Tag Archives: Lesbian Stereotypes

My Identity Is Not Up for Debate

During the portion of my life that I’ve been out of the closet, I’ve heard a lot of different things. I’ve had women I was interested in who decided – from information they’d inferred on their own – that I wasn’t as gay as I should be.

I’ve had other crushes who decided – again, based on assumptions – that I was too gay for them. It’s almost funny, when I think about the irony, but from my perspective, I am exactly gay enough. I might not fall into your narrow definitions, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not who I say I am.

Realistically, though, the most important thing is to identify in a way that feels comfortable to you – even if that means choosing not to identify.

In many ways, I choose to opt-out of identities, but that doesn’t mean that the ones I do opt into are any less real, just because I’m not 100% “in.”


You have your experiences, and I have mine.

Someone once told me that the only people who will ever really know what happened are the people who were involved. That might just be the most insightful thing I’ve ever heard (especially from the mouth of someone who eats hot dogs in yogurt… gross). Even in situations where the person defining your experience was there, though, it’s important to realize that no two people are going to react to the same experience in the same way. Our experiences are a complicated mix of physical, emotional, and inferred events – and just because someone infers something about your situation doesn’t mean that what they say is law. You are free to experience things in your own way, as am I.


Your identity is very personal.

When we think of the major identities, there are certain blanket definitions that are generally agreed to. For example, you can usually pick a stud out of a crowd – but what if she’s really just a tomboy (and straight)? The definitions we usually go by aren’t universal, and most people just pick the one that’s “closest” to the way they feel about themselves. If there was really a different term for every individual identity, we’d literally all go by our full names, all the time. (And, even then, statistically speaking there’s probably someone else with the same name who is nothing like you.)


Most people hold multiple identities.

For example, I am a writer, a sister, a daughter, a partner, an anxiety-manager, a survivor, a meditator, a pet owner, a lesbian… I am so many things, but most of these don’t come up in daily conversation. We pick a few pieces of our identity that we feel best represent us – “I am a lesbian writer”. Does that mean I only write about lesbians? Absolutely not! Most of my work falls into drastically different subjects (I’m writing about jewelry after I finish here today, and tomorrow I’ll be working on a fantasy novel). I get to decide which of my identities are important, and I get to decide which ones are public knowledge. You don’t get to apply a label to me without my consent.


Identities are complicated (and optional).

Since none of these identities is automatically more important than others, I get to define which ones I opt into. I don’t consider myself non-binary, even though I fall outside the traditional gender binary. I don’t consider myself a blogger, even though the large majority of my writing appears on the internet. I never considered myself a raver, even though I spent several years of my life going to a party every weekend. Only you get to decide which identities you “opt-into.”


We don’t always hang onto our identities, but that doesn’t mean it was “just a phase.”

People are constantly growing, changing, and developing. In fact, if we were ever to stop any of that, we’d die. Literally. Personally, I am proud of every change I have ever gone through, because they helped me become the person I am today – and, all minor insecurities aside, I like the person I am. I’ve learned, I’ve adapted, and I’ve gone through experiences that have changed me. But those experiences don’t define me. I define me.


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10 Things Lesbians Are Tired Of Hearing (Video)

A new video from The Social Renaissance Project, is shining a spotlight on some of the cliché (and oftentimes offensive) questions and comments we – as queer women – get asked all the time.

Talking to The Huffington Post, the project’s Director, Joshua Walker, explained the meaning behind the project;

I want people to take away the fact that you can’t just say things without thinking and without understanding that your words have power; in good ways and bad ways. Assuming that someone automatically fits into a stereotype simply because of what they identify with is doing a disservice to you and to that person. We also want people to understand and come to appreciate the diversity within the LGBT community. We really want people to watch this and think, wow, I really hope I don’t say things like this to the lesbians in my life.”

Check out the video above to hear more.

What’s The Right Way To Be Gay?

I was the face of my college’s LGBT Center.

As the student staff member, I organized pride parties, movie screenings and discussion groups. The same crowd came to every event: feminine lesbians with long blonde hair and quirky t-shirts, gay men so attractive they looked could model for GQ, a few girls who looked like Ellen Page, and the occasional grad student who hogged the cheese plate. I knew everyone by face and name.

But one night, the crowd changed. When I showed up to Trans Day of Remembrance, I didn’t recognize anyone there.

The usual Abercrombie-like crowd had been replaced by queer people who never came to the LGBT Center. A girl in a wheelchair sat near the front. A few transgender students chatted with a staff member. Genderqueer students flashed their painted nails and smoothed out their dresses. A stud ran a hand over her shaved head. Most but not all of the students were people of color, and a mixture of English and Spanish and Chinese filled the air.

I approached a butch woman who was eyeing the cheese plate, and I said, “I’ve never seen you here before.”

“I’ve never come before.”

“Why not?”

“It’s too…”

She waved her hand around the room without saying anything. The walls were covered with framed photographs of the Center’s usual clientele, those grinning, cisgender, affluent students who differed so drastically from the crowd that was gathered. Trans Day of Remembrance is one of the few events dedicated to mourning victims of transphobic violence, many of whom are poor and non-white and marginalized. Every other day of the year, the Center was more dedicated to throwing L-Word Watch Parties than fighting homophobic systems of oppression on campus.

I invited her and her friends to some upcoming events, but they never came. And I, as a queer woman of color, began to question my own complicity; I’d worked at the LGBT Center all year without questioning whether we were really serving the students.

Months later, the LGBT Center finally started special discussion groups for transgender students, disabled students, asexual students and students of color. The changes were incremental, but they happened – finally, it became a safe space where all students were welcome.

It’s so easy to take safe spaces for granted if you’re able-bodied, cisgender or affluent. As an LGBT woman, you might not be welcomed into certain heterosexual spaces (and I’m not discounting that) but are you making LGBT spaces welcoming and affirming for all members of the community? Or are you accidentally making people feel unsafe? One of the most important things you can do is to check your microaggressions.


Dear transgender people, nonbinary people, people of color, disabled people, intersex people – to any lesbian who doesn’t fit the bill for what a lesbian “should” look like – to any queer woman who doesn’t look like Portia de Rossi – I’m sorry. I’m sorry for all of the safe spaces that weren’t safe for you. I’m sorry for all of the LGBT spaces you’ve been locked out of. I’m sorry when you’re afraid to enter certain spaces because you know you’ll be ostracized, patronized or expected to conform.


The beauty of being queer is that we don’t have to look like just one thing. As a community, we need to embrace that diversity and welcome a wide range of people into LGBT spaces.

The Most Common Lesbian Stereotypes – And Why They’re Ridiculous

Over the ten years since I came out of the closet (and for a few years before then), I think I’ve heard pretty much every lesbian stereotype out there. Between the crazy idea that we all play softball (well, I did for exactly one season – wasn’t for me), the audacious notion that we all hate men (I’m still learning how to have female friends, actually), and even the seemingly-harmless idea that you can predict someone else’s sexuality before they officially come out to you…

Just like any other stereotypes, though, just because you’ve heard it, and even seen it confirmed once or twice, does not mean that it applies to everyone. Here are some of the most ridiculous lesbian stereotypes I know. How many did you believe?


Myth: Being a lesbian is really all about men.

For some reason, most people assume that lesbians are lesbians because of a man, or that the right man would magically “fix” their lesbianism. While these types of comments are usually delivered with noble intentions, they miss the mark – by a long shot.

“Lesbians are victims of physical or sexual abuse by a man.”

While this one is sometimes true, it’s important to note that women are statistically at-risk for physical and sexual abuse by a partner or family member, regardless of the way they identify. It’s also not possible to consciously change your sexual identity – otherwise, there would be a lot more lesbians out there. (I’m joking, of course.)

“Lesbians hate men.”

Again, I can’t really speak for everyone here, but I’ve never been a man-hater. I’ve never been a person-hater. In fact, I have a really hard time hating anything – and I know I’m not alone. That being said, literally every lesbian I personally know has men in her life who she cares deeply about. (She just doesn’t want to have sex with those men.)

“There has to be a butch and a femme, because you need a man and a woman.”

For starters, the idea that butch women are men or want to be men or seek to act like men is completely unfounded. In fact, I think the terminology you’re looking for is “trans man”, not “butch lesbian”. It’s also scientifically proven that there aren’t really any major differences between men and women, besides biological and social.

“You just haven’t been with the right guy yet.”

This one is usually considered the most offensive of the male-based stereotypes, because it implies that “the right guy” could magically “fix” the dreaded lesbianism. You see how that might be taken just a little bit negatively? Many women thoroughly experiment with their sexuality before definitively coming out, and your arbitrary decision that her identity is wrong is deplorable.


Myth: Sex toys define our sexual identities.

Despite the fact that there are no absolutes when it comes to sex toys (or sexual identities), people still feel the need to guess at the sex lives of others. There are assumptions made about a deeply personal matter – what goes on in the privacy of one’s bedroom – and often, those assumptions are way off.

