Cometed: Can you introduce yourself and tell us more about Genesis “How dBecoming a lesbian in ten steps?
Louise Morell : Yes sure. My name is Louise Morell, I’m 32 years old and I’ve been writing about lesbian and lesbian related topics for about two years on an Instagram account that was originally called @Jesuisgouine and I renamed it @jesuislouisemorel
The article is about the comments I developed on my Instagram account. I have found that there is a blind spot in going from homosexuality to lesbianism. Then, while working on the proofs for my version, HR (ed. Out of Reach), particularly in the explicit sex scene, my editor and I got into a discussion about straight sex and told her with a laugh, ” I’m so relieved that I’m no longer straight, “ And I suggested I make a book out of it. It was a joke and that’s how it all began.
On your Instagram account, you present this book as both a theoretical article and a practical book. Was this dual dimension the initial ambition?
This was the initial ambition. Me, I really wanted to do something practical because I found it lacking in practical standards and embodied, honest, direct testimony to the transition from homosexuality to lesbianism. We also had an ambition for it to be very accessible and to make something accessible and easy to read without having to spend hours upon hours reading it.
Why did you choose this title? Do you understand the criticism that is the subject of it?
I totally understand that the idea that we can choose and change our sexual orientation offends people. Writing a book with that title doesn’t mean that all lesbians and gays have made a choice. The mistake made is to believe that there is only one lesbian or gay experience. We are not homogeneous, we all have our background and history. I think we have to make this other history exist and also respect it. One should not cancel the other.
There is also a more theoretical question, which is, does this mean that homophobia is right? I think the defensive strategy says: “We did not choose, we are the victims of our sexual orientation”, Dangerous. This means that if we can do that.
It is far more powerful to answer that conversion therapies are a form of torture, not because they are ineffective, but above all because the idea of making homosexuals disappear is an idea based on hatred of humanity.
In your book, you refer to Monique Wittig and heterosexual relations as a political system. Can you explain this concept and why you brought it up?
I’ve talked about it in my book because it’s important to me to show how heterosexual intercourse is not a normal diet. It is something that is politically constructed. When Monique Wittig said that “Lesbians are not women” This means that the category ‘woman’ is defined in conjunction with the category ‘man’ and that these two categories refer to each other within the opposite sex. When we are no longer in a heterosexual system, when we no longer interact with men in a heterosexual situation, we are escaping from one of the main ways that the patriarchy must assign us.
Speaking about your experience, you explain that your sexual orientation has not been clear and that you have had doubts for a long time. Do you find that in lesbian representations, this kind of excursion does not exist?
Yes, I find that it lacks narrative representations and discourse in general. As women, we build as desirable things, which means we’re not always aware of our desires. In recent years, the place of skepticism has been underrepresented in most works representing lesbianism. What is lacking is to say that there is no evidence, no simplicity, at least not for everyone.
Why did you choose the term “lesbian” for your nickname? Was it a political choice?
When I launched my account called jesuisgouine, this was the abbreviation of the site I launched which was called “How did you become a dam?”. The editor was self-confident about the title and I, on the other hand, was more skeptical. I was a bit afraid that it would be scary, and that it would repel people. I’m not convinced that everyone who wasn’t directly involved feels comfortable with the title. So it was a political and editorial choice on our part.
You say you cut your hair when you became a lesbian. Does becoming a lesbian mean changing your appearance?
Appearance is a major issue and at the same time very difficult to deal with because I also don’t want to get caught up in rhetoric that might become intimidating for lesbians to look like something. I think you can become a lesbian without changing anything about your appearance. However, I think that when you change a major component of your love life, it will have repercussions. The fact that I had my hair shaved off at one time was also a way to appear in public for other lesbians. This freedom from some symbols, I tried it with great joy.
“When I take a taxi with my girlfriend and the driver is bad, we don’t know if it’s because he’s had a bad day or because he’s a homophobe”
So being a lesbian also makes you visible as a lesbian?
Becoming a lesbian is above all a social thing. Our attractions and our intimate lives are built through encounters with others and in this case through encounters with other lesbians. The vision problem has profoundly affected my lesbian journey. But today I understand better and better why some lesbians are tempted not to show up. This is because in reality, being a lesbian in a straight world is heavy and stressful. Now that you’re visible, we have to deal with it. For example, when I’m in a cab with my girlfriend and the driver is a bitch, we don’t know if it’s because he was having a bad day or because he’s a homophobe. Being visible also means dealing with the specter of homophobia.
There is one of your classes called Well Enclosed. Why, as a lesbian, is it important to form a community with other lesbians?
For me, it’s essential to surround yourself with other lesbians because we have common themes of oppression, and common hardships. There is knowledge that can only be accessed through lesbian networks. For example for paternity, it is difficult to find real information. We need the solidarity of lesbians to know which gynecologist to consult, or to go to therapy… In more ordinary matters, this also allows us to be able to share our daily lives with people who understand them without fear of being seen badly.
On your back cover we can read this quote from Virginie Despentes: “In my opinion, in twenty years, most girls are lesbians, and it’s going to happen alone, and I really think it’s”. And you, can you believe it?
Twenty years later, it seemed a little short (laughs). When I see how quickly lesbians are being pushed out of the realm of possibilities by many women. There is a kind of reaction to not thinking about the topic and getting it out of control. On the other hand, I honestly believe all women would benefit from it.
Is there no difference in terms of the possibility of becoming? How do you have an efficient future when you are in the countryside far from it all?
First of all, I think we should be wary of the miserable vision of lesbians living in the countryside. They have other social networks. Regarding the physical circumstances of becoming a lesbian, she addressed it in a text on Instagram. I guess it’s no coincidence that I became a lesbian when I had complete financial independence.
I think there is a need as a woman to cover her back and to have material living conditions that do not endanger us. There are certainly practical conditions that make it easy to become a lesbian and others that make it difficult. However, once we said it, I don’t know if we said too much.
Did you have any reactions after publishing your book?
Several people wrote to me to tell me that my book upset them, and that they had the impression that it had planted a seed. I got those returns in there and I must say I’m glad that was really the point. What I mean is that there is this possibility, there is this world which is the most beautiful and softest, and if you want it it is yours too.
You co-sign this book with the designer Sitlali SolomyakHow did this cooperation arise?
We wanted to do something that was light, fun to read and easy to access and we thought the illustrations send a good signal in that direction. It was a way to enrich the subject in an artistic way other than literature. And there, Citlali Souloumiac suggested him because I followed his work on Instagram. I thought it was important that the person involved, in this case an eccentric, work with us.
I would just like to conclude by saying that my goal is to participate in the debate about leaving heterosexual relationships. I realize that the positions that have been taken on this topic are progressing fairly quickly because it is an area in turmoil. The ambition of this book is to get people to think, to open a discussion about political lesbianism, about the possibility of lesbianism for many women. We do not claim to provide definitive answers to very complex questions. The idea is to provoke thought and discussion.