Friday, October 10, 2014

"Momma Says" by guest blogger Hunter Nhlapo

Lovelies!! Finally it's here, the first guest writer on New Lesbian!

This powerful and thoughtful piece is by Hunter Nhlapo, who writes at and is on Twitter at @h_nhlapo. Read more about  her in her bio at the end of this post. 




My mom said something to me yesterday. This was in light of a topic that had suddenly illuminated my twitter timeline and initially broken my heart. You see unawares to myself, another black lesbian had been murdered in South Africa and I knew nothing about it. I, who had made it a habit to keep abreast of all things lesbian, light or heavy, celebratory or painful that occurred in this country in the small hope that my immersion into the culture would somehow help me in my transition. I was never ready for the embarrassment I felt from my lack of knowledge that yet another Lioness had fallen. Too caught up in my life of heavy rain and small fires . I'm ashamed that it took a trending topic to lure me back into my world and give me a wet slap of a wake up call. I'm ashamed still that I haven't gone to my usual sources to find out what actually occurred to snuff out the life of a woman who chose to live real and unfortunately died young. I am ashamed but thankful that the #homophobia hashtag started by Sly found me.

My mom has only experienced me as a lesbian for 4 months. Yes, prior to that my girlfriend and I had been visiting her monthly over weekends and even then, I suspect that for her it was merely a my-daughter-has-a-friend-over situation. I'm not saying that I hadn't come out to my mother, no. She knew that I had fallen in love and subsequently moved in with a woman almost two years ago. My visits to her with my girlfriend were not under false pretence. It was important to me that I showed my mom that I loved my girlfriend and that we were in a normal relationship. It was important to me that we remained authentic in relation to each other because if my mom was going to acclimatise herself to something, it would need to be the purest truth. But she still didn't see it that way, until I moved back home and was gay. The devil is in the detail I often hear and boy did satan make his rounds. A necessary evil that I am grateful for though because today my mother can say that she loves and accepts me for who I am, as is.

What she is struggling with is the having to deal with having a lesbian daughter on HER level. She says "I go to church to heal. Church makes me happy. Just the other day I asked the congregation to pray for me, and they did, although I did not tell them why". Apparently, although she has reached the point of being able to accept my being gay on my level, she has feelings of resentment and sadness with having to deal with it on her level. Her face is that of a woman who deeply loves but is strongly resentful when she tells me of being an outcast in groups that she so seamlessly fit into before. Her friends, family and peers have begun to show signs of change in their treatment of her whether it be subtle or outlandish. Her exhaustion she says comes from guarding her back and being defensive. "I am always thinking of comebacks, readying myself emotionally and mentally for hurled words. This is no way to live. Why is your lesbianism my problem? How do I feature into it?"

I've stopped myself from trying to  advise her on how to deal with it. I've wanted so many times to tell her that her peers will largely learn from her how to treat her with regards to this. Empty words really because I'm still having issues with walking hand in hand with my girlfriend at a mall without soft utterances or blatant stares. And me throwing mini tantrums over it. Sandton...Vaal Mall, anywhere. I guess it becomes better when I start not to care. I'm hoping the same lesson is revealing itself to my mom.

In the meantime, I'm grateful that my mother does not judge me for being who I am, even though it makes her life difficult.


Being a mom is tough.


Hi! I’m Hunter Nhlapo. I’m a singing entrepreneur from Johannesburg, South Africa.  I am also writing my first novel. I like to blog about my life experiences in first person and other people’s experiences from my own point of view.  My readers like to read about my encounters as a new lesbian, my struggles as a 30 year old starting over and articles from blogs I visit that Ifind interesting. I generally have a lot to say about everything. I think, I write.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Call for guest bloggers!

Hello lovelies!

I have some grand plans to actually finish my book this year, and while I do that (I'm really gonna) I would love to have some guest bloggers here on New Lesbian to keep things moving!

Do you have something to say about sexuality, being gay/queer, your experience of realizing that you were gay/queer, the coming out process, a dating tale, or any other experience you've had that you think it would be helpful for others to read about? Of course you do! 