“Lesbians use dildos because they secretly miss penises.”

First of all, a dildo is not a penis. (Most) men don’t have to pay for their penises, and (most) men don’t have the luxury of choosing the size, shape, color, and material that their penis is made out of. What might be even more of a surprise is that not all lesbians even use dildos. (Oh, and then there’s the fact that straight women in relationships with men use them, too… But we’re not going to go into that one today.)

“If she was really a lesbian, she wouldn’t use sex toys.”

Admittedly, I believed this one for a long time. I resented any lesbians I knew who used any sort of toy. I felt that, somehow, it meant she was “less gay”. And then… I tried sex with sex toys. Let me tell you… My experience using sex toys with women is vastly different than my experience sleeping with men was. Amazingly enough, your attraction to the person doing things to you means a hell of a lot more than what they’re using to stimulate you.

“It doesn’t count as real sex unless…”

No, stop right there. “What counts as sex” is a deeply personal decision, but most women agree that sex is a lot more than just penetration, or just orgasms, or just any one particular thing. In the grand scheme of things, no one’s “sex” should be limited to one particular activity. Can you imagine how boring that must be after a couple of months?


Myth: Lesbians’ sex lives are boring (or super wild).

And, on that note, there’s this big thing about lesbians having boring sex lives. Or, if it’s not that one, it’ll be the idea that lesbians stop talking to their friends because they’re too busy having sex 24/7. But, for me personally, this has never been the case. Sure, we go through ebbs and flows – but doesn’t everyone?

“Lesbian bed death is unavoidable and usually means the end of the relationship.”

Well, in any long-term relationship, things are bound to get stale from time to time. That doesn’t mean you’re not attracted to each other anymore, either – it just means that, at that point in your relationship, there are more important things to worry about. Usually, this comes and goes – just like in any other long-term relationship. I’m not really sure why people think that all lesbians (and only lesbians) face this, or why it’s seen as such a big deal.

“I bet you’re looking for a threesome.”

I’m not even sure exactly where to start with this one. Most women who identify as lesbians have no real interest in having a sexual relationship with a man, and a lot of lesbians won’t even have sex with bisexual women in the first place. Plus, what makes you think we’re not monogamous? Sure, some of us aren’t… But that doesn’t mean that none of us are committed to our partners.

“I bet you guys have sex like, all the time.”

For some of us, that might be true. I’ve been with women whose sex drives were totally through the roof. For a brief period of time during my young-adult life, I was pretty sex-crazed, too. But, just like with straight women, we’re not always in the mood. (Although, science has shown that lesbians have more orgasms.)

“All lesbians are amazing in bed.”

I think this one started off from within the lesbian community – and, quite frankly, I’ve been with a few women who proved that sexual prowess is not universal. What’s more than that is that, for the large majority of us, sex isn’t really that big of a deal. It’s nice, but it’s not everything we are.


Myth: You can tell someone is a lesbian just by looking at her.

Every single time I hear someone say, “But you don’t look like a lesbian!” or “You’re too pretty to be a lesbian!” I have the overwhelming urge to do a table-flip. Then again, I’m one of those lesbians who gets that from lesbians, straight men, straight women, and bisexuals of all varieties. Definitely one of the most irritating stereotypes out there, and it doesn’t seem like it’s ever going to change.

“Lesbians hate shaving and wearing makeup. They’re into sports and they dress like men.”

Just because a woman wears less “feminine” clothing or participates in more “masculine” activities doesn’t mean she’s a lesbian. We wish it was that simple, but thankfully, that means that lesbians are a gorgeous, diverse, and super vast group – we don’t have to fit into one particular fashion bracket to know who we are.

“Pretty, femme lesbians are just faking it for male attention. Lesbians don’t like wearing high heels or dresses.”

As a lesbian who likes rocking heels just as much as I enjoy a good pair of sneakers, I don’t think your shoes are an accurate predictor of your sexuality. Besides, it was a straight girl who showed me my first pair of Vans – and she wears hers a lot more than I wear mine. And, by the way, you’re not allowed to decide that someone else’s sexuality is fake – you have no idea what’s going on in her head, her heart, or her bedroom. Gaydar is a crap shoot at best, guys.


Myth: The media portrays mostly accurate lesbian characters.

Most people know about lesbians through The L Word and pornography, and – because they don’t have much to compare to – they get this idea that all lesbians are really like that. Then, when they meet a lesbian who isn’t like the picture they’ve built up in their minds, they reject the alternate possibility. That is why we’re pushing for more lesbians on TV – not because we’re trying to take over.

“Lesbian life must be just like The L Word/Orange is the New Black/insert any other television show or movie with a lesbian character here.”

For the most part, the representation that gets the biggest audience is the one that gets renewed – and really, most lesbians are no more exciting than your average straight person. We watch TV shows when it’s hard to look away – after all, everyone likes a train wreck. That doesn’t mean we all sleep with each other and steal each other’s babies.

“Lesbian sex must be just like [insert straight-male-produced porn film title here].”

I’m sure the phrasing of that particular stereotype gave a hint to the answer of this one. Most “lesbian porn” is made by people who have never had lesbian sex before, for people who have never had lesbian sex to watch. It’s hard to find good, feminist lesbian porn films, although the options are increasing in the last few years. But, basically, 99.99% of porn you see* is made by-and-for straight guys. It doesn’t have to be realistic, just hot.

(* = not an exact statistic.)


Myth: Lesbians can fit into one specific box.

Okay, so I went all super-general and went with the most basic stereotype of all: All ___ are ____. But, seriously… How do people still believe these things?

“Lesbians are psycho stalkers.”

Do you really mean psycho? Because I don’t think that word means what you think it means. While we’re at it, are you sure stalking is what you think it is? I mean, don’t get me wrong… Stalking is terrible. But it’s not “a lesbian thing”. Stalkers have a little more to do with mental illness than your sexual orientation.

“Lesbians are just confused.”

Fun fact: Coming out is hard. Like, really hard. I’ll go ahead and indulge the idea that some lesbians are confused – but I don’t think most of us are going to go through the trouble of coming out if we’re not sure about it.

“Lesbians are rude (especially towards men).”

Ugh. For my own personal sanity, I’ve got to believe that most lesbians (and everyone else on the planet) is a nice person. I know there are exceptions, and I can handle that. But shitty people are shitty people – they’re not that way because of their sexual orientation (and their attitude has a chance to change eventually).

10 Bullsh*t Things Lesbians Hear All The Damn Time

For some reason, people who aren’t lesbians love to ask lesbians some pretty personal (and misguided) things. Some of these questions have probably been around for centuries, while others have been perpetuated by modern society and the ways that people come up with to “cure” gay men, lesbians, and bisexuals. Instead of asking your friendly local lesbian, try checking this list first.

If it’s answered here, she’s probably answered it a hundred times already.


“When did you become a lesbian?”

This question usually isn’t coming from a bad place, but it is very misguided. I think the people who ask this are dealing with some confusion about their own sexuality, or they simply don’t understand how human sexuality works. It’s not exactly the black-and-white picture that it seems like it would be, and there’s no easy way to pinpoint “when” it happened. Could you tell someone when exactly you became straight? I’m betting probably not.

Let me try putting things a different way. Some people understand who they are at a very young age, and are immediately accepted by their families. Some people know at a very young age, but their family situation makes it impossible to come out. Other people get confused during puberty, or during college, or menopause, or at any other time when hormones are high, and they might reach a different definition of themselves than they previously had. It doesn’t necessarily mean that their previous identity was wrong, nor does it mean that their previous identity was true to who they really were.

It’s different for everyone, but chances are, your lesbian loved one doesn’t feel like putting something as complicated as her sexuality on something as linear as a timeline.


“What made you swear off men?”

This is one of the tactics often used by gay conversion therapy – understanding the “root” of someone’s homosexual tendencies, so that they can be “fixed”. However, this one relies on a fundamental misunderstanding. Correlation doesn’t necessarily equal causation – or, more simply put, just because a lesbian has had negative experiences with men, that doesn’t necessarily mean that she’s developed some sort of bias against them.

In fact, since (at least) one out of every four women will experience some form of sexual assault in their life, there’s bound to be some overlap. But that overlapping area doesn’t have anything to do with the women who haven’t been sexually abused, and still aren’t attracted to men. It also doesn’t take into consideration the women worldwide who are raped and beaten because they’re lesbians. (Trigger warning – vivid descriptions of conversion rape, although there are no graphic photographs.)

More than just those horrible statistics, there’s also the fact that the women who have “sworn off men” because of some type of trauma can’t consciously choose to turn-off their attractions to them, nor can they choose to turn-on an attraction to women. Framing your question as if all lesbians have simply “sworn off men” implies that this is a choice they’ve made, and as any woman who has consciously tried to change her sexuality can tell you… It doesn’t work.


