“What the hell is that? She looks like a Care Bear.”
The two men stared at the ad toward the ceiling of the subway. What appeared to be a famous actress stared out from the picture, her blonde extensions fluttering in a breeze, her face molded into a look that said: “This is, like, really serious, alright?”
Her lips were pursed as if they were about to receive something very large. An artfully placed bruise dabbed at her neck. Below the bruise, a tagline along the lines of: “Love shouldn’t make you say ouch.” At the bottom of the ad was the name of a domestic violence awareness organization.
The skinny man shrugged. “Huh. At first I thought it was a lingerie ad.”
The other man, a gruff, hard-up Santa Clause type, turned his gaze to a poster showcasing two shirtless men holding hands. A slogan urging readers to get tested for HIV appeared between the two sets of shaved pectorals.
Surly Santa quickly mashed the two ads together to create a new conversation. “Domestic abuse? In a gay relationship? Are you kidding me?”
The man on the subway laughed into his comrade’s statement. “Yeah. I can just picture two queers getting into a fight. “You used up all my bronzer!” “Did not!”
“Take this you bastard!” He started wimpily slapping his friend’s chest until both of them were laughing.
“Now lesbian domestic violence,” said Santa. “That I’d pay to see.”
“Mmm. That’s hot.”
I stayed on the subway for three more stops, listening as their conversation shifted from “queer on queer violence” to why the government should pay for all women to get boob jobs. Sandwiched between a hobo talking to his index finger and a vigorously texting coed, my mind lingered on the concept of domestic violence in the homosexual community. It certainly wasn’t something they were going to make a Lifetime movie about—Valerie Bertinelli had that genre covered.
Although the prevalence of domestic violence among gay and lesbian couples is as common as it is in hetero relationships, it’s a rarely discussed topic.
The difference? Victims of domestic violence in a GLBT relationship receive far fewer protections than their straight counterparts. Faced with a system reluctant to acknowledge same-sex partner abuse, many gay and lesbian domestic violence victims report being afraid of revealing their sexual orientation.
Not long ago my brother and I watched an episode of Rescue Me that vividly brought the subject to light. A female character was brutalized by her girlfriend in what would hardly be considered a titillating catfight.
A friend once confessed that a guy he dated had a nasty temper and was starting to get physically abusive. I urged him to leave the relationship, but he was resistant.
“What if he freaks out and really gets psycho?” he asked.
“Then the next step is the police.”
My friend looked terrified. “Are you kidding? I could never go to the police. What would I even say? That I’m a gay man getting beaten up by a guy that wears glitter? They’d laugh their asses off!”
Luckily, the situation resolved itself the next day when his boyfriend unceremoniously decided he was moving out and running off to New York.
It’s a topic that will continue to draw snickers from those who think of abuse as something that happens between a thuggish wifebeater-clad guy and a petite girl, but too many gays and lesbians know—and are quiet—about the way abuse transcends sexuality.
So remember that whether the fist that strikes you has hairy knuckles, glitter, or nail polish, it’s all the same.
And if you’re a bigot tempted to spout off on a crowded subway? Keep your views on hot lesbian domestic violence to yourself. Your Confederate flag T-shirt speaks for itself.
Courtney Bee's articles on sex and relationships have appeared in Hustler, Playgirl, and numerous adult books. On ellorascave.com she's the bestselling author of Athima, an erotic novella, and a contributor to the new X-rated anthology Flavors of Ecstasy III. She's also a top-ranked sex columnist on examiner.com, where she betrays her prim Catholic upbringing on a daily basis.