Send me either your full piece or the first few paragraphs so I can get a feel for your writing, to with "Guest Blogger" and your topic in the subject line. If your piece seems like a good fit for New Lesbian, I'll be in touch! 

Fyi, any guest bloggers will obviously get promo for their own blogs/projects in their post, and some tweets too!

Can't wait to read and share your stories.


Monday, September 1, 2014

Lesbian Hodgepodge (Episode 6 of the podcast!)

Hello lovelies! Episode 6 of the New Lesbian Podcast is here!

In this episode, Elle and I discuss some femme lesbian couples we are LOVING right now (specifically, Samira Wiley and Lauren Morelli from OITNB), and how seeing femme lesbians in the media matters. We answer some listener questions sent in from, including how to prepare for moving in with your girlfriend, then it's a new segment, Peeves and Props, and everyone’s favorite, Who Would You Do: Grey’s Anatomy edition!

Episode Links:
Samira Wiley on Instagram
Lauren Morelli on Instagram
Samira and Lauren at the Emmys
Lauren Morelli’s open letter
Angel Haze Article
Props of the Week: Blue Stockings Boutique | @BlueStockingsBo
Peeve of the Week: “Faux Lesbian” Weddings? What do you think?
Who Would You Do suggestions? Put ‘em in the comments!

Forever Links:
Send us your thoughts and questions on!
Stitcher Radio app
New Lesbian blog
Advertise with us! (

Social Medias:
Twitter:  @edie_wyatt  |  @new_elle
New Lesbian on Facebook
Follow New Lesbian on Tumblr
Edie on Instagram

Help us buy a real microphone!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

On Queerness (Podcast Episode 5)

Hi lovelies!

I wanted to share the most recent episode of the New Lesbian Podcast with you, called "Can I Be Queer Here." I'm really proud of it.  Elle and I talk about what being "queer" actually means.  There's a lot of misinformation that gets spread far and wide about what it means if someone identifies as queer, and we were inspired to do this episode after seeing up close and personal some of that misinformation being spread to thousands of people on twitter, and then being defended as truth.  It was really upsetting and disappointing to see, so we thought we would try to do something about it.

Please share this episode on your twitter and facebook--we all have to help educate people. Ignorance is the basis for so much of the discrimination in the world--fight back! (And now I'll get off my soap box.)

So, here is Episode 5 of the New Lesbian podcast. You can also listen on iTunes, SoundCloud, or any other podcast app!


Edie’s Facebook friend:
Derek Jarman (British Gay Rights Activist)
The Mighty Ducks Movie
Aaron Schwartz grew up nice
Emilio Estevez looked great in 1985
Send us your questions and tell us what you think on!
Stitcher Radio app (please rate us if you like the show!)

Social Medias:
Twitter:  @edie_wyatt  |  @new_elle
New Lesbian on Facebook
Follow New Lesbian on Tumblr
Edie on Instagram

Friday, August 15, 2014

New Lesbian: The Podcast Episode 4!

Hello lovelies!
New Lesbian: The Podcast Episode 4 is here! (It's actually been here for awhile, but I never got a chance to do a post about it, oops). Listen in the player below, or on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud, or whatever podcast app thingy you like! Show notes are below--this was a good one!


In this episode we talk about Elle meeting ALL of Edie’s family on a visit to the South, during which Edie dissociated slightly, and why you shouldn’t start a detox when you’re introducing your girlfriend to your family. We also answer a listener question about what to do when you’re feeling scared about dating. Then it’s Who Would You Do: Orphan Black edition! (Watch that show, guys, it’s excellent.)

New Lesbian Blog post about Edie’s experiences at her parents’ house


Orphan Black (You can watch all of Season 1 free with Amazon Prime if you have it!)

Edie’s piece on bankruptcy

Send us your questions on!

