Are there shelters for victims of gay violence, like battered womens shelters?
There are no shelters for gay men. Lesbians can obviously go to the women’s shelters, but studies show that oftentimes they don’t feel very welcome there because everything — all the literature, all the help — is heterosexually oriented. They don’t feel like their situation is really understood or acknowledged. The extent of lesbian violence may be an even bigger surprise to straight society than gay male violence. People are really surprised, especially around lesbian battering. The notion among feminists, lesbians — among women in general — is that this is a male problem: Men beat woman and, yes, we can imagine men beating other men, but women would never do such a thing. As if it’s genetic. It’s part of an older lesbian-feminist paradigm which says most of the problems in the world come from men and if we could isolate ourselves from them, then things would be kind of idyllic. It’s not true. But people in lesbian communities don’t want to talk about that publicly. It’s like airi