Tag Archives: straight people

How to Talk To A Homosexual: A Guide For Straight People

If you have gay friends, and you’re not gay yourself, there’s bound to be a little miscommunication while you adjust to the situation. It’s a whole new dynamic if you’ve never had a gay friend before – but it’s not so hard to get used to.

Wondering what you should do to avoid your new friend hating your guts?

Well, it’s really pretty simple: Treat us like humans. For a more specific tutorial, check the following list.

Don’t run away screaming when they come out to you.

It should be pretty self-explanatory, but some people have a hard time with it. Just don’t do it. It’s rude.

If you really feel the need to run away, do so slowly.

And if you care about them at all, give them the courtesy of being discrete. Coming out on someone else’s behalf? Also rude.

Don’t assume that they’re attracted to you.

Just like most straight people are not attracted to everyone of the opposite sex, most gay people are not attracted to everyone of the same sex.

Don’t assume they’re not attracted to you.

Hey – maybe they do think you’re cute. But that generally doesn’t mean they’re going to force themselves on you. We do have self-control.

Don’t assume you’re not attracted to them, either.

Sometimes, your desires might surprise you. It’s ok. We won’t judge you for it.

Don’t expect them to think you’re a novelty.

Even though you might have never met a gay person before, they’ve probably met straight people before. They probably don’t want to know every detail about your “lifestyle”.

Don’t treat them like a novelty, either.

They probably don’t want to answer a million questions about being gay. Most don’t mind answering one or two – but if they wanted to answer a million questions, they’d be writing an advice column on a gay website. (Yes, this means you can ask me whatever you’d like! But please be respectful.)

Please, don’t make it painfully awkward.

This includes repeatedly bringing up your opposite-sex significant other so that they know you are 100% definitely not gay. (BTW, this makes you seem way more gay.)

“Why are you gay?” counts as an awkward question.

Other questions to avoid: “Are you sure?” “Have you always been gay?” “How long have you been gay?” “What made you gay?” “Do you like being gay?” “But how do you know if you’ve never been with the opposite sex?” or the dreaded “Do you know [fellow homosexual’s name]?” (We do not have some telepathic link with one another – although that would make dating a hell of a lot easier.)

Don’t expect their gay-ness to just not come up.

If they’re out of the closet, they’re not going to get back in the closet just to make you more comfortable. Asking them to would be incredibly rude.

No, it’s not “a sex thing” (for most of us).

And if it is, that’s none of your business. The only people who are entitled to know about our sex lives are those we choose to share them with. (Again – if they wanted to be on display, they’d be on display.)

Your kids are not in danger.

Well, if they’re really cute, we might file for visitation. (Wink wink.)

Your honor is not in danger.

The vast majority of gay people have no interest in pursuing, dating, or sleeping with a straight person. Don’t worry.

Your marriage is not in danger.

No one is trying to steal your husband or wife. If gay marriage threatens your “traditional” marriage, that means one of you is gay. No exceptions.

We Are Three Times More Likely To Experience A Mental Health Issues, Than Straight People

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, LGBTQ youth are at an increased risk for suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts, and suicide and are often bullied more than their peers.

Alyssa Norris recently explained Yahoo Health

If they’re an adolescent subject to daily bullying who is rejected by their parents, we would expect that these rates would be higher.”

That can make a lasting impression on a person’s psyche, licensed clinical psychologist Alicia H. Clark, who specialises in the treatment of anxiety, added.

It isn’t easy to be different, and the chronic challenges of a non-heterosexual lifestyle can make everything seem harder, leading ultimately to mental health issues.”

The problems may start from the time a person realises his or her sexual orientation is different from the majority’s, she says, and may be exacerbated as a person encounters challenges faced when coming out.

It can be hard to stay mentally healthy along the way.”

Research has shown that gay men in particular have higher rates of body dissatisfaction and shame due to gay male culture’s emphasis on physical appearance.

