Deena Romoff – I’d Like You to Know

“Being a lesbian is only one part of being alive.”  

Well, I make it sound very exciting, cheery, and happy, but also, I think, it can be a difficult lifestyle. I mean, I understand when I have people say to me, or have had experiences with housing, or with violence, or with family . . . And there’s all the regular things that happen. Being a lesbian is only one part of being alive, being a person, and going through grief and—all of those things. It’s kind of been the whole picture, you know.

I think when people realize that—that we’re just like anybody else—we have our sadness, our losses, our breakups, our heartaches, our mental illness, our egos, our poverty, our scholarship . . . It’s a small piece. It’s about who you love, and they make this big, huge thing out of it. Why are we wasting our time on that?  Or if a woman has an abortion? All these things! I think it’s a big fucking distraction! You know, that somehow we’re not supposed to be seeing what they’re doing. We’re not supposed to be focusing on the phallocracy.

I had a bumper sticker made. I got my car totaled and fortunately I have another bumper sticker. As soon as the weather gets nice I’m putting it on. But part of me, it’s like, “Here I am!” I’m going to be 66 years old, and I have a bumper sticker that says “Down with the phallocracy.” Half the people don’t even understand. [They ask,] “What does that mean?” I think it’s my whole stuff from the ‘60s that, you know, when we’re being diverted from what the true issues are.

That they’re ripping off everything. That governments, and corporations, and greed . . . the patriarchal system, is killing us. It’s going to kill the planet. And we’re worrying about the people on welfare—that that’s what sucking up all our money? Or, we don’t have money, and these lesbians and gays, and whether a woman has an abortion—instead of the wars. How much money is used on armament? All of it has to do with money. When I worked at TASC, [1] the first time I saw a glossy 50-page catalog about prison equipment, it was like looking at the Macy’s catalog! I thought, “This is big business.”

War is big business. And if we can keep people distracted from whatever they’re doing and gloss it over in a catalog, or keep them focused on what the bad things women are doing, or these lesbians and gays and how perverted and sick they are . . . We don’t get to spend our energy where it really is necessary. That’s what they’ve done to women. They’ve done that to women about their weight, about how they look, and their wrinkles. That this life energy is sucked out of you, because we’re so concerned with this piece. This little, narrow piece, that we can’t really look at the true issues and challenge these sick, sick, sick people. There’s this whole thing people say: “We have to heal the earth.” We don’t have to heal the earth! The earth has been here five million years, or however long it’s been here. It’ll take care of itself. We have to heal people.


[1]Treatment Alternatives to Street Crime (TASC).


Source: Interview with Laura S. Hodgman on 20 March 2013.