Although this may be a foray into unknown territory for this Enlightened Dyke, but I have a bit of insight to share on this latest bit of Celesbrity News. I subscribe to several LGBT-related blogs and news feeds in my beloved Google Reader, and often, high-profile information comes to me from multiple sources. Yesterday's announcement that Lindsay Lohan verbally and publicly confirmed her relationship with DJ Samatha Ronson was no exception. You can read about it here and here and here. Although many people "in the know" (i.e. who pay attention to tabloids and celebrity gossip) have speculated for several months, the couple had previously refused to verify the status of their relationship.
I am personally a fan of privacy, of minding your own business, of giving people space, and of respecting boundaries. I understand, however, that being a celebrity necessitates the sacrifice of some of these rights. It's the price you pay for fame. So I took a gander at the news that's been released over the various media outlet, and here's a summary of what I've found:
Lindsay Lohan, initially famous for her tres mingnone dual-role as the twins of the Parent Trap remake, became much more famous for her slip into scandal as a teenager. Between the drugs, the rehab, the nude pictures, the car accidents, and the cat fights with other scandalous celebs, it seemed that she hit rock bottom and planned on staying there. And then, all of a sudden... nothing. No scandal, no drama, no fighting, not even many public appearances. Was a parole officer? A newfound faith? Had she seen the light? Well, we now know that it was much simpler, and yet more profound at the same time - she fell in love. Not a one-night stand, not a publicity stunt, but that turn-your-world-around, make-you-a-better-person, hers-and-hers-coordinated-towels kind of love.
They went shopping together, they accompanied each other to work, they generally just couldn't get enough of each other. But they kept it personal and private. Rumor has it that they were offered a payout in excess of 2 million for an exclusive on their relationship, but declined. Instead, the public confirmation of their status came as a casual "yeah, it's been a long time" during an informal conversation with friends. And have you noticed how happy they look? Gosh, it just warms my heart. Everyone deserves to feel this kind of love. And after all that she's been through, I hope this love lasts for Lindsay, and for Sam.
There's been quite a bit of discussion among the lesbian community about whether or not it is "good" to have this kind of celebrity on "our" side, as well as speculation about her sexuality and whether or not that played a role in the drama she went through as a teenager. Well I just wish we didn't have to have "sides" in the first place. As someone who only dated guys before falling in love with a woman, I tend to eschew labels. Why should we be obligated to identify ourselves by the gender(s) to which we are attracted? Maybe Lindsay has always felt she was a lesbian, or maybe she never has. I don't think it really matters. What's important is the exposure. That the two of them, the media, and the rest of us all treat them just as we would any other celebrity couple. I think that by acknowledging their relationship in such a simple and profound way, they've helped "normalize" (I hate that word) the idea of same-sex couples in the minds of a few more people.
Here in California, we have a few short weeks remaining until our state votes on whether or not to take away the rights of same sex couples to marry. Recent polls have indicated that more and more people are leaning toward the NO vote, but there is still a significant segment that is undecided. I think as they see things like this: that two women can have a successful relationship which helps them become better people, and that their relationship is no different from any other, I think they will begin to see that this is not an attempt to "change the values of America", but rather, a fight for equal rights, and the right of everyone to love.
Whatever your thoughts on LiLo, I hope that you remember the joy of your first real love, and I hope that you join me in celebrating Lindsay and Samantha's relationship and wishing them all the best as they grow in their love.