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ARGLE! Mrrmph. *glowers*

Okay. Maybe someone could give me an opinion on this.

I call myself a lesbian. I have never had sex with a woman. I've never had sex, willingly, period. So I've been informed that I'm not 'really' a lesbian.

Oh! And I am very, very feminine. Very 'straight acting', as I was informed by one of my PROFESSORS (for god's sake!). So, um, why do I have to behave in a stereotypical manner to be gay? WHY? Do I really have to, I don't know, get a mullet and wear men's jeans and play sports before I can call myself lesbian?

Sigh. I'm going to guess that a few people here have issues with intimacy...and with coming out...and I guess I jsut want an opinion. If you can offer me any suggestions for how to tell people to GO TO HELL for comments like the above, I'd appreciate it.

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I call myself a lesbian. I have never had sex with a woman. I've never had sex, willingly, period. So I've been informed that I'm not 'really' a lesbian.

I'm familiar with this -- and it's completely ridiculous. You don't have to have had consensual sex to 'know' that you're straight! What about all those people who don't have sex until after they get married? (Yes, I know a few couples like this.) Being lesbian isn't entirely about sex, any more than being straight is. There are so many other things that are/can be part of it.

Oh! And I am very, very feminine. Very 'straight acting', as I was informed by one of my PROFESSORS (for god's sake!). So, um, why do I have to behave in a stereotypical manner to be gay? WHY? Do I really have to, I don't know, get a mullet and wear men's jeans and play sports before I can call myself lesbian?
If this is the case -- then I'm in trouble. I wear skirts, often, all of them below the knee. In fact, I wear almost ankle length skirts rather than shorts in the summer. I dress quite modestly by current standards, not too overly feminine but unmistakably female. My hair is vaguely fashionable, and I sometimes (gasp) even wear a bit of makeup, and I wear jewelry. I don't play sports, any, though I do try to exercise for health.

Sigh. I'm going to guess that a few people here have issues with intimacy...and with coming out...and I guess I jsut want an opinion. If you can offer me any suggestions for how to tell people to GO TO HELL for comments like the above, I'd appreciate it.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I think "go to hell!" is a pretty effective way to deal with it!  I don't know that I have good advice on this point. For me, realizing I'm lesbian was a great relief, like turning on a light that suddenly made my life make sense. I've never made much effort to hide it, people who ask get a direct answer.

The most effective thing I do seems to be that I just take it for granted. To me it's perfectly natural, obvious, sensible -- "the sky is blue, the grass is green, Fiona is lesbian." My partner says that I 'own' it so much that it seems a part of me even to people I haven't met.

I'm also a sometimes radical feminist, and too many people assume that position and lesbianism are connected.

Fiona

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Are people really this stupid? (oh oh, dumb question)

Anyway...if you are a lesbian, you are a woman attracted sexually/emotionally to other women. It doesn't mean you have actually had sex (duh). And yeah..I was attracted to men long before I actually had sex with one. Did that mean between the ages of 13 and 18 I wasn't a heterosexual? How dumb can a person be?

Maybe a comment like "If you are really that stupid, I don't need to be talking to you." might be in order.

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So, um, why do I have to behave in a stereotypical manner to be gay?

You don't.

This is about their hangups, not yours.  I've met gay people whose self-image is so tenuous that they feel that they have to cling to some stereotyped image of gayness (lesbitude?) just so they  know who they are.  The irony in this is that they actually don't know who they are.  THey also may be using their appearance as their ticket into what they consider an exclusive social circle, and find that anyone who comes in without putting on the "uniform" threatens their own sense of belonging.  There are any number of reasons why people would desire that you conform to their own world-view

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ARGLE! Mrrmph. *glowers*

Okay. Maybe someone could give me an opinion on this.

Oh! And I am very, very feminine. Very 'straight acting', as I was informed by one of my PROFESSORS (for god's sake!). So, um, why do I have to behave in a stereotypical manner to be gay? WHY? Do I really have to, I don't know, get a mullet and wear men's jeans and play sports before I can call myself lesbian?

Ewwww! That is so inappropriate an answer for any person in a real or perceived position of authority. "Fuck off you ignorant moron?" Is that too harsh?

OK, so by his/her logic then I must be very "gay acting" because I have short hair, I wear mens clothes (hanes white v neck tshirts, and levis) and shoes (converse allstars) and little to no make-up. This is not my *uniform*, but it comes close to what I wear on an average day and I am very hetero--some would even say boy crazy and I'm 45...lol. Oh, and of course, I have birkenstocks too. Am I reallly gay?? Repressed?? That's as crazy as people who say, "you don't look depressed <read crazy>...or...you don't look like you can't walk because you're in chronic pain...or...you don't look suicidal because your husband died <you're to YOUNG to be a widow!> NO FUCKING SHIT!!!...." All things which are me. This is why I stay in the house.

HB

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I have to say that this just baffles me.  Yeah, you could tell them to go to hell but honestly, they are so stupid and you (to me) sound already so much more intelligent and self-aware than they are; I honestly wouldn't even give them the time of day.

Go hang out with the cool GLBT folks!