One study published in the journal Men and Masculinities found that gay men reported significantly more body dissatisfaction and had a significantly smaller ideal weight than heterosexual men.

Another study published in the journal Eating Behaviors found that gay men were significantly more likely to be at risk of disordered eating and were more driven to achieve a muscular body than heterosexual men.

That can create a lot of stress and anxiety for a man, which can even lead to depression.

Clark added

Not only are gay men concerned about societal stigma for their sexual orientation, but gay men can feel intense social pressure from their community to be a picture of physical attractiveness that isn’t always possible. They feel shame about their perceived physical flaws and can also be shamed by their partners, making it hard to come to terms with one’s physical limitations and realities.”

But as the new research and other data have shown, it’s not just gay men who are at risk.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, LGBTQ individuals are three times more likely than others to experience a mental health condition like major depression or an anxiety disorder.

Societal and cultural pressure can generate a great deal of added anxiety and relationship angst. It is isolating to feel different, and although we know so much of sexual orientation is biological, people still harbour a great deal of shame.”

If that anxiety isn’t redirected into realistic values or channelled into productive action, it can create a vulnerability to depression and self-destructive behaviours like substance abuse, Clark says.

However, it’s possible for us to lower our risk of developing a mental illness.

Clark says the most important way is to get educated about the symptoms of anxiety and depression and know your odds of developing each. If you show an early sign of decline, get help.

Don’t let one more stigma (mental health) stand in your way of finding the happiness and satisfaction you deserve to feel in life.”

Up For Debate: Do Gay Men Get More Stressed Than Lesbians?

There is a new study in town that shows the odd connections between sexual orientation and stress responses.

According to McGill researcher Robert-Paul Juster, there is something funny is going on with lesbians, gay men and heterosexual people when it comes to stress.

The researcher was curious to see how gay men and women would react to stress. He already discovered that men produce more cortisol than women when stressed, and that gay people are more stressed when they are closeted. However, nobody had ever compared the stress responses of gay men and lesbian to straight people.

For the study, he brought in 87 gay, lesbian, straight and bisexual participants into his lab, made them do stress-inducing math problems and a mock job interview, and watched what happened to the cortisol levels in their saliva.

Since gay men are exposed to stressors such as discrimination and homophobia on a daily basis (what psychologists call minority stress), it was thought that gay men would get more stressed than straight men. Wrong.

It turned out while straight men’s cortisol spiked 20 minutes after the stressor; gay men remained almost entirely unperturbed.

That’s a good thing, right? Not necessarily.

It could mean that gay men have suffered so much stress they no longer react. For example, one previous study found gay men living in American states with more discrimination had blunted cortisol reactions.

It is also possible that gay men have simply developed better coping mechanisms for stress than straight men, and that their hormones have been pummelled into non-reactivity.

Which would mean lesbians should have lower stress reactivity too, right? Nope.

It turns out lesbians and bisexual women were more stressed than their straight peers.

In fact, gay women reacted much more like straight men, and straight women reacted like gay men.

The only difference was that the queer women took twice as long to get stressed. Why? Juster thinks it might be because the gaywomen spent more time turning the stress over in their heads after the event, but for now that’s just a guess.

So what should we make of the mysterious difference between how gay men and women react to stress?

Juster says,

That’s a really good question, and to be honest with you I have no clue. I really don’t know how to explain it.”

What we have learned, Juster says, is that we shouldn’t lump gay men and lesbians together when it comes to stress.

Also, because Juster controlled for sex hormones such as testosterone and progesterone in his study, we now know stress reactivity is related to social factors and not just biology.

Fortunately, Juster still has his postdoctoral research to work it all out.

There’s a lot of follow up studies that I need to do to figure out what’s going on. This is something I hope will stretch out through my entire career.”

Stay tuned.

If You Could Be Straight, Would You?

If you had the choice to just suddenly be straight, would you do it?

