What is the lesbian masterdoc?
Let’s start at the beginning. The ‘lesbian masterdoc’ as it’s known online is a document titled Am I A Lesbian? that aims to help women questioning their sexuality better understand how they’re feeling. The document covers everything from compulsory heterosexuality (we’ll explain this in a second), to having crushes on other women, and understanding why you might like guys on TV but not IRL.
It’s written in a totally supportive and non-judgemental way and is designed to give you some of the tools to figure out how you identify and if you may, as the title suggests, be a lesbian. Of course, not everyone who reads comes out as a lesbian, but it can be super helpful if you’re not sure how you feel when it comes to your sexuality.
Where can I read the lesbian masterdoc?
What does the lesbian masterdoc cover?
Just about everything when it comes to being a woman who loves other women. The document is split into eight sections that cover things like “How do I know if I’m a lesbian?”, “Conflicting feelings about men” and “Signs of compulsory heterosexuality”. There’s also a summary section at the end if you’re not in the mood to read all 31 pages of the document at once, called “You might be a lesbian if TL;DR”.
Like the name suggests, the whole document is focused on understanding if you may be a lesbian and how you feel about being attracted to women (and men). For girls questioning their sexual identity, it will help answer some of the big questions you may have about your identity.
What is compulsory heterosexuality?
This phrase gets tossed around a lot on TikTok and it’s a big section in the masterdoc, so we’ll let the doc do the talking on this one. It describes compulsory heterosexuality as follows:
“Compulsory” is the opposite of “optional”. “Compulsory heterosexuality” is exactly what it sounds like - being straight is something our culture tries to force on us. It affects people of every gender, but it’s mostly been studied as something that affects women.
Compulsory heterosexuality is very similar to heteronormativity – the assumption that straight is the default. We’re trained from birth to believe that we will find someone of the other binary gender, fall in love, have sex, etc. In a million tiny ways we’re taught that only relationships with the other binary gender are valid.
Basically, compulsory heterosexuality is why a lot of women think they’re straight for a long time before realising they actually identify as a lesbian, queer, or a whole host of other ways.
Can only lesbians read the lesbian masterdoc?
Definitely not! While it document is geared towards women who think they may identify as lesbians, it’s also a great tool for bisexual or other queer girls who want to better understand their attraction to women. It can also be good reading for LGBTQ+ allies who are interested in the topic.
Remember, reading the document doesn’t automatically make you a lesbian (not that it’s a bad thing to be), nor does identifying with the ideas and experiences in it. It’s not test that will decide if you’re a lesbian or not, it’s more of a tool kit to help you decide how you feel.
Where did the lesbian masterdoc come from?
The doc actually started out on Tumblr, where it was shared anonymously before author Angeli Luz shared it under her real name online. She wanted to break down some of the common social idea and experiences that make girls think they must be attracted to guys.
"I realized I loved women when I was a teenager, but I never quite knew if my attraction for men was real or a social construct,” she told Vice. “I started researching compulsory heterosexuality and found that many lesbians had the same experiences I did. I created the document as a tool of self-reflection for myself and others."
Is the lesbian masterdoc biphobic? Why was there backlash?
The short answers to those questions are; no, and because the internet can suck.
When the document started getting popular on TikTok, some creators (especially young people) called it out for being biphobic. They claimed that many of the experiences and ideas in the document didn’t resonate for bisexual women… which, duh, because it’s about lesbians!
Even though bisexual women and lesbians stand in solidarity of one another and share many experiences when it comes to female attraction, the identities are still different. As such, a document geared towards explaining the lesbian experience won’t perfectly align with the experiences of bisexual women, and that’s okay! But there’s no need to hate on the document or the author just because it doesn’t resonate with every single queer woman.
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