Lesbian author Jeanette Winterson has attacked the ‘negative’ use of the word lesbian in newspapers.
Writing on her blog, the Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit author complained that tabloids tended to emphasise the sexual orientation of gay or lesbian criminals.
She wrote: “I would feel better if the tabloids. . . weren’t so anti-gay in their general outlook and if they would stop using ‘lesbian’ as a negative adjective.
“I am thinking of getting the press council onto this because I have been collecting headlines from the tabloids and overwhelmingly, ‘lesbian’ (their favourite) or ‘gay’ is used negatively, as though once the sexuality is identified, the rest of the horror story (benefit fraud, underage sex, battering etcetera) naturally follows.”
She added: “There are some rotten no-good lesbians and some rotten no-good gay men, but there are rotten no-good heterosexuals too, and we don’t use sexuality as the explanation of whatever it is they have done.”
Winterson is in a new relationship with psychotherapist Susie Orbach.
She commented: “I am in love. And I don’t care who knows it. The tricky bit is watching it turn into a girl-on-girl drama in the press. . . I want to live in a world where the gender of your lover is the least interesting thing about them.”
The author has just released a modernised version of the nativity story.
The Lion, the Unicorn and Me is told from the point of view of a donkey who wins a tie-breaker question to carry Mary to Bethlehem.