“So, which one of you is the man?”

Okay, so I could go into the stereotypical response about how there is no man, and how that’s sort of the point… But I think that answering the question that way takes away a powerful teaching experience. Most women who love other women aren’t necessarily doing it to “avoid men”. (Although, some may be – but please see above about “swearing off men”.

The worst thing about this question is that it relies entirely on ingrained sexism, and the idea that there are “manly” things to do and “womanly” things to do. Newsflash: Both men and women can be bread-winners, both men and women can do the housework and cooking, and both men and women are capable of being caring parents. The idea that you have to be “more like” one or the other is entirely unfounded. All relationships work best when there is balance – when the partners are actually partners.

What’s more is that gender roles are largely societal. Sure, the higher testosterone levels in men make them (generally) stronger and more sexual than women, and the higher estrogen levels in women make them (generally) more inclined toward starting a family. Our personality, however, plays a lot larger of a role in deciding that – and our personality is not defined by our biology.


“How do you handle all the crazy mood swings?!”

This is another one rooted in sexist implications. Believe it or not, women are not these psychotic bags of hormones, incapable of controlling their emotions. There may be certain times of the month (ahem) or mental illnesses that make it more difficult to think before we act, but most women have better control over their emotions than what we’d like to think. Men have just as much control over their emotions, on average, but they’ve been conditioned to keep them under wraps more.

What’s important here is that we separate ourselves from the stereotypes about our gender, whether biological or mid-/post-transition. You might not be in control over your emotions themselves, but you are in control of how you react to those emotions. Take responsibility for the way you act, and stop using the easy excuses.

(However, if you honestly have a hard time controlling your emotional responses, it’s important that you speak with your doctor about it. He or she might be able to recommend therapy or medication that works with your specific issues, and in many cases you can regain control.)


“But you don’t look/act like a lesbian.”

Sadly, the media has royally screwed us on this one. We typically get two lesbian images: The super-butch (think Lea Delaria here), or the super-femme (I’m looking at you, Portia de Rossi). We don’t get to see all the women in between, because they blend in. The truth is, most lesbians don’t “look” like lesbians – but that doesn’t mean that they’re lying to you when they say they are.

Just like with any other sexual orientation, lesbians are allowed to have their own individual style. In fact, our styles are just as diverse as everyone else’s, too. This is why so many lesbians don’t “look” like lesbians – the media latches onto the two styles that are most easily recognizable, and kicks the rest to the curb.

Unfortunately, we see this just about as often within the queer community, too. (Or, at least, I’ve received this an equal number of times from ignorant straight friends as I have from nosy lesbian friends.) The entire idea of “gaydar” is built around exactly this, and as any lesbian who’s been shot down by a straight woman will tell you… It’s really just a numbers game. If she ticks off enough “lesbian” boxes, it’s easier to muster up the courage to talk to her. But people never really fit into a mold, so your average lesbian probably gets shot down by straight women just about as often as the average straight man gets shot down by lesbians.

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

This particular question is even harder to address without causing a commotion. For some crazy reason, people think that they are entitled to know way too much about other people’s lives. Sure, some people are open – but that doesn’t mean everyone has to be. Unless you are presently in an intimate relationship someone, who they sleep with (and how they do it) is absolutely none of your business.

Next, it’s important that you understand there are many reasons a person might not be ready to come out, and all of them are perfectly valid. Some people fear discrimination at home or in the workplace. Some people are concerned with their image (such as those who rely on their sex appeal for tips). Some even choose not to come out because they feel it’s nobody else’s business. And you know what? Every single one of those women has “a good enough reason” – no matter what you might think.

(And, besides, you know now, don’t you? What difference does it make how you found out?)


“So, how do you have sex?”

Now, when it comes to depressing questions, this one pretty much takes the cake. First, let’s go back to the “it’s none of your business” point from above. The only people who have the right to know the details of your sex life are, a) your partner, during the periods of time she was involved in your sex life; and b) your doctor, to the extent medically required. That’s literally it. The rest of the time, if it’s not eagerly offered, it’s not up for discussion.

Next, there’s the definition of “sex” itself. What exactly constitutes sex, anyway? The jury’s still out on that one, but the short answer is that everyone has different needs and wants. It doesn’t have much to do with who you’re attracted to, since our sexual lives are usually not our whole lives. Some women like being penetrated, some don’t. Some women like oral sex, and some don’t. Toys, bondage, roleplay, scissoring – all of these things are completely subjective.

(But, most of all, if you only know one definition for having sex… You’re missing out on all that sex can be.)


“At least you don’t have to worry about protection.”

Whoa, NO. Hold up. I don’t know who started the myth that lesbians can’t get STDs, but you better believe that person was not a doctor. Lesbians are not magically immune from getting STDs just because they only have sex with other women. There are a number of STDs that you can get through skin contact, and even more that are passed through bodily fluids. Yes, the vagina contains/produces bodily fluids. So does the mouth. And, well, I’m not a doctor either, but that means you can get STDs from a same-sex partner.

No matter what your sexual orientation, it’s important that you take your sexual health seriously. That means regular testing, honest communication, and barrier methods whenever possible – every time.

When it comes to family planning, though, lesbians don’t really have to worry about accidental pregnancies. It takes so much planning and negotiating to even come to an agreement about having a child in the first place. Then, if we do decide we want to have a child (which isn’t even a given), we’ve got to go through a long, drawn-out process just to have a child recognized as legally having two mothers. There’s adoption, surrogacy, fertility treatments, artificial insemination, and so much more – just because there are two parents of the same sex. There are so many extra hoops that it’s no surprise some lesbians decide it’s just easier not to have kids.


“What about a threesome?” or “Can I watch?”

Yikes. This is another one that never ceases to amaze me. There are so many people out there who really do think it’s appropriate to insert themselves into other people’s personal lives – sometimes trying to literally insert themselves in there. As a general rule of thumb, remember this: No person exists strictly for the sexual pleasure of another.

Even though there’s an ever-growing acceptance of polyamory and open relationships, you shouldn’t simply assume that two people in a relationship are looking to supplement outside the relationship. Polyamory isn’t the default, nor is “secret bisexuality”.

If a lesbian couple you know wants you to watch her and her girlfriend have sex, she’ll ask you. If she wants you to join, she’ll ask you. Otherwise, stay out of it. We’re not trying to steal your straight women, and we’re not trying to sleep with your straight men.


“I wish I was a lesbian.”

When I was a teenager, I used to respond to this one with “I can help you with that!” (wink, wink.) As I grew up, I realized: Being gay isn’t really all it’s cracked up to be. I mean, it’s great for me, and most lesbians would agree that it’s pretty great. But being someone you’re not is never a great idea. The grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence, but I promise you it’s just tricky lighting. You’ve got to learn how to be happy with what you have, and what you are.

However, if what you really mean is “I think I might be interested in women”, I wholeheartedly encourage you to experiment. Experimentation is how you figure out who you are. Just remember – your sexuality isn’t something you can will to change. You aren’t crafting yourself, you’re finding yourself.

Lastly, remember that there are a lot of things about the queer community that you simply can’t see from the outside – just like with any other subculture. It’s not really that we’re hiding things; it’s that you don’t want to see them. You choose to make yourself blind to them, in order to excuse yourself for not helping to stop them. It’s okay – we forgive you. But now it’s time to start being realistic about homophobia and discrimination. That’s what you should be talking to your lesbian loved ones about – not about what happens in their bedroom.

Ruby Rose Hits Out At The Media For ‘Clickbait’ Headlines

Ruby Rose hit the headlines earlier this week, covering Galore magazine and sharing an insightful interview with them.

ruby_rose_galore_feature_4_6

In it, the actress comments on her celebrity crushes (Madonna, Jennifer Lawrence), being compared to Justin Bieber (“Justin has tattoos and I have tattoos. But we both make fun of it.”), and how she can’t actually “turn people gay.”

Her statements were quickly picked up around the web, espical the comment regarding turning women gay, which actually annoyed Rose.

She responded via Instagram on how some sites chose to cover the interview, specifically calling out publishers for teasing the more pliable parts of her quotes as clickbait.

I’m a fan of all these publications and the 100s of others that have used bizarre click bait headlines and taken a really light hearted funny interview with @galore out of context. But I literally don’t ‘hate anything’ ‘I don’t think airport fashion is trash’ ‘Nor do I think I turned anyone anything’ I just answered the questions asked.

Just read the link from Galore I’ll put in my bio. I said everything is a blessing, everything is complimentary and I don’t take it seriously. Also that I found Channing Tatum really hot in magic mike but sadly I didn’t turn straight. I also named basically all my friends who are perfect looking all the time and said I’m trash at the airport and they are heaven. So I don’t know why people can’t just use actual quotes from the article..Why make a positive article a negative jab.”

