I see Lesbian Haircut #32.

lion's eyes- drawing from the hospital bed


Breathing in, raising my eyebrows, blinking slowly, then breathing out slowly while holding my body still for this delicate operation: putting mascara on my eyelashes.

I keep trying different brands of mascara. Looking for the perfect one.

No eyeliner. No blush. My skin can’t handle either one right now.

Reddish lipstick on my lips.

I try — and fail — to avoid looking at myself in the mirror.

Practising acceptance. It is how it is for now.

Turning away from the mirror, walking out in the hallway, she’s there waiting for me.

“I have cancer hair,” I say as I bury my face in her neck, careful to avoid smudging my mascara in case it’s not dry yet.

She wraps her arms around me and says, “No you don’t.”

I’m a littler, slighter me now. “Yes I do,” I insist.

“No, you don’t,” she repeats.

Voices in my head: yes I do yes I do yes I do. But I don’t say that outloud. Maybe I’m the only one who sees it.

We go out. I can last 3 hours now.


Jenn at the salon didn’t blink twice when I saw her after treatment. My hair was long enough to cover the effects of chemotherapy that thinned it and radiation that made hair fall out at the back and left side of my head.  I catastrophized: the only thing to do was something radical. I did not want radical.

I left the salon with my hair buzzed at the back to the ridge of my skull. Shorter at the sides and front. That piece of hair that falls over my eyes is still there. There’s some length to it on top. I can tuck bits of hair behind my ears.

A modern bob is what Jenn called it. I see lesbian haircut #32. And it works. For cancer hair.



Posted in being a lesbian, lesbian, lesbian life | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

How to be a lesbian in two easy steps (or four comprehensive steps if you’re really serious)



There’s a proliferation of How To information on the internet and in bookstores and libraries — everything from the ubiquitous Dummies and Idiot’s guides through to sites such as Wiki How, where you can find How to kiss in 32 steps. Beyond corporate answering bodies, there are individual contributors out there who are happy to answer just about any how-to you can think of, including How to pee in a cup while driving.

Clearly, there’s perceived value in how-to guides: people want to know how to do things.  No how-to question goes unanswered. More to the point, where questions can mean there’s money to be made or wisdom, knowledge, data, opinions, pontifications and wild-assed guesses to be shared and spread around like Nutella.

But enough about a delicious chocolate and hazelnut mixture. Here on this blog, I get a number of how-to questions and the one I get a lot is: how to be/how can I be a lesbian?

A puzzling question. I ponder it with knitted brows. Is the question asking what do I need to know, what credentials and knowledge do I need to qualify as a lesbian, as in, How can I be a pilot? An astronaut? An engineer? An editor? A racing car driver? Or is it a more subtle question, asking something along the lines of, How can I be a good person? A caring, considerate, and courageous teacher? An emotionally, culturally sensitive, values-based and intelligent person?

Is the question centred on how to do the things that a lesbian does (as in the technical aspects of being a lesbian) or is it a question of what, in her being, makes a woman a lesbian and how to get that? (The doing/being divide?)

Sigh. Haven’t I answered this question in earlier posts? It seems obvious to me how to be a lesbian; however, calling on my mindful and compassionate self, I must remember that what’s obvious to me as a lesbian is not always obvious to others.

Perhaps I am over-thinking it. Perhaps I need to answer the question succinctly, leaning toward the being mode over the doing mode … as I see it, it’s quite straightforward to be a lesbian, if such a label is desired or required, as outlined below.

How to be a lesbian in two easy steps, with two other steps that are less easy.

1. Be a woman (natural born or surgically re-assigned).

2. Have crushes, romances, dating stresses, deep likes, physical intimacy/sex only with a woman. Or with many women, one after the other. (We call it serial monogamy.)

There are two additional steps take you deeper into lesbian territory…

3. Fall in love with a woman.

4. Share your life, love, heart, soul — everything: ups and downs and crazy laughter and buckets of tears and hopes and dreams and fears and wonders and picnics and laundry and cooking and holding hands and exploring and grieving and book buying binges — all with a woman and only a woman.

And that’s how to be a lesbian.

Posted in being a lesbian, Lesbian humor, LGBT | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Finding some courage

tree at Trinity-Bellwoods~~

Have you ever walked along a treetop canopy, your feet stepping on narrow wooden boards maybe 20 cm (8 inches) wide that are swaying slightly in the wind, your hands gripping the guide wire on either side of you, listening to your gut and a big slice of your mind telling you “Do not look down!!” because you are, at this moment, some 21 metres (70 feet) above a forest floor where one slice of your mind is saying over your internal broadcast system (praying, really) “Please be okay, please be okay, please be okay,” with each step, which translates as “please Goddess of trees, hold me close in your generous soft bosom and do not let me fall!” while another slice of your mind — the part that enables the muscles in your face to move so that you can grin like a goof at your girlfriend as she looks back at you with a big goofy grin — is saying just as loudly on a different internal broadcast system, “Whoooo hoooo!! How cool is this?” because there you are, facing your fear and doing it anyway realizing that fear of heights and fear of falling are tied for 1st place on your never-gonna-share-with-anyone especially HER list of Things that are real that I am most afraid of. 

I did this tree canopy walk. Once. And it was memorable. Not so much for the conquering fear of heights part. No. The memorable part happened on the platform situated 15 metres (50 feet) above the ground where we stopped to have a picnic. A minute after I sat my shakey self on the platform, a cheeky chipmunk decided that my lunch could be its lunch and launched itself out of nowhere to stake its claim. (I am not now, never was and never will be, a screamer. However, I have a good startle reflex.)

Chipmunk landed in my food, chaos ensued: my flesh seemed to jump out of my skin, setting in motion other reactions: food flew out of my hands, over the side of the platform. People stopped their conversations, grabbed whatever they could. There was an EEK! here and there. Moments later, as my brain realized what was going on, my heart was able to gingerly make its way from my throat back into its cage. As I settled, Mr. Chipmunk, clearly miffed, gave me the dirtiest, longest, meanest look I have ever received from a living being.

While I might have exercised some courage that day overcoming fears inherited from my mother, I no longer look chipmunks or a girlfriend (who, once assured that everything was okay — doubled over, squealing with laughter) at me in quite the same way.

I’ve been thinking about courage and fear because of what I’m reading and seeing on the news, all of which seems to be about the worst side of human beans again: war, blood feuds, money — getting or losing it, crime and accidents and wicked weather and celebrity stupidity — all the bad stuff that makes good money for news corporations. And of course, the ongoing hate against LGBTs spurred by religious fundamentalists.

My sci-fi slice of mind offered its succinct solution and I think it’s worth considering. Develop shrink-ray technology. Target all the world’s haters, war-mongers, fighters, spiteful power seekers, blood feuders, misogynists, with a special emphasis on those who hurt children and animals. Engage the shrink ray and shrink ’em ALL with their ignorant energy down to sea-monkey size and — using transporter technology — beam them via one-way transmission to the watery ninth ring of the not-yet-discovered planet Zathar to fight among themselves and leave the rest of us alone to tackle life, squealing girlfriends and grumpy chipmunks with all the courage we can find.

Posted in being a lesbian, lesbian life | Tagged , | 6 Comments