Femme problems: ‘But you don’t look like a lesbian!’

Woman with heart sunglasses, tattoos, long hair

Maybe she is, maybe she isn’t.

BY KATY RAY
Tagg Magazine

We’ve all been there before: a straight guy does a double take when he sees you holding hands with your girlfriend at the mall. A grocer accidently fumbles your tampons when you mention your unusually cantankerous wife at home. Your boss walks by your desk and sees a picture of you with your partner and asks, “Oh, is that your sister?” Each and every one of us femmes encounters these and other social situations daily; where our sexuality is not only brought into unnecessary light, but also evokes an inescapable impression of shock and surprise in the guys that comprise our lives. Let’s face it, we femmes present as lipstick-loving, tight-dress wearing women. And the straight world still hasn’t been able to conceptualize the idea that we women do, in fact, love and make love to other women.

I fear I’m starting to develop a mild case of hetero-phobia. Whenever my straight girlfriends ask me to join them for a night on the town, my anxiety flares up and a series of awkward social situations, uncomfortable conversations, and inevitably agitating encounters flash before my eyes: “But you’re too pretty to be a lesbian.” “You just haven’t found the right man yet!” “Well, if you ever need a sperm donor…”

Read more at  TaggMagazine.com

Tagg Magazine is a print and online resource for LBT women in the DC Metropolitan and Rehoboth, DE areas.

2 Responses to “Femme problems: ‘But you don’t look like a lesbian!’”

  1. FROM: Barbara A. Corday

    I get that same statement, too….. “But you don’t look ‘GAY’ “. Then I’ll usually reply… “So what do YOU think ‘GAY’ is supposed to look like”? If I’m talking to a woman who is asking that question of me, and she has really short boyish looking haircut, I’ll say to her, “But YOU don’t look ‘STRAIGHT’ to me”. That usually stops them in their tracks.
    When someone knows that I have 3 grown daughters, and 6 Grandchildren, I’ll always hear, “I’ve never heard of a ‘GAY’ Grandmother. I thought people ‘out grew’ that kind of thing.” I’ll definitely tell them, “There are MILLIONS of Gay Grandparents. And NO, being GAY is NOT something anyone ‘out grows’, anymore than YOU could ‘out grow’ being straight.”
    I’m femme looking, with long hair, and I do wear make up, and wear womens clothes. I have adult daughters, who are straight and married, and they have given me Grandchildren, IN SPITE of the fact that I’m A LESBIAN!!! It blows people’s minds. I still am AMAZED as to how TOTALLY CLUELESS the general population is about LGBT people in today’s world.
    When they say, “But you don’t look gay”, that’s because for decades the general populous’s idea of what the general sterotype of LGBT people is, is what has been portrayed in films, on TV series, and in the print media. THAT kind of sterotyping HAS TO CHANGE!!!! Somehow, there needs to be, indeed MUST be, a “campaign” to educate the general population about LGBT people. To inform America that LGBT people are EXACTLY LIKE YOU….we are a REFLECTION of what the STRAIGHT world is…which is we have jobs, pay taxes, own businesses and homes, have families, AND Grandchildren, and we DO go to Church, and we have as varied religious and political opinions as the straight world has. WE REALLY ARE NO DIFFERENT. If somehow, that kind of “re-education” of the general populous about LGBT people could occur, then, over time, you will be less likely to hear the typical questions LGBT people are asked ALL the time, now.

    Reply
  2. Lavender Poet

    My editor’s son in law was reading the galley proof of my book of lesbian poetry, love poetry. Hey, he said, these could be for us (i.e., straight guys) too. The epiphany: he likes women, I like women; he likes breasts, I like breasts; he likes long sensuous kisses, and so do I. We are siblings at heart — not “sisters”, just “siblings” lol. So I re-titled my book, and now I let straight people read it too. Is it so hard for us to get along with straight men because we are competing for the same women? mmm

    Reply

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