I can honestly say I wouldn’t do anything special. Although I myself am quite definitely gay, I don’t see heterosexuality as something exotic. I guess it would be a bewildering experience to suddenly have but nothing essential would change.

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.
Screen Shot 2015-10-02 at 16.15.43 Screen Shot 2015-10-02 at 16.18.06

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)

lesbian stereotypes 01

  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


  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.



  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


  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.


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.


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.


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.

Homophobia Amongst Teen Boys Is on the Rise, Says Mental Health Charity

Although a majority of people in countries like the US and the UK now support LGBTQ rights, there’s still a (vocal) minority who still oppose them and the existence of LGBTQ people themselves. While they are clearly on the wrong side of change, homophobia can have a serious impact on a person’s mental health and, as we have unfortunately seen in the past, can lead people to taking their own lives.

Recently, LGBTQ charity Stonewall spoke up about the risk of ‘complacency’, saying that we need to make sure we tackle anti-LGBTQ opinions and now mental health charity Beyondblue has backed that up with a survey; and the data is damning.

Beyondblue interviewed 304 teenage boys in Australia, each of them aged between 14 and 17. They quizzed them on their opinions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people and found that 21% of them agreed that it was hard to treat them the same as their cis, heterosexual peers and 27% of the boys said agreed with the statement “The way I treat lesbian, gay or bisexual people doesn’t really matter as I don’t meet many.” Worse still, one in five of those who responded said that LGBTI people should hide their identity and 38% weren’t sure (or disagreed) when they were asked if they’d be happy to include an LGBTI person in their friendship group. 40% said that they were uncomfortable around LGBTI people.

Beyondblue CEO Georgie Harman says that:

We know levels of psychological distress among LGBTI people are much, much higher than the rest of the population, and suicide rates among this [part of the] population is also incredibly high. Having people tease you and making you feel worthless at school can be incredibly damaging, and the research is consistently telling us we need to educate young men in particular that discriminating against LGBTI people is not only harmful, it’s ridiculous and not cool.”

As a result, her organisation has put together a new advertising campaign to tackle these anti-LGBTQ opinions. There is a short film accompanied by the hashtag #StopThinkRespect and this will be rolled out across social media as well as being displayed on gambling websites, at cinemas and other places frequented by young men.

Harman has also said that she doesn’t know why Australia’s young men hold these views but hopefully their campaign will change their minds for the better.

New Australian Report Finds Lesbians Earn up to 33% More than Heterosexual Women

A new study from Australia has identified a big differences in the average earning power of gay men and lesbians when compared to their heterosexual counterparts.

The study concluded that lesbians earn – on average – 33% more than heterosexual women. However, gay men face negative discrimination from employers when it comes to their pay.

Although, at first, such statistics may be surprising, the study mirrors similar research published last year, which concluded that lesbians earn 20% more than their heterosexual counterparts.

Also read: Apparently Lesbians Make More Money Than Gay Men and Straight People


So why the difference? Professor Mark Wooden of the University of Melbourne’s  – who co-authored the report – said it was due LGB women working more hours. In fact an average 20% more than straight women.

The research concluded that straight women were more likely to take time off work or be employed part-time because of parenting duties.

However, the same study found that gay men were found to earn about 20 per cent less than heterosexual men due to a lower rate of earnings’ growth – and this was worse if they lived with a partner and were more open about their sexuality.

We found that the wages of gay men are growing at a much slower rate than the wages of heterosexual males. Gay males who are most likely to be observably gay by employers – those who live with a same-sex partner – face larger earnings penalties than those who are discreet about their sexuality.”

Professor Mark Wooden

The report – Sexual Identity, Earnings, and Labour Market Dynamics: New Evidence from Longitudinal Data in Australia – concluded:

Gay men are 16 per cent less likely to be employed and are substantially more likely to have several periods of joblessness than heterosexual men.”

Dr Catriona Wallace has recently launched Ventura, a Sydney-based space for businesses start-ups run by women which places an emphasis on diversity and inclusion. Commenting on the study, she told Gay Star Business that she was aware of LGBT entrepreneurs having trouble when it came to raising investment.

