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:
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.
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.