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10 Things Not to Say to a Lesbian

Queer women are tired of answering stupid questions.

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6. Really? But you’re so pretty.

This is an insult disguised as a compliment that implies lesbians are hideous bridge trolls who are only gay because no man wants to see them naked. It also erases the possibility that lesbians can be feminine, which is ridiculous. Lots of lesbians are feminine—we even have a word for it: femme. And though we might wear makeup/skirts/have long hair, etc., we still probably don’t want to sleep with you, especially not after you say that.

Possible comeback: “Portia di Rossi.” Though really, we don’t even think this justifies an answer. Just look at them blank-faced and back slowly away, as you might if you stumbled upon a live caribou at TJ Maxx.

7. So since you married a man, you're not bi anymore, right?

Being in a heterosexual relationship doesn’t negate your sexual identity nor all your former romantic partners throughout history. If you still lust after ladies, then you are bi, regardless of whether you ever act on it again. We wish sincerely that we would stop policing each other’s sexuality, which is not an either/or proposition. Besides, bisexuality is not something you have to prove. If it was, you could always sleep with the girlfriend of anyone who asks you whether you’re bi “anymore.”

8. What do you have against dick?

Nothing at all. We’re big fans. We once attended a luncheon on the State of Penises Today and it was riveting. Joe Francis gave the keynote. Seriously, it’s not personal. Questions like this are right up there with the tired stereotypes about lesbians as man-haters with nothing more than a severe case of penis envy. Really, it’s just a case of you saying tom-AY-to, and us saying put-it-AWAY-to; we’ll have the fish.

8a. Do you miss dick?

We have several dicks, thanks. One of them glows in the dark!

9. You just haven’t met the right man yet.

Misinformed relatives hoping we will still incubate some grandchildren (and who for some reason equate lesbianism with infertility) often says this. It’s highly insulting and intrusive and presumptuous, and implies that queer women become so due to bad experiences with men. This is not to say that queer women have never been hurt by men and that bad experiences don’t inform people’s opinions, but it’s very unlikely that Jill’s going to join the muff-diving squad because Jack wouldn’t stop talking about Fantasy Football.

Besides, we know lots of single straight ladies who haven’t met their No. 1 Perfect Soul Mate Forever. We know approximately zero of those ladies who have spontaneously become gay because they were tired of waiting around.

10. I wish I were a lesbian. Things would be so much easier.

Right, except for the hate crimes, bullying, higher suicide rates, workplace harassment and discrimination, possibility of being stoned to death or flogged in some countries, Russia’s violent crackdown on LGBT people, assault, depression, stigma, familial/religious persecution, having to come out every time you meet a new person, threats of being disowned by loved ones, and having to field the above questions over and over again until you die.

Except for all that, it’s great. Ellen has a talk show, you know, so we can’t complain.

Follow @annapulleyon Twitter.

 
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