Although I cannot comment directly on pay disparity between gay and lesbian people in Australia – despite being a reasonably tolerant society, my observations are that it is still difficult for gay, lesbian or transgender led businesses to reach a representative number in the start-up community.

Given the traditional investment community is mostly male, this may mean that being a gay man pitching for capital may be more difficult. That being said, it’s very difficult period for women, straight or lesbian, and minority groups to raise capital in Australia. This is something we want to work on.”

In December, a similar study commissioned by the World Bank and IZA World of Labor, found that gay women get 15% more in Canada, 11% in Germany and 8% more in the UK. Gay men can expect 12%, 9% and 5% less in those respective countries.

Lesbians may be willing to make a series of career-oriented decisions, such as staying in school longer, choosing a degree that is likely to lead to a higher paying job, and working longer hours,’ and they ‘tend to self-select into male-dominated occupations that may offer higher salaries.

[On the other hand, gay men in the workplace] may upset conventional assumptions about gender, and so their contributions to the firm and their leadership abilities may not be properly evaluated and they can be overlooked for promotions.’

Dr Nick Drydakis

Why Queer People Shouldn’t Care What Straight People Think

In the last decade or so, LGBTQ people have made massive strides on the road to establishing our rights.

For example, across the United States more than 70% of the population lives in a place with marriage equality (same-sex couples are now entitled to benefits too), other countries like England and Scotland have also passed marriage equality laws, anti-discrimination laws now protect many millions of people from being treated badly because of their gender or sexuality; and there has been an increase in LGBT adopters due to improved laws about same-sex adoptions.

Each and every one of these achievements was made possible with the help of straight people! Wait, what? Don’t worry I’m just kidding – but the idea that the LGBTQ rights movement would not have happened without our straight, cisgendered allies is a familiar, yet incorrect opinion.

Some people argue that because straight, cisgendered people are a majority, queer people should cater to them and be careful not to step on their toes since being nice to heterosexuals is the way to full equality.

But this is not a viewpoint shared by me. I ask the question of why should queer people care what straight people think, when they took our rights away in the first place?

Why should we sit around campfires holding hands and singing kumbaya with these people, when just a few years ago they were happy for LGBTQ people to be treated like second class citizens; second class citizens who once less human rights than animals.

And two queer people I spoke to – Ebony and Jess – had answers.

Ebony explained that catering to straight people “makes it seem like [queer people are] doing everything we can to make [straight people] feel comfortable when they’re the oppressors. It’s backwards and it should be them saying ‘yeah we know we oppressed you and now we want to help you in a respectful way'”.

Meanwhile, Jess added that “[straight people] don’t tone their sexuality for us so why should we do it for them? It defeats the point of the legalisation of gay rights because it makes you feel ashamed, it gives you sense of being oppressed because although you’re considered equal in law, in society, you’re not as liberated as it implies.”

Not only is a softly softly approach unfair to queer people, as Jess and Ebony have said, it also doesn’t work.

People pull up similar arguments when it comes to racial inequality, asking why people of colour don’t just cross their fingers and hope that someday all white people will be accepting and we’ll live in a harmonious society: The simple truth is that the people with the power don’t care and they’re happy to carry on oppressing us all since it doesn’t make a difference to them.

If anyone got anywhere by playing nice and twiddling their thumbs, inequality across the board would have been eradicated long ago.

In addition, if queer people were to sit back and deal with it every time a straight person treated them badly or spoke micro-aggressions (e.g you’re pretty for a trans girl! Or, why do all lesbians dress like men?) then we’d be faced with them all the time. The only way to stop these things from happening is to be clear: we will not tolerate this.

LGBTQ rights are more important than heterosexual feelings and if our straight allies are as invested in helping as they say they are, they should recognise this instead of asking us to play nice.


