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The Graduate Blog: Your 'Plus 8' Better Not Include Biological Children Or Someone's Getting Smacked

The Graduate Blog: Your 'Plus 8' Better Not Include Biological Children Or Someone's Getting Smacked

Why hello there lovelies! Hope you’re all nice and fattened up from the holidays. My sister and I decided to play Spot The Lesbian at the Memphis Airport. I thought my gay-dar was malfunctioning after going off for a straight woman with her kids, but it was actually just because of a damn celebrity haircut that all of the straight women are copying even though it looks gayer than flat-top. Kate Gosselin is the poster girl for the bad haircut, something akin to bringing back the mullet. The lesbians in San Francisco know how to party - and leave hilarious messages tagged on bathroom stalls at clubs. 

Why hello there lovelies! Hope you’re all nice and fattened up from the holidays.

HERE’S A FUN GAME! It’s called Spot The Lesbian in the Memphis Airport!

My sister and I decided to play on our flight back to LA. She was extremely bored and I was recovering from the stomach flu. Though she normally thinks anything I suggest must be exceedingly uncool, she needed something to do and I needed something to distract myself from vomiting. 

(a self-portrait on travel day)

Just as we began, I spotted one in the security line. I squeaked at my sister and nudged her with my foot. There before my very own eyes was a bona fide lesbian in the Memphis Airport. Or so I thought.

She was about 35 and had short white / blond hair about an inch long that was combed at the front and spiky and tousled in the back. She was wearing a sweatshirt, loose boot-cut jeans, and running shoes. She had three piercings in her ear and one of them was not on her earlobe. 

But then, suddenly, something felt wrong. She pulled a little kid over by his arm and yelled at a man who was, judging by the fact that he had the same sour expression as the child, the kid’s father. The kid had the exact same bleach-blond hair as the woman, who I also realized at this time had white-blond eyebrows and what looked like no eyelashes. 

The hair was her natural color. The running shoes were to race after her wayward child. She was married to a guy (not necessarily a sure-fire sign, but combined with other factors can certainly suggest heterosexuality).


I was so confused. My gay-dar had been completely thrown off. Disheartened, I shuffled through the security line, scaring that same family with an unfortunate smell as I took off the Uggs that I had been wearing without socks for a month. 

And then I went to buy trashy magazines and a photo hit me like a Smirnoff Ice to the face.

I knew it. I knew what had baffled me. It was a damn celebrity haircut that all of the straight women are copying even though it looks gayer than flat-top. 

It was: The Kate Gosslin.

Now, straight women, let me please ask you something: If you insist on copying some pseudo-celebrity’s haircut (a pseudo-celebrity that is only famous, mind you, for having an entire litter of children), can it NOT be a haircut that makes me think you’re one of the club?

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Look, I don’t interact that much with straight married women with children -- surprisingly they’re not usually in the group of people that I like to get drunk-until-I-fall-on-my-ass-or-pee-out-a-window with -- so maybe I’m missing something. But I’m pretty sure that copying the haircut of an extremely trashy woman that looks like a lesbian is not sexy to any man. Ever. 

Perhaps getting Kate Gosselin’s haircut is now some new hetero fertility ritual, like getting married or drinking green tea or turning to witchcraft like Christine O’Donnell. But I doubt it. And since it has no real purpose, please do me a favor and just CUT. IT. OUT. It looks weird. Like a lady mullet. You think it says “Spunky!” but it just says “Gay.” For real.

(the "Reverse-Gosselin")

Despite the massive fail of “Spot The Lesbian In the Airport” -- we only managed to find one and she was obviously just on a stopover to some gay cruise leaving out of the Florida Keys. Not at all hard to pick out of a crowd -- I did manage to find a few lesbians in Memphis. 

On one of my few outings before getting crippled with fever was to a Starbucks in Mid Town. 

Now, I don’t really hang out in Starbucks very much. I know there are writers that are very committed to this particular multi-billion dollar chain, but to me it doesn’t give off of a vibe “Be creative here and prosper” so much as it makes me want to throttle them with their pretend ambience of individuality and artsiness combined with their over-endorsement of Josh Groban during the holidays. However, since we didn’t feel like getting coffee at the Backyard Burger or Corky’s, we decided Starbucks was probably the best choice. 

But, as soon as we walked in, something made my mouth open and close like a Mississippi Catfish.

The Starbucks was FULL of lesbians! Short haired lesbians, long-haired lesbians, butch lesbians, a tiny little lesbian with messy black hair who thought she was Shane but definitely wasn’t, every kind and flavor you could possibly want!

