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‘Lipstick lesbian’: 10 problems every femme lesbian will relate to

Bea Mitchell August 14, 2017
Portia De Rossi in Arrested Development. (femme lesbian)

Portia De Rossi in Arrested Development

Like all people, when it comes to lesbians, or bisexuals, or otherwise not-straight-identifying women, there’s a whole smörgåsbord of different styles, looks and behaviours.

Among the labels that some lesbians decide to nestle comfortably into, some are butch, some boi, and some of us are femme or a ‘lipstick lesbian’.

The definition of femme, according to Oxford Dictionaries, is “a lesbian whose appearance and behaviour are seen as traditionally feminine”.

Similarly, a lipstick lesbian favours “a glamorous, traditionally feminine style.”

This “traditionally feminine” business is what’s confusing the masses, however, with many still under the misapprehension that lesbians never have long hair / wear makeup / and so on.

The more androgynous and “masculine” among us have their own problems, but here are some femme, or ‘lipstick lesbian’, issues…

1. People say you’re too pretty to be a lesbian

Starting with the obvious, this is something every femme lesbian will be well acquainted with. It’s an insult dressed up as a compliment. The implication is that all lesbians are ugly, or at least not pretty.

2. People say you don’t look like a lesbian

Quite similar to #1, people frequently tell you that you don’t look like a lesbian / that you look straight, because lesbians all look butch or boi, apparently.

And what exactly does a straight person look like? Last we checked, they’re all different too.

Lipstick lesbians

3. People think you just haven’t met the right man yet

… Because you look so much like a straight woman. Your hair is long, you’ve got makeup on, you’re wearing a dress! You must be straight. Girls who look like girls aren’t into girls, right? Ugh, why is this so complicated! Hopefully you find him soon and stop confusing everyone.

4. And they think you must be bisexual

You might like girls, but you definitely like boys too. You’re too girly to be wasted entirely on women.

But I'm a Cheerleader lesbian

5. Or perhaps you’re just going through a phase

Yeah, this is all much of a muchness, but as well as all of the above, femme lesbian commentators will assume that you’re just experimenting and that you’ll likely end up with a lovely, hunky manly-man eventually.

6. You have to come out to literally everyone you meet for the rest of your life

This one is actually awful. Because you’re femme, nobody knows you’re gay. Which means that you have to tell absolutely everyone you know, and everyone you’ll ever meet.

To be fair, this is an issue for most people on the LGBT spectrum – it’s only straight people who don’t have to spend their lives coming out.

Kristen Stewart
(Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for ELLE)

7. You struggle to meet women because they assume you’re straight

It’s hard enough as it is, being that there’s no way of telling who’s gay – but it’s a minefield if people really have no inkling that you’re into girls.

8. And if you go to a gay bar, some people ask you why you’re there

“Are you here with friends or as a joke?”

“Nope, I really should have remembered to wear my ‘100% lesbian’ badge.”

'San Junipero'
(Photo by Netflix)

9. Men will try to chat you up

The thing is, if you’re femme, there’s a very high chance that you’re actually straight and confused, so men will try chatting you up, just in case they’ve got a chance. *rolls eyes*

10. And, if your other half is femme too, they’ll compare you and pick their favourite

It beggars belief, but this happens a lot. It’s incredibly offensive to everyone involved.

More: boi, butch, femme, lesbians, lipstick lesbian, listicle, problems

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