Two women kiss in front of anti gay crowd

Apparently Lesbians Make More Money Than Gay Men and Straight People

According a recent study entitled ‘Sexual orientation and labor market outcomes‘, published by IZA World – lesbians are 8 percent richer than straight people, whereas gay men are 5 percent poorer than their straight counterpart in terms of career status.

Lead researcher, Nick Drydakis, revealed that sexual orientation has a direct effect on one’s job satisfaction, communication with colleagues, and earning capacity as well.

The study had multiple insights, one of which indicated that it was imperative for the employees to accept their sexual orientation early on. In other words, gay men and lesbians who accepted their sexuality were more likely to experience high job satisfaction than those who hid in their own shells.

Apart from job satisfaction, even the longevity of the career satisfaction could be directly connected with the number of years the gays and lesbians have been open and honest about their sexual orientation.

It was also revealed that employers needed to be clear about their acceptance of gays and lesbians to achieve higher work morale in the office. In simpler terms, employers who were open about their opinions and acceptance of gays and lesbians managed to cultivate employees with exceptionally good work attitude.

However, this still doesn’t explain why lesbians were the ones who made better money than straight or gay men.

Drydakis explained that lesbians seem to have the tendency to realise that they are not going to marry and so expenses from traditional household is spared. Moreover, lesbians are very much capable of living independently and hence quite easily choose a career path based on their own, with no intervention from the opposite sex and his life goals.

Despite the positive outlook, the study also unearthed some disturbing facts about gays and lesbians at the workplace. The study indicated that only 20 percent of the countries surveyed seemed to openly adopt openness to sexual preference. In terms of sheer numbers, 2.7 billion people across the globe still suffer from discrimination. They are still considered to be criminals who are committing a crime by being a homosexual.

Drydakis suggested that the fight for being treated equally for lesbians and gays is certainly a long-drawn one. Only with sustained campaigns supported by governments as well as the companies will the gays and lesbians be able to work in an emotionally and financially healthy workplace.

Cameron Esposito Answers 11 Questions Straight People Want To Ask A Lesbian

In the clip below, Cameron Esposito answers questions sent in from readers and no query is too personal — or too stupid — for her to offer a candid, considered response.

Screen Shot 2014-11-15 at 10.55.44

The comedian, who recently released her album “Same Sex Symbol,” does some truth telling and we like it.

[tweet_dis]“What makes this lesbian feel pretty? False eyelashes and a vest.”[/tweet_dis]

You can pick up her album and follow her on Twitter. For upcoming tour dates, head here.

15 Facts ALL Heterosexual People Should Know about Lesbians…

15 facts ALL heterosexual people should know about lesbians…

  1. Just as heterosexual people can know they’re straight without ever having sex, lesbians can too. You don’t need to have slept with a woman to know you are gay.
  2. Not all lesbians are identified as butch or femme.
  3. Being a lesbian is not a phase, its just life.
  4. Lesbians are not necessarily attracted to all girls they meet.
  5. A girl can have long hair and still be lesbian.
  6. Lesbians hate it when straight girls experiment on them.
  7. Just because lesbians are sexually and emotionally attracted to women, does not mean they hate or even dislike men. In fact, many lesbians love men.
  8. Sure lesbians have sex, but like heterosexual relationships, sex is not all there is to lesbian relationships.
  9. Some lesbians haven’t met the right woman yet, but meeting a man has nothing to do with it.
  10. Lesbians love their mums just like the rest of the world.
  11. Lesbians are not as tough as we think.
  12. Being a lesbian is not the same thing as being a straight man.
  13. Asking a lesbian why she ‘doesn’t like men’ isn’t going to suddenly make her revaluate her whole life and sexuality.
  14. The word lesbian is used in the gay world if both are of the same role in bed.
  15. Lesbians simply rock!


Straight Question, Straight Answer

[tweet_dis]Words can be empowering or limiting depending on the context [/tweet_dis]. Most LGBTQIA+ communities have coined and adopted an extensive vocabulary that provides us with ways to differentiate between sex and gender, between gender and sexual orientation, between sexual orientation and romantic orientation—It can help to recognize different aspects and how these combine in different ways, in a person or a relationship.