It’s a good question without an easy answer, though the fierce competition for eyeballs online is a pretty safe bet. And as to the “turning fans gay” callout? “I think everyone is somewhere on the Kinsey scale, the Orange Is the New Black actress said. “So to make headlines (most people don’t bother reading the rest ) appear like I’m shaming people about their sexuality or like I have any right to claim to know others sexuality is dangerous. I HOPE EVERYONE IS GAY THEN I CAN MEET TONNES OF GAY BABES!! Gay gay gay gay gay gay gay. Blah!”

https://www.instagram.com/p/BELwUaMMZYY/

Where Does the ‘Criminal Black Lesbian’ Stereotype Come From?

While there is certainly no shortage of negative beliefs regarding black people, those that are particularly prevalent are the ideas that black people are violent, aggressive, and destined for a life of crime.

These stereotypes in particular seems to be regarded of black lesbians too, especially those who seem to appear more ‘masculine’.

The group of black lesbians convicted in a 2006 Greenwich Village assault case know this well as despite the women’s argument that they were acting in self-defence against a man that both catcalled and threatened them, they were arrested and charged with felony gang assault and attempted murder.

An Equity Project report also states that 40% of girls in the juvenile justice system are lesbian, bisexual or transgender and 85% are girls of colour as well.

With with many of these girls finding themselves in the system for non-criminal acts (e.g “running away from home or breaking school rules”), it’s believed that the criminal black lesbian stereotype may have been a large factor.

NPR has investigated the origin of the criminal black lesbian stereotype, with the publication noting that it stretches back to the early 20th century.

The publication cites a recent Journal of African American History article by Cookie Woolner, a historian and teaching fellow at Kalamazoo College, which points to newspaper reports about murders and other crimes committed by black women in relationships with other women.

The underlying tone of the articles seemed to be that their crimes were a direct result of their “perverted affections” and their “insanity”, and they were also referred to as a “class of perverts”.

In the decades to follow, things didn’t get much better. NPR explains that in the 1940s and 50s, women’s prisons became “synonymous with lesbianism” and although “the stereotype of the aggressive lesbian eventually grew to include working-class white women,” black women were generally believed to be the aggressors and white women were described as “temporary partners”.

More recently, 1996 film Set It Off and TV show The Wire, which both feature black lesbians being violent and performing crimes have also contributed to the stereotype’s prevalence.

TV shows such as Orange is the New Black (which features LGBT characters and looks at injustices within the criminal justice system) as well as movements such as Black Lives Matter (which has helped to give black women a platform to share their voice) have had a positive impact.

However, with the stereotype being so entrenched, it may be some time before the worst is no longer thought of black lesbian women.


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13 Terms That Mean Something Totally Different to Lesbians

Let’s face it: Lesbians are a strange breed. Whether we embody the stereotypes within our community or adamantly defy them, there are certain things that we pretty much all understand. And often… No one else understands them the same way we do.

Which of the following terms have you confused non-lesbians with?


1. Girlfriend

What it means to them: Your female friend(s).

What it means to us: The person you are ridiculously attached to, almost right away. She’s got partial custody of your cat and full custody of your heart – at least until one of you gets frustrated and walks out. (Fingers crossed that never has to happen!)

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2. Lipstick/Chapstick

What it means to them: Makeup products worn on the lips. Generally, lipstick is tinted, whereas Chapstick is not. They will offer varying levels of sun protection.

What it means to us: Sexy feminine women who are rocking in every way. Generally, “lipstick” refers to femmes who wear makeup, where “Chapstick” refers to femmes who do not wear makeup. (Your experience may vary based on personal preferences.)

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3. Stud

What it means to them:

  1. A) A small piece of metal that’s pressed to a fabric, usually for decoration.
  2. B) A small, simple earring; also called a post.
  3. C) A wooden beam in the wall – the most stable point in most walls.

What it means to us: Sexy masculine women who are rocking in every way. The term “soft stud” may be used to describe a woman who dresses masculine, but chooses to keep long hair and/or do her makeup. Generally agreed to be sexy as hell in the lesbian community. (Your experience may vary based on personal preferences.)

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4. The L Word

What it means to them: Love.

What it means to us: The quintessential lesbian TV series that helped to answer a million questions the lesbian community had – although it’s generally accepted that the ladies in the show weren’t really representative of lesbians in general. Still, this show was full of hot, steamy sex, important lesbian icons from history, and a cast that worked its way into everyone’s hearts. Aww!

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5. Break Up

What it means to them: The end of a relationship, or the act of ending a relationship.

What it means to us: The feeling of your heart being literally ripped from your chest, often without warning, that is all-consuming until you find someone new… or, more likely, un-break up. This can be a long cycle sometimes, with neither partner wanting to fully let go. (Hint: Avoid this cycle.)

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6. The Ex

What it means to them: Someone you used to be romantically or sexually linked with, who you no longer talk to.

What it means to us: That woman you used to have passionate sex with, and now maintain you can be “just friends” – usually to the dismay and/or frustration of your current partner. She may even be your best friend now. Your girlfriend will probably hate her.

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7. Best Friend

What it means to them: A friend who you have probably known for a long time, who knows a great deal about you. He or she would probably come to your aid if you needed.

What it means to us: All of the above – but with the risk of being secretly in love with her and having to keep your feelings hidden. If you do tell her, you run the risk of ruining the friendship… But you may find out that you’re soul mates! (I make no promises in regards to your outcome.)

Spencer Carlin and Ashley Davies (South of Nowhere)


8. Straight Girl

What it means to them: A woman who exclusively dates/sleeps with men.

What it means to us: A challenge. A bi-curious woman who doesn’t know it yet. (Note: I don’t recommend this approach, but as long as you’re respectful, all is fair in love and war.)

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9. Ladies Night

What it means to them: One night a week where you go out with your female friends and enjoy fun and each other’s company.

What it means to us: A night where you and your other lesbian friends try (and usually fail) to pick up women at gay bars. Even if every girl you pursue turns out to be straight, it’s probably the most fun you’ll have all week.

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10. Lug

What it means to them: To carry something, usually quite heavy. The word implies a great deal of effort.

What it means to us: Lesbian Until Graduation; a bi-curious women who dates/sleeps with other women during high school and/or college, but ends up settling down and marrying a man, often to the disappointment of the woman she was dating at the time. (Hint: You should probably never assume a woman is a lug, nor should you accuse her of being one – especially if you’re trying to get in her pants.)

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11. Shane

What it means to them: A nice unisex name. Usually used for a boy, but not exclusively.

What it means to us: The sexiest lesbian who ever lived – even if she wasn’t real. Almost every lesbian has either idolized her or crushed on her, and for many, that effect lasts to this day.

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12. Scissors/Scissoring

What it means to them:  Objects used to cut paper, plastic, or other such materials.

What it means to us: Oh, come on now. You know what scissoring means. (But just in case you don’t, here’s a fun article to explain it.)

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13. Manicure

What it means to them: Going to the nail salon, usually to get artificial tips and/or polish on. Sometimes includes a hand massage.

What it means to us: Sitting on the bed with a pair of nail clippers because your partner won’t let you touch her until you cut those suckers. Vaginal contusions are not fun or pretty – your girlfriend shouldn’t have to remind you to trim!

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9 Queer Movies To Hate-Watch On Netflix

Queer movies have a complicated place in our hearts. On the one hand, there are queer characters, who promise to fill some deep void we have when looking for relatable fiction characters. But, on the other hand, there are so many problems with so, so many of these movies.

Most of them have terrible stories that we keep eating up just because we’re so desperate to be included. So much of the world still pretends we don’t even exist – even in forward-thinking, first-world countries.

When it comes to film and television representation, there isn’t a lot to choose from – even still. While lesbian relationships are widely becoming a more mainstream topic, that still doesn’t exactly mean that we can feel totally comfortable discussing things openly.

Case in point? Lesbian movies on Netflix.

Okay, so there are a few good ones out there, and we definitely appreciate those ones. But more often, we come across a movie that we know is not even remotely relatable to actual lesbian life.

But there are boobs. And girls kissing other girls. And… Well, boobs.

So we watch them, because we have to watch them. (You can actually have your Lesbianism revoked if you don’t binge-watch any media with queer subtext, so make sure you’re keeping up.) But we don’t really like ourselves afterward.

What are your least favorite lesbian movies?


Kissing Jessica Stein

This movie probably drew you in because, hello, kissing a woman is literally in the title of the movie, so it’s got to be good, right? The only problem is that these characters are really annoying. We want to watch movies that seem relatable – and if you can’t like the characters, you can’t get into the plot (even though it’s actually not bad). Top that off with the preachy tone it starts to develop throughout the course of the movie, and this is one that you’ll probably rewatch parts of, but skip others. Hey, you can’t win ‘em all.


Summer Lover

As both a lesbian and a writer, I find myself drawn toward kindred spirits. (I feel like I was probably the only person ever who loved Jenny Schecter – although I can’t say I agreed with all her choices.)

