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8 Offensive Things Never to Say to a Femme Queer Girl

8 Offensive Things Never to Say to a Femme Lesbian or Bisexual Girl

8 Offensive Things Never to Say to a Femme Lesbian or Bisexual Girl

Yes, I do need two hours to get ready. Thanks for asking.

Sometimes it's not easy being a girly gay/bi girl. From misconceptions about our sexuality to people who literally cannot believe our make-up routine, here are some irritating lines that get thrown at femmes all the time, from both within and without the LGBT community. Bottom line is (no pun intended - we can top with the best of them, and don't you forget it!), you never know - that hot "straight" girl over there could be anything but. Not only that, but fighting for femme visibility is important for all of us. Together we are stronger!

1. "Do you know what kind of club/bar this is, love?"

I got this question once when trying to enter a club called G-A-Y. Er... Yes. I was doing an English Literature degree at the time, so the analysis of words and spelling wasn't exactly something I was struggling with. Meanwhile, a group of guys who could easily have been straight were let right in ahead of me, no questions. And of course bonus points to women inside the club who assume you're a drunk beard who's just experimenting with them. Yawn. You'd think club bouncers would've learned by now that not every woman who likes women will turn up in boi togs.

 

 

2. "Can you please hurry up? We're late."

My roots must be perfect, my nails must sparkle and my cupid's bow must be just so... or the whole of Western civilization will collapse. How hard is that to understand? Jeez. Joking aside though, while some might see spending so much time on our appearance as a cowardly and anti-feminist gesture, it's anything but. Femmes aren't - usually - femmes because they're scared to look "out" or they're slaves to the patriarchy (sleeping with women kind of puts pay to the latter theory anyway). Mostly we just do it because it feels good to us and we feel confident enough to violate society's expectations of how we should look.

 

3. "If you're so girly, you must be at least a little into guys..." 

Oh dear. Feminine does not necessarily equal bi and butch doesn't always mean gold star. This line is often accompanied by a sort of "you're not the real deal" kind of sneer, which is pretty offensive if you are bi, actually. As a bi woman with a penchant for skirts, make-up, pink hair dye and my holding hands with my male partner, I know only too well the trials and tribulations of both bi and femme invisibility.

 

 

4. "So you'll be the one who has the baby, right?"

Looking more like the "traditionally" feminine partner on the outside isn't a reason for your insides to follow suit. You might not want kids, your partner might prefer to carry your child, or you might both want to hang out and eat weird snacks, put on weight and moan about stretch marks together. Whatever. 

 

 

5. "I'll just put on this strap-on..."

What if I want to wear it? Huh? In fact, I find the mix-up sexy. Femmes can play with gender in different ways, despite their on-the-street outward appearance. We'll still walk around with bedhead in your big butch t-shirt sometimes. 

 


6. "Why don't you borrow my football shirt and sneakers for the evening? It'll be a laugh!"

No, no. I don't particularly want to. Why don't you wear my dress? Nope, didn't think so. It's as offensive to suggest that I step into line with your look as it is for me to try it vice versa. I did have a brief phase as a butch when I was about 14, because I honestly thought that it was the mandatory uniform for girls who liked girls. It was not a success. I felt awkward and it showed. I did get my sartorial direction from Go Fish, mind, so that probably didn't help. Aw c'mon, you love that old cheese-fest as much as I do.

 

 

7. "Is your girlfriend the guy then?"

Um, no. That's the whole point of having a girlfriend. I've enjoyed relationships with both butch women and femme women. Some couples do prefer the butch-femme dynamic, others don't. Never assume. Gender is a gorgeously multifaceted concept to explore and embrace in any way that fits your liking, without hurting anyone.

 

 

8. "You're too pretty to be a lesbian."

 

This one is just a classic. More friends than I care to mention have emerged grimacing from a conversation, usually with a drunk straight man who's getting a little close for comfort, having fallen victim to this little piece of bullshit. It just injures everyone. It's offensive to you sexy butches and it's offensive to us in its erasure. It says "You don't know your own mind, silly little woman. By the way, nice ass."

 

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Charlotte Dingle