How often have you taken one look at someone and made assumptions about what kind of personality they have, what they do for a living or who they sleep with that?
The who I sleep with assumption happens to me a lot because…shock of all horrors…I’m a feminine looking lesbian (femme) and this seems to confuse the hell out of people.
Not all lesbians have short hair, hate make up and dress in masculine clothes. We come in all shapes and sizes and from all walks of life! You do know that it’s possible to have short hair, wear feminine clothes and love sleeping with women all at the same time, right? One doesn’t negate the other! Well if you don’t, you clearly need to get out more.
I don’t fit this stereotypical butch picture that a lot of people have in their head, if you’ve seen my blog you’ll know about my love of make up, shoes and a sexy dress, but when I tell people this they look at me like I’ve ten heads.
‘But you don’t look like a dyke’, is a pretty common response for me to get. Well no I don’t…if you’re using the word dyke to describe a masculine woman.
‘So you’re a lipstick lesbian’, said in a condescending manner and followed by a stifled giggle, is another favourite reply. Why the condescension and laughter? Do you not believe in lipstick lesbian’s or something? Are you now picturing porn in your head?
I may not be a particular fan of the phrase lipstick lesbian, it brings up too many connotations of male sexual fantasies and porn for my liking, but if I take it solely as a definition of a feminine looking lesbian, who in particular is attracted to other femmes, then yes I am indeed a lipstick lesbian.
‘You know you could have any man you want, right?’, unsurprisingly this is normally said by men and usually in the confines of a pub or club. Is it a compliment? Is it a chat up line? Whatever it is, it can be pretty bloody annoying!
We live in a society where, like it or not, men get some of their views on lesbianism from the porn industry. Girl on girl is hot, so some men (and yes I do stress the some there) may well want to get in on the action outside the fantasy world.
I remember being introduced to a female friend of a friend at a party a few years back…we were chatting away, like you do, when someone mentioned me being gay. Her reaction…to tell me that she never thought she’d have anything in common with a lesbian but that I wasn’t like a real lesbian which she liked. What? Anything in common…we’re both women for a start, so there’s already that…did she expect gay people to have come from another planet?
No, apparently she just expected me to be a man hating yet manly looking woman who only wanted to talk about DIY and sport (her words, not mine). Seriously? I’ll repeat, not all lesbians are the same and who says butch lesbians are all DIY and sports fans anyway?
Who knows what people are really like? You don’t, unless you get to know the person, which is exactly the point I’m trying to make!
Then comes the reaction from the LGBTQ community itself, which at times, can be equally as baffling.
I’ve been in gay bar/clubs and had people think that I was only tagging along with my gay, male, friends and that I was straight. Yes, you heard me right, even in gay bars I’ve had to go through the but you don’t look gay crap.
It doesn’t happen too often but when it does it’s even harder to understand than when it happens in another environment. I’m in a gay bar, I’m flirting with you…or at least trying to…why would you not get that I’m gay?
Okay, okay…it’s entirely possibly that I’m crap at flirting…but I don’t think that’s really the point right now.
The point I’m trying to make is that we shouldn’t judge people’s sexuality by how they look. And to anyone who thinks I’m reading too much into this, I point you in the direction of Emma Watson. The actress recently revealed that journalists seriously asked if her if she was coming out as a lesbian after she got her hair cut short last year.
A follow up post, of sorts – Coming Out