When I heard about a lesbian movie that tells the tale of the original lesbian icon – the poet Sappho – it seemed like it was going to be great.

The whole thing is gorgeous, too, from casting choices to scenery. But the story is so predictable that, by the time you realize it, it’s an hour and a half later and you know exactly nothing new. (But, then again, gorgeous movie – maybe there’ll be something when you watch it again…


You Will Be Mine

First off, what is it about lesbian romance movies where they draw you in with women crawling all over each other on the cover? I mean, it works, but it feels a little manipulative after a while. But these actresses are gorgeous, and the score is pretty gorgeous too. Unfortunately, the story fell a little flat, as you can actually predict every twist and turn. This movie is all about a dysfunctional lesbian relationship, which is something we just can’t get fully on-board with.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvaAk359wCA


Room in Rome

This is one of those movies where you’ll probably want to pretend you were watching it for totally artistic reasons. After all, it’s two naked women, in a hotel room, in Rome… Obviously, there are certain things involved. But the fact that it’s subtitled means you’re going to have to pick between following the plot or… Well, staring at boobs. We’ve got a pretty good idea what most of you are going to pick.


Therese and Isabelle

An old black-and-white lesbian romance film, you say? And it’s set at a boarding school, which releases all those inner schoolgirl fantasies, too. (Oh, don’t pretend you haven’t thought about it.) But this is an older movie, so the love scenes are pretty tame. The overall story follows the predictable “men-suck-let’s-be-lesbians” route, too, which is always a little disappointing.


Lost and Delirious

Piper Perabo and Mischa Barton. Need I say more? These two women are sexy, and they’re already almost kissing on the cover so you know it’s going to be good. But this one is a big sob-fest… so you’re only going to want to watch it on those days you just need to let it all out. Cuddle up with a pint (beer or ice cream – your choice) and cry it out between long, loving stares at Piper Perabo.


Bloomington

More women crawling all over each other? OK, if you insist… And the actresses actually have an undeniable chemistry. This movie deals with the whole teacher/student fantasy dynamic, like we’ve seen in Loving Annabelle. The problem with Bloomington is that the sexiness is lacking when the relationship starts developing a mother/daughter complex – making it super creepy and awkward.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSgh-IA6oF8


Water Lilies

Lesbians. Not only that, but French lesbians. This one just oozes with the possibility of romance. Then, teen angst comes in and almost ruins the show. Thankfully, this one isn’t one of the worst offenders on this list, and it’s pretty short, too – so you’re not likely to regret the time spent watching it.


Heavenly Creatures

Okay, so, I love Melanie Lynsky – and Kate Winslet isn’t so bad, either. So then we get into this one: Two girls with this super-secret fantasy life and mean parents who want to keep them apart. (That’s not exactly what happened, but you’ll figure that one out on your own.) Anyway, this one is bad in such a good way, because it’s actually horrific and based on a true story – which is even more chilling.


What are your favorite lesbian movie guilty pleasures?

Of course, we’re always looking for new lesbian representation in movies and TV. It’s understandable that some of these are going to be really, really bad, and we can’t even justify to ourselves why we watch them. Which ones are yours? I might have to check them out for myself!

Why Are Lesbian Movies The Saddest?

I am a sucker for sad movies. I like to pretend that I don’t sit around watching tear-jerking movies and eating popcorn, but… Well, that pretty much sums up my weekend.

Make the main characters gay and it’s even worse. I mean, sad stories are sad stories, and all, but it’s always a little harder when you can see a piece of yourself in the cast. (Which of course means that, if they’re just a bit snarky – like Graham in But I’m a Cheerleader! – I cry like a baby.)

But for some reason, it seems like queer movies are just inherently sad. Even in the super campy ones, someone gets their heart smashed to pieces, and my poor little sarcastic heart gets squished a little, too. Half the time I stick with straight romances because, well, they’re a little easier on my makeup. What is it that makes them so sad?

It’s not just the movies, either. Remember how much pain you felt watching The L Word? No spoilers for those who have yet to experience the rite of passage that is binge-watching all six seasons, but trust me… I think each of us felt emotionally connected to at least one of those characters, even if we didn’t have anything actually in common with them.

I think some of the pain has to do with how infrequently we actually see realistic lesbian pairings in the media. When we find a show that makes us seem real, we start to feel more real ourselves.

As someone whose sexuality is questioned by others on a regular basis, it’s comforting for me to see a picture of myself on the screen, so to speak.

Good lesbian movies don’t rely on the stereotypes that we often see played out in straight romance movies. Even though there are some similarities, we have our own dynamic, and we don’t always do things the same way. There’s nothing wrong with that – that’s just how we are.

Men and women are understandably different, so the approaches necessary when dealing with women are (understandably) different than when dealing with men.

Even though I’m sure of my sexuality now, there are a great deal of lesbian movies that deal with at least one of the main character being completely unsure about who she is. I’m not sure how it stands for people who knew they were gay at an early age, but that’s not who I am.

Seeing a woman start to question things even though she’s with a guy who should be perfect for her reminds me of the days of my own uncertainty – and I can relate.

Aside from relatability, though, what is it that makes lesbian movies so damn sad?! It pains me to think it’s just us living into the heteronormative stereotype that women are emotional creatures… And besides, I’ve met some women who definitely didn’t show much emotion ‘till the end of something sappy.

What do you think – are lesbian movies sadder, or do we just connect more deeply with the characters? Let us know in the comments!


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Top 9 Lesbian Movie Clichés

The lesbian community is rife with stereotypes and clichés. As much as they may hold true in the actual, real life world, they’re usually not based on solid facts, but rather what sells movies. Often, these movies aren’t even written by actual lesbians, but by the men who think that lesbians are cool.

(Which, we totally are, but that’s not the point.)

If you have yet to come out, and you’ve been relying on lesbian movies to paint a picture of what lesbians are like, here are some things that usually don’t happen in the real world.


1. A coffee shop is the best place to talk about your feelings.

OK, so there’s this cliché amongst lesbians in general that there is going to be a lot of talk about feelings. I guess it’s because we’re women, and women have a lot of overflowing emotions, or something like that. Oh – and we love to talk. If we don’t, are we really women?

Hopefully the sarcasm in that last paragraph was apparent. Not all women love to talk. Sure, many do, but why is a coffee shop the chosen locale to talk about these feelings?

It’s quieter than a bar, so there’s that. There’s less of a chance of messed-up inhibitions than a bar, too, although coffee can definitely have an intoxicating effect if you haven’t had nearly enough sleep. But, realistically speaking, your chats are probably better if kept in the privacy of your home – strangers don’t need to know all your business.


2. If you’d rather dwell on your feelings, a walk through the forest is a good choice.

Maybe I’m a bit cynical on this one, because I grew up in areas where it really wasn’t safe to walk alone. (I mean, I still do a lot of walking by myself to clear my head, so maybe this cliché isn’t so far off.) But in lesbian movies, the pensive protagonist will often go for a walk in the woods or another private-like area to empty her mind from all the stressors and confusion of Lesbian Life.

An important step that’s sometimes skipped when this is portrayed in a movie, however, is that you do actually need to talk about your feelings once you’ve got them narrowed down. Your partner (or prospective partner) isn’t going to automatically know what’s on your mind, and in most cases, she should.

(And also, walking at night by yourself is really not safe some places, especially for lesbians – make sure you’re being careful, please! And at least let someone know where you’ll be, just in case something comes up.)


3. Lesbians like to bathe together while talking about things.

There’s something about two women talking nakedly about their feelings and troubles. We see this a lot in movies, and while it’s a nice change of pace from – say, sex scenes that focus on “nudity means sex”, if you’ve ever actually tried to have a chat in the bath tub, chances are you know it doesn’t work out so well.

If you and the woman you are attracted to are bathing together, it’s almost always got sexual undertones. Plus, it’s sort of awkward in most bath tubs – they’re really only built for one person. The idea of having sex in the bath tub (or a long, intimate talk) are all fine and dandy when there’s a makeup artist there to make sure the actress looks her best at all times – but the steamy nature will mess up your hair. The slippery surfaces will mess up your game. And what could be more distracting than boobs?

If you can actually have a serious talk while naked with your partner, I envy you. I’ve had it happen a few times, but it’s definitely the exception more than the rule. You shouldn’t expect that every naked chat is going to go according to plan – especially if you’ve got a massaging showerhead at your disposal.


4. Lesbians like swimming together – and it usually leads to sexual tension.

This is one of those things that we just know was thought up by a straight man. The idea that two women who are both attracted to women will definitely end up in a body of water, either completely nude or scantily-clad plays on the idea that “wet” automatically means sexy. This isn’t always the case. Have you ever seen a cat stuck out in the rain?

The act of swimming itself is often chosen to represent the metaphorical cleansing that is done by the power of love – or something like that. Truly, it’s usually an excuse to strip down the actresses without making it seem “gratuitous”. After all, sexuality (when expressed non-sexually) is a beautiful thing, and it’s nice to be able to embrace those things.