Social Medias:

@edie_wyatt     @new_elle

New Lesbian on Facebook

Follow New Lesbian on Tumblr

Edie on Instagram

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


Hi lovelies,

As some of you who follow me on twitter might already know, I had a piece published on last week, which revealed that I filed for bankruptcy last year, and continue to have a hard time making ends meet financially. I've been trying to write that piece for a long time, almost a year, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it, to admit that things were really that bad. But they were.

The xoJane article
In some ways, they still are. 

I'll be digging myself out of the hole I ended up in for many more years, and things will continue to be very tight for me for a long time.

That part of my story isn't unique, of course. So many of us are struggling every single day to make ends meet. The point I was really trying to make with the xoJane piece (which I think got lost in translation for some people, if the comments section is any indication) is that I couldn't reconcile the fact that I had just graduated with a doctoral degree, and had (by then) a decent job, but also couldn't afford to eat because of all the debt I had wracked up in the 2 years after my divorce, when I was living for a time on part-time work, and still in school.

It didn't add up, didn't seem right, and it was really hard for me to take a long hard look at how that had happened.  It was (and still is) almost impossible for me to tolerate telling my peers and friends the truth about my situation. It remains extremely embarrassing and shameful for me, but I also wanted to start telling more of the truth about my life, as I promised a few posts ago.

The point of the xoJane piece was really intended to be more about that part, that I feel ashamed and hide a lot of my current life from my friends because money and money problems aren't talked about, and how I feel that I especially can't talk about that because on paper my life should be pretty sweet. That's what the piece was supposed to be about.

But there a lot of things I left out of the xoJane piece, in terms of the things I wish I had done differently:

  • I wish I had not listened to my husband when he said that I should stop working while in school. This was his idea, when we moved in together, before we were even engaged. I should not have stopped working.  It was just a retail job, and I hated it, but I should have kept it.
  • I wish that I had started saving from that time as well.  I should have kept working and been saving, always. As I wrote in the piece, I think I felt that if I had kept a separate savings account while I was with my husband I would have been expecting the worst, expecting the end, saving to protect myself "in case my man left me." I see now (and as many commented on the piece) that I should have been saving in case of ANY unforeseen situation, like, for example, me realizing my husband was an asshole and, oh, also that I am gay.
  • Once I finally had a decent, paying job, I should have stopped using the credit cards. Had I done that, so much stress would have been avoided. To stop using them, of course, would have meant living more meagerly, and that's what I should have done. But I was foolish, and not thinking ahead, and was consumed with keeping up with the Joneses, and had been privileged enough my whole life to not really understand how much I could live without. I only really started to figure that out in the past year, what I really need and what I don't. It's been quite a wake up call.
  • I should have remembered that my student loan payments WOULD START. I was in denial about the reality of that inevitable burden.  I was in school for so long that it just kept seeming like something that I wouldn't have to deal with until "later." When later actually came, I was totally, utterly screwed. The little bit of planning I had been doing, the budget I was living by, did not include paying back 125K in student loans. Whoops.
  • I should have sought out financial planning help, since none was ever provided in all of my 30 years. Some people in the comments of the xoJane article said that at 30 I just "should have known" how to deal with my money. I agree with that, in part. Some things are common sense, aren't they? But part of my issue, privileged as it is, is that I had never been on my own before. I went from my parents' house, to college, to living with my boyfriend. When I think about that now I can't help but shake my head. What a child I was, you know? I didn't realize it at the time, but I had not ever been truly independent until I was 29 years old. I didn't know how to do it, clearly, and so I made a mess of things. So I stand by saying that I wish someone had told me how to plan and save my money. I don't think that most of us get those lessons from anywhere, particularly if you're in the academic world.  Money is JUST NOT TALKED ABOUT. I can't emphasize that enough. Add to that the fact that I was sold the fantasy that my expensive degree would guarantee me easy access to a great, high-paying job and I was sunk before I even began.
I'm curious what you think about all of this. I know what the xoJane crowd thinks, but what of you lovelies? Be honest, I promise I can take it!


