Andrew Sullivan Worries Lesbians are Going Extinct

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Thursday December 31, 2020

Like a good conservative, Andrew Sullivan waxed nostalgia about the good old days when lesbians ranged from "dykes on bikes" to "lipstick lesbians" to "baby dykes," and lamented today's fluid gender culture.

Writing in The Spectator, Sullivan declared, "I miss lesbians these days because so many are now becoming men," expressing his belief that trans men and lesbians are interchangeable.

"Many of the sudden hordes of youngsters seeking a testosteroned transition to maleness today would once have been teen lesbians — happy to expand the realm of femaleness to the most tomboyish of tomboys," Sullivan wrote.

"But now, under the influence of queer theory and peer pressure, the tomboy is being told that whatever obstacles she may encounter, they can be resolved through male hormones."

Sullivan went on to grouse: "That subversive, uniquely dykey, all-female space is narrowing. The social justice revolution has space for countless consonants, dozens of pronouns, but not so much leeway for women who love women and not men."

Part of his complaint, Twitter users noted in a barrage of criticism, proceeds from all-too-male centric view of women as the custodians of men's health and civility. Early in the essay, Sullivan had assigned lesbians a variety of caregiving tasks which he claimed gay men are in need of:

"They check our sometimes tenuous grasp of reality, they roll their eyes at our hedonism, they show us how marriages can last, and take care of us when we get sick."

One Twitter user dismissed Sullivan as a "weird misogynist" and mocked his evident reliance on rigid gender stereotypes, posting, "I have like 2 lesbians in my life and I expect them to be my straight-laced comic foil that nurses my boo boos like a mother".

A followup post added: "Ah I miss the lesbians before they all transitioned to be trans men."

Posted another: "I simply cannot imagine why all the lesbians have vanished from Andrew Sullivan's life, can you?"

The prolific Sullivan also wrote an op-ed in the New York Times on December 24 in which he offered his defense and necessity for conservative views in contemporary culture. "The survival of a moderate conservatism, a conservatism that accepts and is comfortable with modernity and liberal democracy, is indispensable to the stability of our polity as a whole," he writes. "Moderate conservatism is a vital counterbalance to liberalism, as the Trump years have shown."

Below, see some of the Twitter responses to Sullivan's comments.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.