Monday, 20 June 2011

Mistaken for a lesbian

You know, I do sometimes wonder whether nowadays I don't get mistaken for an older lesbian of a certain type. In other words, accepted as a woman, yes, but as a woman Who Is Different. This notion doesn't occur to me very often, but sometimes there is that in a person's manner, when I'm speaking with them, that makes me think these thoughts are rapidly going through their mind:

Next customer.
Oh, I like this lady, she's friendly and pleasant and isn't going to dither.
Something masculine about her face though.
Can't decide. She sounds right, and looks right, but she's not quite like my Mum.
Hmmm...she's quick and decisive. 
But I like her smile. And her eyes are smiling too.
I wonder if she's one of those lesbian women, a bit mannish and capable. 
Oh well. 
Next customer...   

I may be completely wrong, of course, but I do occasionally catch the odd look which makes me think that I am puzzling someone. They can't pigeon-hole me, and it bothers them just a little. They're not going to think My God, that's a man! But they don't know how to to label me, and for a fleeting five seconds I half-engage their special attention. Then we part with a smile, and that's that. Over and forgotten forever.

Do I mind being mistaken for an older lesbian woman, as popularly perceived?

Well, you know, I really don't care about the 'lesbian' bit, whether it's true or not. Being lesbian is a normal state for someone to be, just part of your personality, and it isn't potentially harmful to anyone. I suppose somebody whose sexuality was very wobbly might feel afraid of me. And I wouldn't want to send the wrong signals to a genuine lesbian, and confuse or embarrass her. And by definition a lesbian is a woman, and I'm very, very happy to be recognised as unquestionably female.

I really don't think it matters what people take you for, so long as it isn't something dangerous or prejudicial to your enjoyment of life. For certain, a 'lesbian' label won't put off anyone, male or female, who feels irresistibly inclined to begin a conversation.

5 comments:

  1. Being thought of as being a lesbian, now that would be nice.

    One thing which makes my new life wonderful is that by some miracle once I started to be totally open about my change it was as if a switch had been thrown and I no longer notice or wonder about what people are thinking about me, I am too involved in what I am doing and have finally claimed my space on the planet.

    If someone is wondering about me then it is their life they are wasting. Unless they are wondering if I am a lesbian which is a good line of thought...

    Perhaps one day we can go out together and see if we can stir up people's thoughts and perhaps disturb their dreams!

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  2. Somehow I think not. Maybe it's different in the UK, but around these parts people expect dykes of our generation to look a certain way -- because many of them do. And it's not like you, or like me for that matter. When my partner and I go out to eat, we are often asked if we want separate bills. That's because we're being perceived as friends, not partners. We're too femme for our generation! And so are you.

    When I get looks, my guess is because I'm 5'9", wearing heels, and in general dressed pretty stylishly. That's being checked out for the right reasons! I don't remember if you've said how tall you are, but from what I remember of your taste in clothes (and from photos), you probably look quite stylish as well. And people notice that.

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  3. Well, both of you are quite reassuring!

    As I said, this is not something that bothers me much. I just wonder now and then.

    I've met several real-life lesbians socially, and they vary in looks from rather butch (complete with piercings) to very girly. All have been pleasant. Some have had children.

    I've yet to encounter a bitchy, aggressive lesbian. And as with gay men, how would you know they were homosexual unless they made it obvious?

    But however 'out' they are, I can't see what can be wrong with being a girl who likes other girls. And if people see me as someone like that, what would I be complaining about?

    Lucy

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  4. I always get the biggest smiles from Lesbians if I am out taking a stroll with my dog. Somehow, they think I'm one of them. Now I have to say, I live in a rather small town with a LOT of GLBT people. It's just one of those things. A liberal West Coast town. I find it always very safe and comforting to go to a club in town which is predominantly Gay. I get totally accepted by both the guys and the women, most of whom are lesbians. I seem to be the only TS woman who comes to that club, but that's OK with me since I only go there rarely anyway. I never really think much of the whole issue of where I fit in, maybe because I already have a partner.

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  5. This was a conviction be told great read, thanks for captivating the time to put it together! Touched on some very good...

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