Take Back the Night

by Ann Bogle

I took a “what kind of lesbian are you?” quiz on Facebook, and I learned that I am a femme lesbian. There were only women to choose among in the quiz and one guy who held zero interest for me. So, now that I know this, I'll need to learn how to pick out a woman in a bar. I am a novice at it. A woman who is, say, a culinary arts champion or an heiress devoted to literature such as Annie Winifred Ellerman a.k.a. Bryher or Peggy Guggenheim might be able to turn me on, turn me out, turn me around. Typically, real lesbians apply a battery of tests to see who has paid dues and who has not. It is in some places a cult that cannot be exited without social consequence to oneself. So, to make this a little easier, how does a writer pick out a man in a bar? She starts any kind of conversation, or a man starts one with her. The interjection of “writer” does not create a downer first impression, but it gets thick a bit later—even though she is less than political in her writing—because men start to near the N.S.A. after they meet her.