Sunday, 22 April 2012

Staceyann Chin:Honest or Deluded?

 Staceyann Chin

I can be as biased as anyone. That's why when I read the Staceyann Chin article about her pursuit of straight women-I wanted to cheer her on with Spice Girlesque chants of girl power! I wanted to champion the fact that she came out and admitted to doing what men do so often, it doesn't even raise an eyebrow. I wanted to feel lesbian pride in the fact that she came out and didn't present the "we're so opressed" type of newstory, that she was in control of her destiny and if she wanted straight women -she would get them. Damn it, she even had instructions! That's how seductive she is. I wanted to feel like Staceyann is strong, sexy, powerful. If I thought that, there could be one more lesbian to add to the list of those I admire. I would support you Staceyann. I wanted to. But, your article wasn't honest. Instead of highlighting the measures gay women will resort to in an enviroment where the space to express your sexuality is limited-you chose to glamourise your desperation.

Maybe my opposition to Staceyann's article is the fact I don't personally find straight women attractive. It's a race without a finish line and equivocal to climbing a mountain without summit. A waste of energy doesn't even cover it. Many of us get into relationships that-in the end-have little substance. But, if many of us knew this from the outset how many of us would just jump in risking our emotional stability in the process? Fortunately Staceyann gave a little background as to why she got on this merry go round. Residing in Jamaica as a gay woman must be extremely difficult. There, homophobia is almost part of the culture, the line you don't cross, the phenomena you refuse to understand. The fact she annunciated that she was a lesbian in public must have taken some balls and for that, I have nothing but respect for her. Furthermore, as a result of this announcement gay women wouldn't go near her for fear of automatically outing themselves in the process. A very difficult predicament. As a result, she started to notice the behaviour of (supposedly) straight women in her presence and decided to express her sexuality the only way she could. If Stacey had stumbled upon a society of gay women to hang with I doubt she would have found straight women the fulfilling conquest her article suggests. Indeed she states that her conquest of straight women is nowt to do with having no choice, that it was her free will. Stacey may not realise that we only have as much free will as our previous experiences and the things we experience vicariously through others dictate. The meer fact she noticed gay women wouldn't go near her would suggest she looked at them first. Though, instead of placing emphasis on her lack of choice she chooses instead to focus on the thrill of the chase. She mentions feeling like the messiah-the chosen one which must be a great feeling. Though I dont understand how being "the first" matters if you truly care about someone. It just seems like a desperate need to bolster one's self esteem and there are times we all need a boost. But, the "How To" manual (in the article Staceyann presents a how to guide for stealing a straight woman from her boyfriend)? It seems exploitative and manipulative and though many (if not all) of us can be that way it's hardly aspirational. Her comment, that it may teach you something about loss is plain ridiculous. You wouldn't smash your head into a brick wall to teach yourself something about pain so why would you put so much effort, time and feeling into something you are sure to lose? Any woman looking to experience loss doesn't need straight women-she needs a psychaitrist. Trivialising the pusuit of dead end relationships is a symptom of a much broader and deeply ingrained personal issue and shouldn't be trivialised or glamourised. Her observation that most of us "dykes" enjoy straight womens limited attention spans is contradictory to what I hear on an almost daily basis from gay women in general.

I do however believe her article is important and has provided a platform for very interesting debate within the LGBT community. We cannot be seen to only like/want to see articles that further the LGBT agenda. There are negatives in our society that I'm sure you're all to aware of. Besides, this gay obsession with straight people is nothing new. A few years ago when Boy George had trouble with the law he was quoted as saying that he almost exclusively finds straight men attractive. As much as I disagree with her presentation I still think it worthwhile enough to be presented. I learned a little about the lengths women will go to in a homophobic climate to feel a sense of closeness and her public self-outing is strength of will that can be admired. Maybe it's her strong sense of identity that enables her to be completely honest about her feelings and subsequently not give a toss about what any of us think! Some may claim that she's encouraging biphobia or fuelling the homophobes who think our only goal as gay people is conversion. I really don't believe that was her intention.  She's just a lesbian sharing her personal experience.We can take from that what we will.

Sirena Reynolds


  1. Excellent response to the article. I don't personally agree with Staceyann but its definetly interesting to read what she has to say.

    1. Thank you very much... What she said was very disagreeable but she's not the only one who plays that game so i'm glad that it's out there (:

  2. Wonderful response. My opinion on Staceyann's article is still, as yet, not fully formed. But I admire the fact that she put it out there, and I now have something to discuss with my more liberal friends! Coffees and chats will certainly be livened up.

    This response is definitely food for thought. Thanks x