Really, though, most movies will use this as a segue into sexual tension. After all, a naked (or half-naked woman) who is literally dripping wet will automatically activate the parts of the brain that say she’s ready to go. While it’s important to realize that these two things aren’t mutually exclusive, the connection is easy to understand – but you shouldn’t expect it to be a part of lesbianism in a broad sense. But if you can talk your new boo into skinnydipping with you, it is a lot of fun – just make sure you don’t get arrested!


5. If the girl doesn’t get the girl, she’s going to die, tragically.

The high-concept death is seen so often in romantic movies that we don’t really associate it with lesbians in particular, but it seems that we are a little more prone to this type of death than other sexualities. This death can’t be something simple, though – it’s got to be much bigger than that.

In a way, this is done as a sort of comfort. If you haven’t found your soul mate, maybe she’s just been hit by a bus. OK, so that’s not the most romantic way to put it, but not every story has a happy ending, and when the not-so-happy ending is tragic and unexpected, it makes for better movie sales.

Don’t believe me? Ask a group of Titanic fans whether they think Jack would have fit on the raft or not. There are going to be worlds of assumptions here, ranging from people who think that he definitely would have fit (he and Rose were both thin, after all) to those who think that he had to die (two people on the raft, shivering and what have you, would definitely have sunk it). Which one is right? Only the director knows for sure.

In any gay-or-lesbian themed movies, there are implied methods of offing one of your main characters. Things such as the suicide rate for in-the-closet homosexuals give way for an easy method of killing off a character that everyone fell in love with. And since we usually love sad, sappy endings (and have since the dawn of time – or at least the dawn of the theater), sales are better if the audience cries. True story.


6. Two women who hate each other will eventually have sex.

I don’t know why this is the case in so many lesbian movies. It seems like the more the women are at each other’s throats, the more likely they’re going to have sex later on. This can lead some of us to mistakenly think that we’re falling for the women we really do hate – and hate-sex is usually a bad choice.

This is especially true since the brain releases oxytocin, a bonding chemical, during orgasm. This means that if you have sex with someone you hate, you probably will start to fall for them – which isn’t usually a healthy step. Try to remember the reasons you hate them, and maybe just picture them naked when you’re pleasuring yourself.

If you do find yourself having sex with someone you don’t get along with, you’re not totally doomed. Usually, we can rationalize better a little while after an orgasm than we can when we’re sexually frustrated, so it’s possible that the sex will actually work to remind you why they’re wrong for you. If that’s not the case, maybe some self-persuasion is in order. Hate plus sex does not equal love.


7. When in the presence of an Ultimate Lesbian, straight girls will magically become gay.

In most lesbian movies, the protagonist will identify as heterosexual for her whole life. Often she will be in a committed relationship with a man, sometimes even engaged to be married (Imagine Me & You immediately comes to mind). Then, suddenly, a super-hot lesbian will come along and BAM, the straight protagonist will suddenly be gay – or at the very least, she’ll cheat on her man with this new woman.

When bi-curious women watch these movies, they get the impression that cheating on their husband or boyfriend is OK, as long as it’s with a girl. Sometimes, the men they’re with will even agree to these terms, but it really needs to be discussed beforehand. Cheating is bad, regardless of the gender you cheat with, and if you don’t have explicit permission from your partner, you are cheating.

When young lesbians watch these movies, they might get the idea that sexuality is always to be questioned. The truth is, it is meant to be questioned – but not by outsiders. It’s important to question your own sexuality, but questioning someone else’s is no different than questioning their overall identity. It’s rude, and presumes that you know more about them than they know about themselves. Even if it’s true, just stop before you do something ridiculous.


8. Retro and indie music are the only things you need for a good soundtrack.

OK, this isn’t a bad cliché, because often indie and retro music is a great choice. But why is it that all lesbian movies seem to follow this rule? Maybe it has something to do with the lack of good lesbian music out there. (Note: There’s not actually a lack of it – it just gets less mainstream attention than heterosexual love songs. We’re working to collect lists of the best lesbian-themed-and-produced songs, but that’s still a work in progress, for now.)

I get it, though. Really, I do. Music is really important for a lot of people, myself included, and often we can feel slighted if our lesbian movies have totally heterosexual soundtracks. Most of us “adopt” straight songs and use them for our own benefit (I had an ex who used Usher as a reference for her pick-up game), but it’s always a joy to find a song that suits your exact specifications – without having to swap genders in the song.

(For what it’s worth, I really want someone to “gay up” the songs I heard in my childhood. If we could get a lesbian covering *NSYNC and a gay man covering early Britney Spears, my heart would be so happy. If this already exists, I would be eternally grateful to the first person to slap a link in the comments!)


9. Lesbian movies are, generally, horrible.

Lesbian movies don’t often get the mainstream attention they deserve. It was briefly addressed in the final season of The L Word – making “too gay” of a movie will alienate many of the straight viewers. Thankfully, I think that’s starting to turn around a bit, but if you inject too much gayness into a movie, it’s likely to lose a lot of its potential following.

So, we end up settling for movies directed by new directors with little experience, or by those who never wanted to direct in the first place, but were disappointed in the lack of good lesbian movies… So they tried their hand at making it better. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. When will someone finally appeal to the leaders of Hollywood and demand a blockbuster lesbian film?!

OK, so this is changing a bit these days, thankfully. Most queer movies don’t win awards, at least not outside of the independent circuits. This is fine, because most lesbians are going to watch them anyway, but wouldn’t it be great if we had a gay Academy Award year – one where gay movies were actually honored for their true value? Sigh. A girl can dream.

Are there any stereotypes and cliches that we forgot? Drop them in the comments!


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Straight Men And Women Attempt To Figure Out The Meaning Of Gay Slang

Bustle have created a video that invites straight men and women to guess the meaning of common gay slang. Why, so we queer folk can laugh at the hetros being silly.
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The video provides the “contestants” (if you will) with a term, and after a good period of watching them fail miserably at guessing the meaning, the answer is revealed.

The Ultimate List Of Lesbian Clichés & Stereotypes

So what are the go-to lesbian stereotypes these days?

As many of us know, all queer women conform to a specific set of rules and regulations on everything from dress to sexual activity to emotions.

These are instinctive rules not taught in school. They’re life rules.

So in the interest of helping our dear readers, we’ve decided to make those queer rules public.

Take them out of the closet, if you will. Give you a fall break-down of all the clichés & stereotypes you’ll need to address.


Dress Code (Unless The Lesbian Is The Femme)

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  1. Appropriate footwear: Birkenstocks, Airwalks, chucks, Doc Martens or sports sandals. Socks are never optional.
  2. Make-up: not allowed.
  3. Undergarments: Bras are frowned upon.
  4. Appropriate tops: flannel, more flannel, folksy prints and Polar fleece.
  5. Appropriate bottoms: jeans, cords, jean shorts or walking shorts.
  6. “Hygiene”: Shaving of armpits or legs is frowned upon.
  7. Accessories may include: Nalgene bottles; carabiners; keys at your belt; fanny packs; femme lesbians who only dress girly for the attention or to get a real man.

Lifestyle Attributes

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  1. Appropriate automobiles: Saabs, pickup trucks, Subaru Outbacks, Jeep Wranglers, Xterras, Mini Coopers and Volvos.
  2. Pop cultural influences: Melissa Etheridge; Ani DiFranco; Indigo Girls; and The L Word. No exceptions.
  3. Pets: At least one cat, and preferably more.
  4. Food: Vegetarians preferred
  5. Colleges/alma maters: Smith; Bryn Mawr; Mount Holyoke; and Wellesley.
  6. Partner choices: Recruiting straight women preferred.
  7. Career choices: P.E. teacher; basketball player; softball player; and professional golfer.

Psychology

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  1. Oedipal Complex: Hatred of fathers, except when they over-identify with them.
  2. Childhood Obsessions: Monkeys as pets.
  3. Adult Obsessions: Hating men.
  4. Penis Envy: Yes.
  5. Desire for motherhood: No.

Sex & Relationships

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  1. Onset of lesbianism: College — until graduation, in some cases.
  2. Conversion: Lesbians can be converted with one internal application of human penis.
  3. Madonna/Whore Complex: Many are technically virgins, because they’ve never gotten down with a dude.
  4. Roles: Every lesbian relationship has a butch and a femme.
  5. Timing: Lesbians move in together on the second date.
  6. Sex: Once two lesbians move in together, they will never have sex again.
  7. Break Ups: Bunny boiling provides the maximum drama all lesbians require.

So is the anything more to add, ladies? Leave a comment in the box below.

 

Study Concludes That Gaydar Isn’t A Real Thing, Just Us Stereotyping

The concept is not only inaccurate, it also encourages dangerous stereotypes, research suggests.

Scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison conducted the study to challenge the so-called “gaydar myth” in a new paper recently published in the Journal of Sex Research.
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Researchers found that although many view the idea as harmless, it is actually still stereotyping – just in a more subtle form.

William Cox, lead author of the paper.

Most people think of stereotyping as inappropriate. But if you’re not calling it ‘stereotyping,’ if you’re giving it this other label and camouflaging it as ‘gaydar’, it appears to be more socially and personally acceptable.”

Cox proved this theory by splitting the study’s participants into three groups. One was told that the concept is real and another that gaydar is nothing more than stereotyping.

They were then shown photos of men and a statement about their interests.


Make sure to read: Women Explain The Science Behind Gaydar


The group that was led to believe gaydar is real were much more like to make assumptions based on traditional stereotypes – such as “he likes shopping”, or “his is emotionally sensitive”.

Cox argues.

If you tell people they have a gaydar, it legitimises the use of those stereotypes.”

Another reason gaydar is often misused, Cox said, was because LGBT people still make up such a small percentage of the population.

Imagine that 100% of gay men wear pink shirts all the time, and 10% of straight men wear pink shirts all the time. Even though all gay men wear pink shirts, there would still be twice as many straight men wearing pink shirts. So – even in this extreme example – people who rely on pink shirts as a stereotypic cue to assume men are gay will be wrong two-thirds of the time.”

Previous surveys have differed in result, with some insisting that the “gay sixth sense” does indeed exist.

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Question: Can You Tell If Someone’s Gay?

Can you spot the lone lesbian in roomful of straight women? Can you tell if someone’s gay? Is your gaydar finally tuned?

Hmmm, is it that easy? Can you look at someone and know if they are gay, bisexual, straight, pansexual… and so on?

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Make sure to read: Women Explain The Science Behind Gaydar


 

Need Cheering Up? Well Scientists Say Watching Sad Films Will Actually Make You HAPPIER

Have you ever noticed that after crying your eyes out watching a real tearjerker, you suddenly feel slightly exhilarated?

Well, it turns out you’re not the only one. Scientists in the Netherlands tested the effect of crying during particularly emotional films, and they discovered that it can actually have a positive effect on our emotions.

A group of 60 adults were asked to watch two seriously weepy films, La Vita E Bella and Hachi: A Dog’s Tale. The participants’ emotions were then charted for the hours after the films were switched off.

Those who shed a tear during the films (28 out of 60) felt sad initially, but experienced a positive change in emotion around 90 minutes later. As for those who didn’t cry, their mood remained unchanged.

Leading author Dr Asmir Gracanin of the University of Tilburg, explained

“After the initial deterioration of mood following crying, it takes some time for the mood not only to recover but also to be lifted above the levels at which it had been before the emotional event.”

So, if you’re in the mood for a good weepy film after reading this, here are a few lesbian classics we can always count on to have us in floods…


1. The Children’s Hour

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Really you just weep for all the lesbos in the 60s who had this as their one and only lesbian movie.


2. Lost & Delirious

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This is one of the most depressing coming out films you’ll ever watch. Tear and tissues required.


3. Gia

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In my brain, the movie begins when she’s topless by the gate. If you start the movie there and stop it before she gets on the plane, you’d be a lot happier. She’s way emotional and needy. Like an orphan kitten. An orphan kitten who does drugs. There’s no greater hope in the end, just a beautiful woman who’s dead. And happens to be queer.


4. Monster

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Powerful film about a tragic life. After you watch this film, you’ll be left pretty blue.


5. Boys Don’t Cry

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The epic depression brought on by Boys Don’t Cry is multi-layered. If you know the story even before watching the movie and you think you’re prepared? No, you aren’t. Also, it’s CALLED Boys Don’t Cry! So even if you’re a girl or an otherwise-gendered-or-not-person, you’re already thinking about whether or not you’re gonna cry.

26 Unrealistic Expectations You Have After Watching Lesbians on Mainstream TV

Lesbians in film and on TV – hmmmm. Good thing or bad thing, when they’re on we have to watch them. But what are they really telling us about life.


1. You will be able to live alone in LA in your late 20s and eat/drink out every night.

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2. Your gaydar is always right.

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3. Kissing your female best friend will lead to either a doomed or prosperous relationship.

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4. Most lesbians are seductresses with vampire tendencies.

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5. The straight woman you fall in love with will leave her perfect husband for you.

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6. We kick-ass at sports.

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7. Makeovers change everything.

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8. Affairs are ok.

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9. Coming out is bad.

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10. There will be tears in every relationship.

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11. Leather jackets are a must.

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12. You must have one artistic talent – poetry, guitar playing, painting.

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13. That it is perfectly normal to get with woman, and still be good friends once you break-up and she starts dating a men again

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14. You will find the love of your life in school.

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15. Kisses are perfect in the rain.

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16. All straight women are bi-curious.

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17. You will make-out with your archenemy.

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18. The woman who becomes your boss will sleep with you.

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19. That wearing a small eye mask hides your identity.

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20. That women will make over the top public confessions of love.

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21. Most relationships will lead to death.

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22. Prison life is all about the lesbian romance.

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23. Some lesbians turn out to be serial killers.

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24. You will cheat on your girlfriend for a women you can never really have.

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25. Threesomes with guys are a must.

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26. All lesbians have fantastic nipples – ACTUAL FACT
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27. When you ditch your boyfriend at the altar for another women, everyone will be very happy about it.

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21 Back-Handed Compliments That No Lesbian Wants To Hear

Back-handed compliments are much like a sweet little hug followed by a kick in the shin.

I actually find them to be quite funny. My normal response is just to laugh them off, but in my head there is a whole different story going on.


1. “You look so much like Tina from the L word! I couldn’t stand her.”

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2. “You were so fun last night. You really don’t care what people think, do you?”

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3. “Oh she’s your girlfriend? WOW fair play to you, you’ve done well.”

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4. “I wish I could feel as good in baggy clothes as you do!”

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5. “Your dancing is so original!”

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6. “Your shirt is just… so nice. If I wore that I would look like an absolute dyke.”

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7. “I’m just not curvy like you. I mean that as a compliment.”

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8. “She will definitely like you… she used to go out with this beast.”

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9. “I’d love to be as smart as you and care less about what I look like”

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10. “I cannot believeeeeee you’re working there. How the hell did you get that? Do you know someone who works there?”

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11. “[insert any lesbian character on TV] really reminds me of you.”

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12. “I did not expect you to do better than me in exams…congratulations!”

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13. “You’re moving abroad? With no job? God, I wish I had your guts! I’m just too much of a perfectionist”

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14. “Ohhhhhh, I didn’t know she had a girlfriend. She just seemed like the single type.”

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15. “You are looking really well these days you are almost becoming a threat”

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16. “The way you do things just cracks me up.”

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17. “It must be so nice to not have to worry about how you look everyday.”

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18. “You might be able to fit into this.”

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19. “She’s your girlfriend. I thought she was sister. You look so a like.”

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20. “Your hair looks way better (shorter, darker, longer, up, etc.).”

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21. “Wow you have a healthy appetite.”

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33 Unwanted Questions Lesbians Get Asked, Like All The F*cking Time

I’m a woman, who happens to date other women.

When I walk down the street, people stare when I hold another woman’s hand. They question how we know each other.

They say things to us that they would never consider saying to a straight couple.

We are singled out because we are different. It’s weird though, because we don’t feel different.

I don’t think of my self as being a lesbian couple. I see us as a couple.

People have their own idea of what a lesbian relationship looks like, and if someone doesn’t fit that bill, then it’s really hard for people to understand.

And not understanding, apparently, opens the door for a line of questioning.


1. How do you… you know… do it?

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2. Are you sure you’re a lesbian?

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3. Which one of you is “the boy”?

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4. What is scissoring?

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5. Is it weird to have friends who are girls? Are you ever attracted to your friends who are girls? How do they feel about it?

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6. But… you’re so pretty! You wear dresses. I don’t get it?!

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7. How do you know you’re actually a lesbian? Like, are you sure?

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8. But… you… but you… dated guys?

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9. Do you fear what God will think?

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10. My [insert friend, distant family member, or neighbour] is a lesbian, do you know her?

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11. Is it because you hate men?

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12. It must be so cool to have two closets and more makeup and shit?

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13. Being with another women must be so much easier?

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14. You’re attractive for a lesbian, aren’t you?

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15. Don’t you miss real sex?

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16. Do you hate straight people then?

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17. I’ve always wanted to be a lesbian but I just don’t think I can give up sex with men, you know?

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18. Did you choose to be a lesbian?

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19. If you like girls who look like men…why don’t you date men?

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20. Do you guys just use toys?

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21. So can I watch???

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22. Is that you sister? Cos you really look like sisters

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23. I bet you really like Ellen?

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24. Are you sure this lesbian thing isn’t just a phase?

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25. Is your life really like the L Word?

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26. Have you always been a lesbian?

