I remember my first time in a lesbian bar. It was Girl Bar in West Hollywood and I went alone, not quite sure of what to expect. When I got there I was struck by the fact that what I was witnessing was nothing short of an anthropological discovery. The music pounded and the whole club pulsed in rhythm with it. Women moving as one in a primal unison of sweat and lust. I looked around and took note of all the different types of women I saw. Glamorous femmes, sexy tombois, confident butches and a hundred degrees in between. My mind recalled stories I’d read about Amazons. A society ruled by women where the only purpose men served was for breeding. Even then, the boy children would be given back to the fathers and only the girl babies were kept and raised to carry on the Amazon tradition.
As I surveyed the scene that unfolded before me, I started comparing what I saw with the world outside these four walls. For every role and position men held in everyday life, there was a woman here that filled that role just as well, if not better. Like a cast of characters: the husband, the boyfriend, the lawyer, the doctor, the wife, the mother, the stripper, the whore, the provider, the nurturer, the protector. Every role could be easily cast with the women in this room. Then it dawned on me that this new and improved cast extended beyond the clubs and into the real lives of every lesbian. Women have been living like this since before recorded time. The stories are legendary and handed down to us in the mythical archetypes of Amazons.
I’m of the opinion that lesbians are the descendants and little sisters of these legendary figures and symbols of female strength and ultimate independence from a patriarchal regime. The spirit of the Amazon lives on in us. The sisterhood that was sacred to them, is sacred to us. The pride and courage these warriors lived and died by still courses through our veins as we drive down Santa Monica Blvd. in our SUV’s and hybrids. Most of the time we don’t feel it, because it’s not always needed. But when something threatens us, our rights, our freedom, our safety or our loved ones, something clicks inside us. The blood rite that’s ours is felt in every cell of our being. Our hearts pound with adrenaline and we unknowingly call on the strength of our predecessors and an Amazonian will to survive shines through. Much to the surprise of most around us. But its no surprise to us or our sisters. Because we know. We know what power and strength lies within our inner circle that most of the world never sees. We know how our hearts beat with love and pride in who we are and that we’re stronger together than alone.
So we continue to gather in our ritualistic manner, under the cloak of darkness, in loud clubs and crappy neighborhood dives. Not hidden but not part of the world either. Demarcated by invisible lines that show us where it’s safe to be seen in daylight and where it’s not. Outlining small segments like West Hollywood and Long Beach, leaving us happy to have a small part of the map carved out for us, no matter how small.
But true to our lineage, we press on. Pushing those invisible lines out further every day. Quietly overcoming and achieving while most of the world sits comfortably in their self-deluded status quo. Well let them, but we know better … Amazons are not to be relegated to second class citizens for long.