Friday, July 25, 2014

Moving in

Elle and I are moving in together in two months.

This is a HUGE step, both for me, and for our relationship.  When I left my marriage, my life before, one of the things that was most important to me, as clich├ęd as it may sound, was finally having a room of my own. I craved, NEEDED, a space that was just mine, where I didn't have to answer to anyone, could be who I wanted, do what I wanted, without feeling the ever-present, strong pull I've felt my whole life to govern my actions based on the needs and opinions and expectations of everyone around me.

I needed to be alone.

And that "alone" time, these past few years, has changed me. For the better. I've started to be much more honest with myself about what I like and don't like, how I want to live and how I don't, what's okay in my daily life and what's not.  I don't think I would have been able to really figure any of that out if I hadn't, finally, had my own space.  I know what I like to do on a weekend night, I know how many dishes I can stand to pile up in the sink before I lose it (which is every dish I own, if you’re curious), I know that I can't STAND paper everywhere, but am also at a loss for what to do with it and can't really throw any of it away.  I know that I like binge watching ABC Family sitcoms by myself. I know that I don't like too much noise after 10 pm, and that I like quiet mornings with the occasional morning radio show thrown in.  I know that I can keep a fairly tidy house even if I'm the only one who'll see it. I know that I don't really like having people in my space, that my home feels like my refuge from the noisy, loud, demanding world. I know that dog hair drives me crazy, and that I hate vacuuming with a fiery passion. I now know that I need quiet hours to think about the future, and plan, and write things out. I know that I actually really enjoy spending time alone, with my thoughts, and that that's okay.

Elle and I have been together for more than 2 years.  She began talking about living together at least a year ago, maybe earlier, and I just--I couldn't do it. I knew I wasn't ready, and it really had very little to do with her. Some of it did have to do with her, sure--we have very different thresholds for what kinds of messes we can tolerate, and the ways that she's messy irritate me and the ways that she's neat I don't even care about, and vice versa. So there were (are) concerns there, of course. But the real issue was that I wasn't ready to share my space again yet. I felt that I still didn't know myself enough yet, wasn't fortified enough yet to know who I am enough to be able to stay that person in the face of another's energy and constant influence, to stay that person in the face of my own extremely powerful urge to placate others and repress my own needs (thanks, childhood!).  I needed to make sure I could stay me once I lived with her.

I was scared I would lose myself again.  This fear has almost nothing to do with Elle.  It is my fear, the result of my past, my trauma, my marriage.

One of the main reasons I left my relationship with my ex-husband was because I had lost myself.  The person that I am had shriveled up and gone hiding deep inside.  It had felt like my only means of survival. 

Over the course of 10 years, my husband broke me down. The invalidation, the lack of friendship, the lack of respect, the raging narcissism-they all resulted in me giving up the fight. It was easier to just retreat.  After so much work, so much energy, so much crying and begging and trying to be seen and heard, I just stopped. I was gone.  And that is really why I left him. Sure, I wanted to sleep with women, too, but I had to leave regardless. He was breaking me and didn't even realize it, though I had tried so hard to tell him. He was breaking me, and claiming he loved me, but clearly not enough to try to see how he was closing me down and causing me pain.

And that was my last experience of living with someone. In my mind the sharing of space opens the door to being obliterated. Living together opens you up to the vulnerability of letting someone in enough that they can destroy you without you, or them, even realizing it's happening until it's too late.

It terrifies me.

And so I've lived alone for three years. I've built myself back up. I know who I am again.  I know how I deserve to be treated, and how I will never tolerate being treated again. And about 6 months ago I started to really feel, for the first time in so long, safe enough to be in that vulnerable place of sharing my home. I felt ready. I'm back.

And scared. But excited, too. I love Elle. I know that she is not my ex-husband, and I am not the person I was back then.  We have a solid, honest, loving, fun, good relationship and I believe that I can trust her to at least try to treat me gently.  That's all I can ask for. And this time I know that I will ask, and won't forget that that's what I deserve.