache to become a majority: precious is that which is rare, iron is used for making graveyard fence while gold for making expensive jewelry.

Corky and Violet in Bound. The best Tatyana's charactersWho can pin-point the exact number (in dozens of millions) of people who fall victim to hideous social conditioning they've been subjected to from the days of nappies, who live treading down their own nature? Being attracted to people like oneself is it not natural? For it is oneself that everyone loves first and foremost and the closest to him is that which corresponds to his own structure and makeup (interestingly, by official statistics 50 to 70% of married people are not alien to autoeroticism, or masturbation if you will). Even the very problem of the necessity of strict contraception and murderous level of abortions cry out that man and woman are not to do this often, that this is only for reproduction. Did nature fail to take anything into account so that now you cannot get along without a condom (or better still is to implant a metal spring into a wife's most sensitive organ so the pleasure is not impaired by rubber). Besides, if a mechanism of reaching an orgasm without an opposite-sex partner exclusively is intrinsically inherent in a human being what kind of unnaturalness can be talked about? Or silly nature did something wrong again?

I understand that there can be tons of counter arguments to my views and I really shouldn't like lesbians to turn into a majority. My ideal of a dyke is as follows: smart, pretty, moderately feminine (boyish in a cute way which just adds to her charm), stylish (in a broad sense having found her own style on life's catwalk), independent and free-spirited, romantic and mild, generous and exalted, understanding and hip to diverse phenomena of modern life that is combining both the best female and the best male qualities. As to the rest of women they could adorn the life of real men who prefer wives neither too bright nor too independent, utterly and tritely feminine, cooking and household geniuses not very much interested in business, computers, music. Quite fair and square, isn't it?

All in all everything is good and compared to the times bygone everything is just fine. For even our valiant parliament cannot veto the laws of evolution discovered at the dawn of human civilization.

© "Our World"
Summer 1998

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