I was giddy with happiness. My sister, as usual, didn’t care. 

(my sister looks much more attractive when she's happy)

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I was so surprised and excited because it just never occurred to me that there would be gay girls out and flaunting it in the South. I realize this is stupid, but, having never encountered this situation before, I assumed all of the Southern lesbians had left their respective home towns for more queer-friendly locations.

Of course as soon as I realized that all these lesbians were out around town I immediately Googled gay clubs in Memphis. Here are two of my favorites:

“Crossroads is a predominantly gay dance club and bar, but everyone is welcome. Recently renovated, it is considered a classy joint that is lined with pictures of Cher. You can't even use the restroom without her watching you!”

Thank you, Crossroads. I am now convinced both of your classiness and the fact that you probably play “Life After Love” on repeat as your only song. 

“Dru's Place is an LGBT sports bar whose motto is "where women and sports collide." In addition big screen TVs showing the game, Dru's Place also offers pool tables, darts, trivia, Texas Hold'em, and of course, cold beer and live music.”

Yes. Dru’s Place is exactly where I wanted to be. I was pretty sure Dru was likely to be a 65-year-old butch lesbian who still worked behind the counter. Awesome. I envisioned a beautiful spectrum of Southern gayness: young bois with lip rings and messy hair, middle aged lesbians with beer-bellies, wisened ancient women of Appalachia with stories of growing up with toothless maiden aunts. I couldn't wait. 

Unfortunately, that evening disaster struck and I was forced to relocate permanently to the bathroom of our hotel. However, when I come back, I will be sure to do a review of Dru’s place. 

Dear Dru- if for some reason you read this, just know that I was desperately trying to get to your bar and that I think we’d get along really well.


Thankfully, I had not been removed from the girl-bar scene for too long before I went to Memphis. See, the week before -- after realizing that I wasn’t going to get out of my Memphis trip -- I decided to gay it up for the weekend in San Francisco. 

It was amazing. 

I got to go to the Lexington, which although I know that San Francisco lesbians “are like soooo over it,” was pretty exceptional for a first timer. Tons of hippie-ish girls with crazy half-shaved heads and punk-rock boots. There was no cover and the beers were 2-for-1. And apparently there is a special like this almost every night. For a group of three LA girls, it was a nice change from P.Y.T.'s twenty-dollar cover.

Plus, the bathroom had hands-down the best wall art I have ever seen. Here are some notable shots from the night:

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(For this photo look at what is written inside the "F" in "FOX." It's a little tough to see in the photo but worth squinting)

(Pabst is (inserted by another lesbian) "God's sweet" fart juice)

(Taylor's clit is AMAZING!!)

(cawl me sometime)

And, my personal favorite:

(consent = cunt sent)


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Later that night, I picked up a friend of mine who now lives in San Francisco. She came out in a ball gown. She looked amazing, though a little different from the rest of us who were rocking skinny jeans and beanies. However, she just happens to be one of those people who is inherently fabulous and manages to flaunt it while not looking crazy. I was a little worried that she was going to get some weird looks when we showed up to the girl's night at an awesome two-story gay club called Trigger. 

And, while she did get a lot of looks, they were not of the raised-eyebrow variety. Every hot butch girl from ten-miles around seemed have zeroed in on her dress and light dusting of sparkles and they were queuing up in front of her while they adjusted their bow-ties and fedoras, hoping to get a chance to talk to her.

Unlike LA where standing out seems like suicide, ball-gowns and all sorts of fun dress were embraced and flaunted in San Francisco. 

The other thing that was wonderful about this club was that it was ENORMOUS and completely packed with girls. There must have been at least 200 lesbians running through this place. See Trigger -- and much of San Francisco apparently-- appears to understand the key ingredients for throwing together an awesome lesbian party that LA has been unable to figure out:

No cover + Super-hot obviously queer dancers with tattoos and lacy underwear + Not being bitchy for no reason = LESBIANS EVERYWHERE

And, while I’m not sure I could permanently handle the San Francisco gloom, I would highly recommend it for partying girl-on-girl style. 

So, some thoughts: LA needs an all-girls club. We should probably hire Dru to run it as she has managed to keep one open in MEMPHIS of all places. We should also bring in hot dancers and stop having high covers so that the lesbians will flock to the party. You hear that P.Y.T. and Boobytrap? 

I hope someone is listening in this void.

May the force be with you and your hoes for the New Year-


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Ariel Shepherd-Oppenheim