I'm halfway through The Talented Miss Highsmith: The Secret Life and Serious Art of Patricia Highsmith by Joan Schenkar – a disturbing read.
For the record, I'm a big fan of Pat's psychological thrillers, but her personal life was the ultimate psychological thriller.
In one disturbing passage, for example, Pat picks a fight with some "late girl callers" and comes off second best with a chest so thoroughly bruised she needs an X-ray.
Sadly, Highsmith seemed to be attracted to toxic relationships. Indeed, many of her lesbian relationships looked like ready-to-go explosives.
But what's changed in 2014?
To be clear, in America's polite upper-middleclass circles, gay domestic violence is the hatred that dare not speak its name. Ditto "progressive" Australia.
For the media class, at least, would prefer to talk about white picket fences, rainbow flags and same-sex wedding cakes.
The message: Think pretty things.
Still, even MSNBC can't wish away ugliness. As one underreported UCLA study found:
Although reported incidences of intimate partner violence, or IPV, are widespread, especially among women and certain ethnic groups, reported IPV was surprisingly high among lesbians, gays and bisexuals in California, who are almost twice as likely to experience violence as heterosexual adults, researchers said.
Specifically, 27.9 percent of all lesbian or gay adults reported experiencing IPV in their adult lives. The rate of reported IPV is even higher among bisexual adults, at 40.6 percent. In contrast, only 16.7 percent of heterosexual adults reported incidences of IPV.
Yes, even in "progressive" California.
The toxicity of violent GLBT relationships can't be ignored. As the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey also found, bisexual women are far more likely to be victimized through stalking than their heterosexual sisters too – more than double the rate, in fact.
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