gay girl, party of one

*Disclaimer: I have a pretty bad infection and am taking a massive amount of antibiotics/painkillers. Proceed with caution.

All right, y’all. Here’s a fun topic:

How can you tell if someone’s gay?

Before we get into the topic, I wanna share one of Exhibit A’s favorite stories. I think it’s better told in person, but that’s okay.

I was on the bus (aka living the high life) riding home from work. I usually ride at the time that high schoolers are, and I get to hear some winning stories. So. I’m riding along, all spacing out and whatever, until I hear the girls behind me say “So, who do you think is a fag in our grade?”

They then proceed to talk about how “he’s totally a fag because he has a lisp,” “oh, I think he’s a fag because he like, talks to me at lunch but doesn’t try to hit on me,” etc etc. I sit there, fuming. I’m so over it. So, as we get to the next stop, I’m just livid. I’ve been working it all out in my head, and when I get up to transfer, I turn around and say (very badass-ily):

“You better be careful what you’re saying. You never know who’s a fag that’s around you.”

I turn and walk away, feeling pretty legit. And those two girls looked TERRIFIED. I’m thinking I scared them (not so) straight and such. But as I’m riding the second bus home, I’m thinking they looked like…really scared. I get home and look in the mirror after going pee, and THIS IS WHAT MY FACE LOOKS LIKE:
I had been bitten by a spider that morning and had no idea that my eye was swelling up. I then realized that a weird girl with a crooked eye was yelling at some high schoolers. And now, instead of being like “Oh, and this cute lesbian told us what was up,” they probably say “Then this crazy chick with a lazy eye reamed us out, what a fag!”

I was back in WI a couple of weeks ago and I had lunch with a couple of girlfriends. The subject eventually turned to me and to my sexuality in general. My closest friends are my closest friends for this reason: they ask me anything. So. My friend, we’ll call her Wino, asks “So…how do you know if a girl’s a lesbian? Like, what are the telltale signs?” I immediately go to The L Word/blogs I’ve read/my short foray into the lesbian world and start spouting off my telltale signs:

  • Short nails? (This is a given. Think about it.)
  • Did you want a pony or a monkey growing up? (Pony = girly. Monkey = big ol’ lesbian.)
  • Zip-up hoodie (it’s just part of the dress code.)

Hilariously, I only got through those three and Wino lost her mind. She was wearing a black zip-up hoodie, had her nails cut nice and short, and screamed “monkey!” when I asked the girls what pet they wanted. I then made fun of her pretty hard for clinging to me like a spider monkey when we had sleepovers. I started on the trundle and she ended up next to me, clung on for dear life. Lesbiannnnnnn! (I kid. Kind of. I’ll see you on the other side, Wino.)

But, that got me thinking about gay gals. What makes a gay girl stand out? I am consistently told that I don’t “look like a lesbian.” I would say that on average, I wear jeans/skirts and tank tops/dresses. I am constantly hot as hell and look for any option to layer so I can remove said layers. If you hear me say, “I’m cold,” take my temperature and maybe have me lie down, cause I’m obviously illin’.

It took me a weird amount of time to find these photos. Please appreciate.
As for my haircut, I have long hair. It has been recently shortened to accomodate the bangs that I decided I so desperately needed. Thanks, ladies of Mad Men.
(Is it just me, or did Peggy get WAY hotter this season? Rar.)
I found this article on Jezebel titled Pssst: The Girl’s Guide to Lesbian Cliches & Stereotypes. According to this list, I should be in Birkenstocks, no makeup/bra, cords, and have my keys on my belt. But it says that “femme lesbians” need not worry. From my light research of “femme lesbian,” I get some porn and then I get some websites saying we try to “pass as straight.”

But am I trying to pass as straight, or was I just in that world for a long time? And what if I identify as something other than a lesbian/bisexual girl? If I’m more in the queer category, what does that make me? I don’t feel gender-neutral. I am not the walking man on the crossing signal on the street! I am a woman. I love high heels. I wear makeup and enjoy getting glammed up. I also used to sleep with men. Now I sleep with women. I guess I’m curious as to what category that throws me in, really. And it’s annoying, I’ve talked about it before – I want to feel like I fit in as a “gay girl” in a crowd of homos…yet I’m usually awkwardly standing next to a wall, watching all the confidence radiate off of the strong women that I surround myself with. In straight girl world, that was me! I was the loud, brash one. Is it now that since I’ve turned to a new world that I’ve done a Freaky Friday role-reversal with myself, and now I’m quiet in a room full of loud ladylovers?

Any stereotypes you’re used to? I guess I’m wondering because I not only have trouble categorizing myself, but clearly the rest of the world does, too.


13 thoughts on “gay girl, party of one

  1. Why do you have to find a category to categorize yourself in. Don’t over analyze what you are or the way that you should be. Just be proud of the person that you are and the wonderful loving women that you have become! It takes alot of strength and courage to be honest with yourself and honest with other people about such a huge change in your lifestyle! Love you sister!!! Love Ashley!!!!

  2. Leveraging your bus example: Maybe it’s not the word “fag” that strikes a poor chord, maybe it’s the feeling that goes with it. The stigma behind the word, how it’s used to compartmentalize a population of the human race into something taboo. The history of it being used to put people down and make them feel hopelessly alone. People continue to “come out of the closet” because other people continue to put them in one, and that starts with everyone making you feel like you have to explain yourself. You don’t. Let other people be confused in their bigotry, I can only imagine how hard it must be for them to live trying to categorize everyone they stride by. If they want to take time out of their day to slap a label across your forehead for everyone else to see, then they have already missed out on admiring how confidently you walk, or hearing to you say “hello”. They have already taken everything about you for granted. Don’t do that to yourself. There are way too many quirks about you to enjoy to waste your days trying to figure out why you exhibit them. You don’t need a reason to be you.

    • “People continue to “come out of the closet” because other people continue to put them in one, and that starts with everyone making you feel like you have to explain yourself”
      Love. Love love love. You are great 🙂 Thanks buddy.

  3. I agree with Ashley, but the pressure from others to define is constant. I have rejected the bisexual category for many reasons. It sounds clinical and only about sex, not identity and emotion. I’ve slowly adjusted to queer when explicitly asked, which is rare since I pass as straight. That’s a whole other issue, as you briefly addressed. Thanks for blogging this!

    • Ahh! I agree! The identity/emotion part is what I struggle with every day. It’s not so much that categorically, I’d be considered “bisexual,” because according to science that’s what it is…it’s that I don’t identify as that. Just perfect. And also I feel a little honored that you commented on my blog…kind of a big deal 🙂

  4. I was going write something similar to Ashley. Here’s quote from the wonderful Dr Suess: “why fit in when you were born to stand out?”. You are such a wonderful person and people already love you for you. Not by what you wear, say, or do. Remember that!

  5. Ironically, I hit up two of those three items….and laughed at myself and proceeded to read on and then thought about Rachel Maddow and how comfortable her hoodie looks…ah, mental tangents!

  6. Pingback: internet memes and me…me. « miss halfway

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