Karen

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I'm curious if this came from a straight person or someone within the community.  I have heard similar things from both sides.  hell, cruise some personals any day of the week you can find people advertising "straight acting", the phrasing of which makes me cringe. As for dealing with them, I guess it depends on your level of patience.  If you feel you can deal with them long enough to try to educate them, try to make them think about what they've just said and why it's stupid.  Often enough, if you just look at someone and say "you're kidding, right?", they'll realize they're being REALLY friggin' dumb.  If not, you might indignantly explain that there's no scarlet "L" marking all the lesbians out there.

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Thanks, everyone! I appreciate the validation...and the suggestions of what to say next time this comes up.  ;)

Fiona: Sounds like we dress alike. :P I'm a bit of a radical feminist too, but that has very little to do with my orientation and a lot more to due with being brought to pro-choice rallies at a young age. It's sad how many people assume that feminist=woman-identified, since that scares off so many people.

Wifezilla: THANK YOU. I knew I was gay long before I even knew the term. I'm sure it's the same for hetero people - you just are what you are! And unfortunately, people are this dumb. Sigh.

Cerberus: 'lesbitude!' LOL! I've tried to dress like i thought the community did...only to find that there doesn't really seem to be a standard uniform. Also, I looked ridiculous - I was trying far too hard. Some day I will get fed up and use your...um...direct approach. :)

honkingbird: OMG! You must be teh gay! You wear men's shirts?...I hope you know I'm kidding. It's annoying to not be able to just wear what's comfortable, what suits our personalities, without worryign about messing with the lines.

Groovyone: Thank you. :ninja: I know I should just move on, but it stings. After awhile, it just gets too hurtful!

reddog: You said it.

Atropis42: I've gotten this from both in and out of the community. My professor herself is lesbian...but I've also been told by straight people I need to 'act more' like I'm gay. Again, WTF?

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hehehe. this is funny because it's pretty much exactly the reverse of what's been going on at a lesbian forum i belong to - people bemoaning the lack of "obviously" lesbian girls. like we're pandering to male ideals of beauty by being femme, and what we (femmes) secretly want is men. hahahaha. this is just so absurd it makes me crack up laughing. it's so awful how a community hell bent on acceptance is often so unwilling to tolerate difference in their own ranks.

i can only agree with everything everyone has already said. i have nothing more to add.

oh, actually, yes i do. i had an awful moment once with a shrink who told me that being lesbian was just a symptom of my borderline personality and unstable identity. bitch.

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You can be gay OR crazy, but you can't be both?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

My mother long maintained that I'm lesbian because I'm crazy! It's those antidepressants you know, they make you gay. So does psychotherapy. At least when my therapist is involved (but then, we all know he sleeps with male sheep).

Fiona

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antidepressants make you gay?  really???  that's going to come as a shock to my gyn, my husband, a couple of boyfriends and one or two disappointed women i've met.......

i thought i was just BORN this way....oh, wait, i forgot, i couldn't have been hetero at 19 cuz i was still a virgin.....

this thread just really hits my cynical button.  it's almost a Monty Pyton routine.

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I was once asked this question by my boyfriend's straight roommate: "how do people know they're lesbians if they haven't had sex with a women?".  I asked him how heterosexuals knew they were straight if they hadn't had sex.  He got such a look on his face, and I remembered that he was a virgin. 

An even better question might be "how do heterosexuals know they're straight until they've tried both genders to see how they like it?" 

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i knowwww! it was after i quit therapy with that particular therapist and had a good objective look at the "progress" i had made, that i realised that it was a load of bollocks for me and that i was doing more harm than good with all the over-interpretation and self-examination and the seeding of doubts over things that i had actually processed pretty well and was managing quite effectively.

i have to say, cynicism is a very healthy ego defence. otherwise you'll just take everything at face value and not think about whether it's right or not.

ah, groovy, i envy you being in TO - i first kissed a girl in a bar on church street. hehehehe. then i came back to australia and all i get are insults because i'm not a militant flag waving boot wearing lesbian.

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ah, groovy, i envy you being in TO - i first kissed a girl in a bar on church street. hehehehe. then i came back to australia and all i get are insults because i'm not a militant flag waving boot wearing lesbian.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yeah, we've got it pretty good here.  Glad you had a good and memorable time.  Come back any time you'd like! Church St. beckons!

Karen

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ah, groovy, i envy you being in TO - i first kissed a girl in a bar on church street. hehehehe. then i came back to australia and all i get are insults because i'm not a militant flag waving boot wearing lesbian.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yeah, we've got it pretty good here.  Glad you had a good and memorable time.  Come back any time you'd like! Church St. beckons!

Karen

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I'll retire there once we've won the fight down in the states.  LOVE the entire city. ;)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am a lesbian and I have not had lesbian sex yet. But I still know, so don't let anyone put you down for that. I am a femme type too, though I have short hair, I dress girly and wear jewellery make up and perfume on the odd occasion. (Being ill makes getting out of bed an achievement let alone dolling myself up!) Besides it is no one's business who turns you on, or what you look like.

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Besides it is no one's business who turns you on, or what you look like.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

In the end, it's ALL drag anyway!  Boy drag, girl drag, street, job, club, scene, whatever.

So if they can't cope with karuna drag - well, it's not YOUR fault you're too fabulous for them.

Beckajo:

Another response for the "You're not REALLY a lesbian/gay" jerks: "As far as dating YOU goes,

  you're right."  Feel free to add "Give me a REAL woman ANY day."

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