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GW-08 - The following appeared in "Lesbian Connection" (USA, November- December 1997). It is a response to an article called "Responding to Abuse" that appeared in an earlier "Lesbian Connection". 

About the fifteen year old and abuse: I would like to add what I think is a unique perspective. 

From 8th grade through my high school graduation, I was in a relationship with one of my coaches. I now have a 14-year-old dyke daughter who dates and is sexually active with adult women. 

While I abhor all types of child abuse perpetrated by anyone, straight or lesbian, let's not ignore some realities here. 

First, who cares if it is "breaking the law" to have sex with a minor? 
In my state it is also a crime for me to have sex with my wife. The law has no business in my bedroom, or for that matter, preventing me from marrying another woman. So let's not be too fast in supporting the law. 

Second, as teens and pre-teens, many women -- straight and lesbian -- had crushes on older women: teachers, coaches, actresses, etc. 
This is natural! And for some of us, these feelings were reciprocated by the adult women, and developed into gentle, loving relationships. 

Although my coach was closeted, she was not hesitant to have sex with me at fourteen (she was 26). We parted when I graduated from high school and left for college. I will always be grateful to her for bringing me out. 

And the so-called experts want to say that I was exploited and manipulated? Give me a break! Any power imbalance was in my favor -- my coach was always giving and loving and tender, and never demanding! Was I damaged by the relationship? Praise the goddess, no! It did nothing but affirm my love for women. 

I have always been open with my daughter about my lesbianism. While I would never try to manipulate her sexuality, I am very proud to be the lesbian mother of a lesbian daughter! 

At age nine, she started having sex with other girls with my support and approval. My daughter looks femme, yet acts very butch and is completely secure in her sexuality. Her early experiences were with girls at school, in the neighborhood, on sports teams, etc. Actually, she had a lot of them. 

Then at age twelve, she developed a crush on one of my friends. She told me about her feelings, and I replied directly and emphatically that I approved. Since that time she has mostly dated adult women. Whether we want to admit it or not, there are lots of lesbians who include teenage girls among the types of women they find appealing, sexually and otherwise. 

As teens, some lesbians had their own loving sexual encounters with adult women. It is hypocritical for them to now deny that same opportunity to contemporary teenage lesbians. To me the ones being controlling and manipulative are those who tell the teens they must not have sex with adult women. Now that is control! 

Rather than labeling them as "baby dykes" and dismissing them, we should encourage girls to come out and support them through mentoring relationships 

(and yes, even intimate relationships with adult lesbians when the feelings are mutual). 

My wife and I have dedicated ourselves to being good role models for these girls. We refuse to dismiss or minimize their sexuality, and we support their inherent right to express it, even with adult women. 

'Monica', Oklahoma City, OK.

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