Unless you’re as completely out of touch with pop culture as I am (thanks to Girlfriend, Esq. for the heads up), most of you have probably seen the excessive media coverage of Lindsay Lohan finally admitting she’s in a same-sex relationship. And of course, I’m completely frustrated with how many of the pieces have decided that “dating a girl after years and years of dating boys” means “lesbian.” A couple are so thrilled with Clay Aiken and Lohan “coming out” at the same time that they seem to have gotten confused, and are writing headlines declaring both gay without any word from Lohan about how she identifies. This charmer goes so far as to suggest that all of Lohan’s drug use and running around with boys was a desperate search for what would make her truly happy – girls, of course (“She was gaining a reputation as a man-eater, when in reality she was only hopping between blokes because she failed to find the true love she craved.” And if that’s not enough to nauseate you, try “Since they met we’ve seen a more demure, feminine and better behaved Lindsay.” ‘Cause, um, conforming to stereotypical femininity is a definite sign of happiness). Here we have the suggestion that she’s jumped the fence to help heal her broken heart, with the patronizing suggestion that she drink and cry herself to sleep instead. At Fan Fare we’re given two options – “lesbian” or “experimenting with her sexuality” (’cause no one has a stable sexuality that’s anything other than straight or gay, remember?) And The Daily Star quotes her as declaring “Yes, I am a lesbian.” I have to say that I seriously doubt that. Had she said anything nearly that unequivocal, it would be quoted in every single article, not just in one tabloid – completely fabricating a quote is even more awesome than simply misinterpreting what was actually said.
The one thing no one seems to be doing is giving serious thought to the possibility that a relationship with a woman doesn’t mean a girl is definitely gay, and also doesn’t mean she’s sowing her wild oats and experimenting. Maybe, instead, she’s one of those people who can be attracted to and fall in love with people regardless of gender. What do we call those people, again? Um. I’ve almost got it, it’s right on the tip of my tongue…
I have to say, though, that I’m pleasantly surprised how many of the articles I turned up *didn’t* claim Lohan is gay, or make any statements about her identity at all (or at least only referred to it as a “lesbian relationship” and not to her as a lesbian). I was closing tabs thinking “That doesn’t help me…hey, actually, that not being useful is awesome!” Few of them used the word bisexual, either, but I’m perfectly happy to have it left ambiguous until and unless Lohan chooses to clarify. I’m not exactly clamoring to have her as a bisexual role model, but I also resent the way the media declares people straight or gay the moment they have a new partner, completely writing off anything that happened in their life before that moment (Anne Heche, anyone?). I have no way of knowing whether Lohan is bisexual or a lesbian — and neither do any of these bloggers and “reporters.”
Now I’m going to see if I can wash my brain out with “Nobody Passes” and a good night’s sleep. Googling Lindsay Lohan, indeed…some days I can’t believe this is my life.