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27. I’ve never been to a gay wedding, can I come to yours?

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28. Why do all lesbian dress like boys?


29. Oh so that’s why we didn’t work out?

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30. I always wanted to be a lesbian, but…

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31. Are you sure you don’t want to be with a man again?

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32. Will you use a sperm donor or use someone you know to get pregnant?

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33. You’re a lesbian? What a waste

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Women Explain The Science Behind Gaydar

It’s been said you can’t judge a book by its cover, but in our gay world there is this crazy little thing called ‘Gaydar’.

The idea of ‘Gaydar’ is that we gay people are highly accurate at detecting other gay people.

Hmmm, is it that easy? Can you look at someone and know if they are gay, bisexual, straight, pansexual… and so on?

I’m not too sure. I’ve always found it a lot harder to spot a lesbian. Some, women find it easier to hide their sexual orientation. Some do not fit those classy stereotypes the world has about lesbians – a) short hair, b) flat shoes and c) practical clothing.

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The fact is, just like straight people, LGBT people come in all types. The only way to know anyone’s sexuality for sure is to ask.

And yes, that can be an intimidating task, but as long as you’re respectful and do it with a kind heart you’ll know for sure.

You can catch more videos from Arielle Scarcella on her YouTube channel – so good and so funny.

Lesbian Stereotypes That Are Kind of True-ish (Video)

Kind of true-ish, well for some of them are. As queer women, we tend to use stereotypes to figure out how to fit in with our little queer nation. And some of us actually become the stereotypes them selves.

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Some stereotypes we initially us to learn how to fit in, but then we move past that and evolve into being our authentic and individual lesbian selves.

LGBT Myths Debunked (Video)

Dispelling negative and unhelpful myths and stereotypes about the LGBT community is so important.

Stereotypes simplify our thinking about lots of things, but sometimes create huge misunderstandings about our little gay world.

Also read: Tearing Down The Stereotypes Associated With Being Bi

Why Date a Butch Instead of a Man? (Video)

So we’ve all heard this before – why would you date a woman who looks like a man? Its cringing every time you hear it, but people living a hetro-normative culture can’t get their heads around this.

Thank god for Moushumi Ghose and Jenoa Harlow, and their fantastic response.

In the above video of The Sex Talk, they discuss gender stereotypes based on hetero-normative culture, our cultures obsession with fitting into neat masculine and feminine roles, masculinity and femininity ebb and flow, and attraction.

Mou and Jen are hosts of The Sex Talk, a web-series focusing on sex education, relationship and dating advice, which hopes to raise awareness about healthier attitudes about sex and sexuality.

Mou is a queer and kink friendly sex therapist, and founder of Los Angeles Sex Therapy, and Jenoa Harlow is a lesbian identified actor and coach.

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9 Annoying Questions Straight People Ask Lesbians (and How NOT to Answer Them)

Coming Out is hard to do, and it’s amazing how curious everyone suddenly becomes. But how to handle the questioning? Like a grown up, with dignity and respect? Or if you fancy having little fun with it, here’s how.

Warning: Heavy Sarcasm. Don’t use these on Grandma.


Question One – “Isn’t it just because you hate men? Like, did some guy piss you off or something?”

Acceptable Answer – No, I am attracted to women. It’s normal.

Tempting Answer – Well obviously. I had a boyfriend once who fancied Jennifer Aniston. When he told me about it, my world fell apart and I am so emotionally scarred by it that I can now only bring myself to be with women. I frequently text my ex and tell him that he’s the reason I am now a lesbian and that he should feel truly ashamed of himself for causing me to make such a catastrophic and unnatural change to my lifestyle.

Also read: 5 Common Misconceptions About Lesbians


Question Two – “Will you have a threesome with me and my girlfriend?”

Acceptable Answer – Thank you, I’m flattered, but no.

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Tempting Answer – Hooray! I’ve been just dying for you to ask. Of course, I’d love to, and can’t imagine that turning out awkward or humiliating at all. You have no idea how rare it is to find someone who knows that the only reason I became a lesbian was so that I could spice up the sex lives of couples all over the country who are struggling in the bedroom. Would you consider filming us, too, please? I wouldn’t want you not being able to show your friends.


Question Three – “Do you use a dildo?”

Acceptable Answer – Sometimes, depending on personal preference and availability of such object.

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Tempting Answer – Of course. How else would we be able to get each other off? The presence of a phallic object is essential in lesbian sex. We can’t possibly do without them.


Question Four – (From a female friend) “Do you fancy me, then?”

Acceptable Answer – There is no acceptable answer to this. A “No” is insulting and a “Yes” makes everyone uncomfortable. You can’t win this question.

Tempting Answer – Yes, you’re the reason I became a lesbian. *Longing Stare*


Question Five – “But, like, how can you bring yourself to actually… You know… *Go down on a woman*?”

Acceptable Answer – It was a strange concept at first but once you’ve taken the plunge its not at all what you’d expect.

Tempting Answer – This coming from someone who willingly puts a penis in their mouth? Trust me, women are far more concerned with hygiene and general maintenance than men. And nothing shoots out at the end into your mouth and/or eyes. (Usually…). It’s like riding a bike – Once you’ve got the hang of it, it’s actually good fun and gets you from A to B a lot faster than other methods…


Question Six – “Isn’t a Strap-On uncomfortable?”

Acceptable Answer – No, they’re designed to be “user-friendly”.

Tempting Answer – Horribly. It’s like sand-paper to the vagina. You know how stopping to put a condom on can really ruin the mood? Imagine having to spend a considerable amount of time attaching a harness, complete with buckles and adjustable straps, right in the middle of all the fun. I think they design them that way to try to put us off our sinful ways.


Question Seven – *sigh* “I wish I could be a lesbian. I bet you just sit around painting each others toenails and watching rom-coms with face packs on?”

Acceptable Answer – Sometimes, but we also enjoy a wide array of activities too.

Tempting Answer – Yes, you’ve hit the nail right on the head. Once you’ve become a lesbian, you’re required to remove all traces of men and your former hetero lifestyle from your home. They won’t sell me a ticket to any movie that Ellen Degeneres hasn’t approved and I can only shop at men’s clothing stores. My partner and I spend our time wandering around the house together, discussing waxing methods, deep conditioning our hair and hoping our menstrual cycles will sync up.


Question Eight – “But, like, how do you define if you’ve had sex if nothings *gone in*?”

Acceptable Answer – We define sex as sexual activity that goes beyond heavy petting.

Tempting Answer – Well obviously we don’t call it sex, it can’t be. God said sex is between a man and a woman, and so it would be a sin to regard ourselves as having intercourse. We just try not to think about it and hope that our eternal souls will be forgiven when the day of judgement comes.


Question Nine – “Don’t you think you’ll end up with a man?”

Acceptable Answer – No. Just like you’re not going to end up with a donkey. Once again… I am not attracted to men.

Tempting AnswerGod I hope so. This lesbian phase of mine is becoming tiring. Here’s hoping that man will show up soon and make sure I’m cured of this anomaly once and for all. It’s been exhausting pretending to like women just to turn on men. I can’t wait to get married to a man, just like we all should, and finally be normal again.


What Is Being Gay (According to the Media)?

Lesbian and gay stereotypes permeate every aspect of our society, especially the media. These cliched views of gay characters have existed since the 1900s and are still prevalent, whether you notice them or not.

All exposure isn’t good exposure; these stereotypes are actually extremely damaging to the LGBT community, especially for queer women.

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When it comes to portraying lesbianism on screen, there is an historical tendency to sensationalise the subject matter.

If you believe the work of exploitation directors such as Jean Rollin and Jess Franco, every woman alive is just waiting for any chance to shed their clothes and get down to lesbian business in a very explicit way.

Lesbian Media stereotypes

The Promiscuous Casanova

These ladies have a different woman every night, and make damn sure not to remember their names the next morning. They’re suave, cocky and always managing to get the girl. As viewers, we tend to fancy them, or want to be (look at how popular the Shane haircut got). They are usually presented with frown and general self-hatred is a must.

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The Lesbian Psycho

These ladies range from bunny boilers to full blown psychopaths – if they’re not trying to destroy someone’s life, they’re chasing us with kitchen knives.

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The Vampire Dyke

These ladies are a mix of pale skin, pouting lips, sharp teeth and no remorse.  They are so overtly sexual that labelling them, as a lesbian doesn’t really work, as they want everyone. They’ll kiss you, strip you, lick you and then eat you.

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The Hot Lesbian

These ladies are stunningly gorgeous. You’ll watch them wade out of pools in slow motion, climbing off motorcycles in leather one-suits, flicking their gorgeous locks in the wind and licking their plumped up lips in anticipation. These women are there strictly for the male gaze, but men beware, as these women will still your woman. It would appear no one can resist especially the naïve girlfriend of some pumped up jock.

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All exposure isn’t good exposure; these stereotypes are extremely damaging to the LGBT community.