These can also intimidate or distract a label-conscious individual from simply accepting a human experience.

When it comes to cisgendered straight people asking a queer couple something like, “Which one of you is the man, and which one of you is the woman?” It can be an awkward situation, more awkward than not being on the same page—It’s a matter of not having the same dictionary, not reading the same alphabet, even not being in the same library.

“Which one of you is the man, and which one of you is the woman?”

It can matter that such a question rarely comes out of ill will or some desire to confront the queer couple with how strange and wrong the relationship is—Rather, it usually comes from a paradigm that serves as a common default and therefore we would all commonly understand it even if it no longer applies. Sometimes, it does apply to a queer couple that just so happens to suit traditional masculine and feminine roles comfortably.

In the latter case, the straight querent gets a more-or-less straight answer. For example, the butch lesbian is the man, and the lipstick lesbian is the woman, and everyone in the conversation ends up satisfied. Or, the butch lesbian is the woman, and the lipstick lesbian is the man, the conversation turns to some slightly more queer than anticipated – who fulfils so-and-so roles professionally versus at home versus (if you want to spice up the conversation) in the bedroom—but nothing too serious, nothing that shakes the foundations of the default paradigm, and everyone in the conversation ends up satisfied. This happens.

It also does frequently happen that the question doesn’t get conversation rolling quite so easily. Gay comedienne Ellen DeGeneres is credited with the observation that, “Asking who’s the man and who’s the woman in a same sex relationship is like asking which chopstick is the fork.” The conventions of a straight relationship don’t apply to queer relationships. How amusingly ignorant it is that some people would presume that it does—and the way DeGeneres put it is clever, simple, and not generally confrontational. That conversation can end with a laugh and a change of topic.

In many other ways, a conversation resulting from this question can proceed splendidly.

This doesn’t change the fact that the question does impose expectation, and (unintentionally, or even intentionally) highlights how strange and wrong a queer relationship is in the context of a heteronormative society. If the conversation did happen to take a turn for the less-than-splendid-and-satisfactorily, that’s probably the reason why.

Considering this, the real answer to the question is another question: Why does this cisgendered straight person care about who fits what gender role, in a relationship in which they are not included?

The answer can indicate not only how the conversation should proceed, but whether it’s worth having to everyone involved.

How Tolerant Are They? I Mean, Really?

How accepting are straight people of LGBTs? And just because they say they’re tolerant, do they behave in a tolerant fashion? “Beyond the Box”, an eye-opening new study from Belgium has tried to answer these tricky questions.

The study was commissioned by the State Secretary of Brussels, Bruno De Lille, and took six months to complete. It concluded that sexist and anti-LGBT sentiments are deeply-rooted in Belgian society, despite recent advances such as the legalisation of same-sex unions.

Myrte Dierckx, an academic from Antwerp University, believes the findings show that straight people will say they are welcoming of gay, lesbian and transgender people, while secretly harbouring discriminatory views. Furthermore, older heterosexual men were found to be more resistant to equality while those respondents who had a diverse range of friends and family members were more likely to support LGBT rights.

Worryingly, the study also showed that a number of young heterosexual Belgians have bullied, harassed or in some other way exhibited inappropriate behaviour towards gays and lesbians. Some commentators have called for Belgium’s struggle against homophobia and sexism to be as serious and committed as the country’s campaign against racism which, in a relatively short period, has transformed popular attitudes to ethnic minorities.

Mr De Lille intended “Beyond the Box” to confront LGBT hatred in Brussels, which is one of Europe’s most diverse and open-minded cities. ‘If we can bring different people into more contact with each other,’ says Mr De Lille, ‘we will have good results in the area of homophobia and sexism, and that’s good news for a city like Brussels.’

image source – Alberto de Pedro’s website