Ask A Lesbian

by sharpc3

So recently BuzzFeed posted this video titled “Ask a Lesbian” where standup comedian Camron Esposito answered 11 questions on what it is like to be a lesbian. As of now the video has received over 3,881,221 views on FB and has been reposted by the Huffington Post and George Takei. It is very interesting that this would be a thing. On the one hand I have heard many of my friends who identify as LGBTQ complain that ‘coming out’ for them meant that many people then felt the license to ask them a whole manner of personal questions (like “Since you’re a couple and you’re around each other a lot, do you’re periods synch together?”) that you would never consider asking in another social situation. This topic on this forum is then particularly pertinent. On the other hand many of the questions and their answers are relayed with so much snark and sarcasm that the audience is supposed to find the ridiculousness of the question quite apparent (like the answer to the aforementioned question: “Yes, and we also dress exactly alike and walk four abreast. Is exactly like the movie The Craft.”) However there is also a serious moment when the music stops and the sarcasm ends. IT is when she addresses opponents of gay marriage on the basis of ‘protecting the children.’ She eloquently responds that there are little gay children and children with gay parents, then asks “so, what children are you talking about?”

Of course, this is only a 2:33min video so there is some very specific editing going on. They received almost 3,000 questions and narrowed it down to 11 then crafted short answers to each. Judith Butler would criticize that this completely participates in the totalization of the ‘I’ for lesbians and treats lesbians as if they all feel and act the same. However, as the questions are framed as asking her specifically, this may not necessarily be a problem. But it does ignore lesbians who identify as femme, by only focusing on butch lesbians. It also focused on white seemingly middle/upper-middle class women. Would the video receive the same amount and type of attention if women of color, with disabilities, or were visibly lower class? Should those intersections be eliminated fore a streamline focus or is that just an excuse for erasure? What does it say that these questions and their responses are funny?