“But you don’t look like a lesbian”

Something I notice a lot is stereotypes about the LGBTQQA community. A lot of the time when I tell someone that I’m a lesbian, they say “But you don’t look like a lesbian”. Or when a guy tells someone he’s gay, they say things like “You don’t seem gay though”. People seem to have the idea that all lesbians are masculine, and all gay men are feminine. This does not only exclude all other gender identities, but it perpetuates stereotypes and generalizations, not to mention gender roles. Your personality, how you dress, and who you hang out with has nothing to do with who you are attracted to. I mean think about it. There isn’t really a signal to indicate that someone is straight, unless they tell you so, so why do people think they know when someone isn’t straight? Honestly, you can’t tell by looking at someone! Keep an open mind! Assuming ones sexual orientation can be hurtful! Here are some things to say to make people more comfortable:

  • Instead of: Do you have a girlfriend/boyfriend?
  • Say: Are you dating anybody?
  • Instead of: Are there any guys/girls you like?
  • Say: Do you like anyone?

I think you get the idea. Asking broader questions can help to eliminate tension when you don’t know someones sexuality. If someone is not straight, they might feel uncomfortable with these questions, and it will make it harder for them to “come out of the closet”. If someone is straight and you make the assumption that they are not, it puts them in a weird position as well. Try not to make assumptions, and remember that peoples identities can change!

This is a picture of me and my friend. We are both lesbians, but you probably wouldn’t assume so by looking at us, would you?

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10 thoughts on ““But you don’t look like a lesbian”

  1. how old are you? 15? 16? You have no idea what your true sexuality it. I just find it hard to believe that you’re so sure you’re gay. Now I’m not here to insult any one, I’m mearly commenting. I did enjoy the article though, very thoughtful and thought provoking.

  2. Thanks for your feedback, but that is a bit offensive. How do you know that I dont know what my sexuality is? I am old enough to know what I am attracted to. I am geussing that you are straight, and when you were younger, you probobly knew you were straight, and i bet no one told you that was hard to believe! I mean, nobody questions people who identify as straight, but then when you identify as non-straight nobody takes you seriously! Just saying 😛

    • I am in fact straight, but I wasn’t always. In high school I went through I phase where I thought I was gay and I actually dated several guys. I was sure that I was gay and I loved it. Being with another homosexual man made me happy and I was sure it was my calling. Then in college I met my wife. I’ve been with her for 7 years and happily married for 5. So I just want to enlighten you about the fact that this my be what you want right now and if it is go for it and explore.

    • I am in fact straight, but I wasn’t always. In high school I went through I phase where I thought I was gay and I actually dated several guys. I was sure that I was gay and I loved it. Being with another homosexual man made me happy and I was sure it was my calling. Then in college I met my wife. I’ve been with her for 7 years and happily married for 5. So I just want to enlighten you about the fact that you can never really be sure about your sexuality. I know I definitely wasn’t at that age. Although if this may be what you want right now and if it is go for it and explore, have fun. I did. As for being offensive I’m truly sorry, I had no bad thoughts whatsoever. I’m just mearly commenting

      ~john

  3. Its okay! And i understand what your saying. I believe that identities can fluctuate, and things can change. But i have been dating girls for years and so far that seems to be what im attracted to. I am aware of the fact that this could change at any point! I know i might not be lesbian forever, i could meet a guy and like him, who knows. But this is how I identify now, so if I’m gay for the next ten minutes or the next ten years, I dont think it matters. I just want people to take my identity seriously. Just because I’m young doesn’t mean I dont know what I’m attracted to at this point in my life. (:

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