Lindsay, Sam and My Gay Happily Ever After

First, the gossip, in case you haven’t already heard. It’s official; Lindsay Lohan has come out about her relationship with girlfriend Samantha Ronson!

First, there’s Exhibit A, an interview in the upcoming October issue of Marie Claire, in which La Lohan talks frankly about Ronson and rehab. And more significantly, there’s Exhibit B, the recent interview on the radio show “Loveline.” (It’s on YouTube if you want to listen.) Sam called in to talk about the plane crash involving friends DJ-AM and Travis Barker. The host, Stryker, who referred to Linsday as Sam’s “ladyfriend,” also had an opportunity to speak with Linsay, who jumped on the call after Sam.

Stryker asked Lindsay how long she and Sam have been dating, and Lindsay responded “a very long time.” After congratulating her, Stryker went on to say, “I hope you guys stay together. You’re a very lovely looking couple.” Lindsay’s retort? A ladylike “thank you very much.”

“I hope you guys stay together”–????

Stryker seems like a good guy and I think his interview was, overall, very gay positive, but I just have to register my dismay at this one particular comment, which subtly implies that they might break up or could break up–otherwise, why would he say “I hope you guys stay together?” Maybe he would have said this to a straight celebrity couple, but I doubt it. I think we all know that Sam and Lindsay *have* indeed been together for quite some time, which makes the comment that much more puzzling.

It might seem like I’m being hypercritical here, especially when Stryker so clearly intended to be supportive to Lindsay and Sam. But his comment, however well-meaning, does reflect cultural stereotypes about how gay/lesbian/queer relationships are often viewed as inevitably short-term. Those promiscuous gays and their “alternative lifestyles!” It’s not easy for LGBTQ people to settle down and lively happily ever like our straight friends (not thay they do, but that’s another issue!). Actually, one of the great things about the media coverage of Ellen Degenerous and Portia de Rossi’s wedding is that it seemed refreshingly free of such insinuations/stereotypes.

This is an issue that I’m somewhat sensitive about, I admit. Over the years, I’ve seen the jaws of straights and queers alike drop when I tell them how long I’ve been with my partner. I remember one progressive straight friend actually marveling at the fact that my relationship has lasted longer than *any* of his marriages!!

There is such a thing as a gay happily after. I’m lucky enough to be living it.

A lesbian looks like…Lindsay Lohan?

Is she or isn’t she?  That’s what The Advocate and everyone else is asking about Lindsay Lohan.  “Celeb mags are all agog,” Nicholas Fonseca writes in the Sept 9 issue.  “Lindsay is either lesbian, bisexual, or just another straight girl engaged in an elaborate–albeit genuis–publicity stunt.  But, really, what difference does it make?”

Genuis?  Really? Even Fonseca himself doesn’t really believe this, judging from his own comments on the restrained (even ho-hum) reaction of most major media to Lohan’s very public relationship with DJ Samantha Ronson.   The world-weary tone of the article belies its investment in categorizing Lindsay and, even more, pathologizing her for refusing to confirm or deny that she and Sam are lovers.  On its cover, The Advocate disses Lohan with the teaser “Lindsay Lohan’s Identity Crisis.”  So much for the fluidity of sexuality.

Personally, I live my life by coming out promiscuously, so–despite the limitations of identity politics–I think coming out does make a difference. But the point I want to emphasize is what the buzz about Lohan tells us about the invisibility of queer femininity, and how we use stereotypes to decide what a lesbian looks like.  Tabloids write about “Lohan and her lesbian lover,” implying that the two are lovers but there’s only one “real” lesbian in the relationship and we know it’s Sam.

The article in The Advocate is a case in point.  It offers a plethora of evidence that there’s a romance between Lohan and Ronson, but then concludes by asking breathlessly, “could it be that Lindsay Lohan is a lesbian?”  Meaning, could this beautiful 22-year-old woman–who is considered by many to be one of the sexiest women in the world–actually be queer?!

Yes, as a matter of fact, it could be.