The gay scene has so many sub-categories in most cities, and although I hate categorisation, stereotyping is very different. As a group of people who have inevitably struggled with their identity and sexuality, we definitely have a culture of sub-categories within LGBT culture, and this is true throughout the world. In general, when out and about, we tend to put on somewhat of a front, which can result in quite the mix of lesbians. (Again, I’ll give you a minute to have a think about that.)
Essentially, sometimes the person you’re trying to present to the world doesn’t quite translate, and there is no exception when it comes to the bisexual and lesbian community. So stereotyped subcultures tend to abound.
Personally, I get offended if I get called a lipstick lesbian, as I’ve been trying really hard not to look straight so that I can fit in with “My People,” but equally I don’t know if I could pick a category that I’d feel happy to be stuck in. I thought the term “Dyke” was offensive when I first entered gay-land, but apparently it’s the lady-lover’s “N Word.” Now I’m Out, I’m in, and it’s common to playfully call your friends dykes without being punched square in the face.
Now after much research within the lesbian scenes throughout the world (it’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it!) I’ve playfully narrowed it down to 5 main categories of lesbian that are found on most scenes, from Brighton to Barcelona, Cardiff to California and Stockholm to Sydney. So here they are, for your enjoyment—the 5 Main Types Of Scene Lesbian:
Traits: Shaved Hair, Baggy jeans, Disdain For Knitwear.
Most Likely To: Be Insulted if You Call Them Bisexual.
Least Likely To: Own a Pair of Heels.
Lesbian Calling Card: Multiple Cat Owner.
Celebrity Examples: OITNB’s “Big Boo”; Jane Lynch.
Now describing someone as a butch lesbian doesn’t mean they’re mannish, that’s a common misconception. They just have a slightly more swag about them and probably a knack for some sort of construction trade or technical computer skills. They can nod in that way that makes you stare slightly longer than socially acceptable and have absolutely no fear of hot lesbian barmaids, who terrify me, personally. I mean, who can order a drink from someone that beautiful without accidentally buying the whole bar a round?
I spent a happy year dating someone my sister called butch. She had short red hair, wore men’s clothing and played the guitar, and had me besotted. Butch Girls know how to kick back, and that’s a rare quality in a lesbian.
Traits: Killer abs, Competitive Attitude, Superfood Smoothie recipes.
Most Likely To: Have Fancied Their School Sports Teacher
Least Likely To: Eat Trans-Fats
Lesbian Calling Card: Sportswear Addict
Celebrity Examples: Kelly Holmes, Dana, The L Word
Now there’s no denying the attraction to this type of woman. Killer body, obviously. Thighs that define why you became a lesbian. The ability to kick your ass at anything from football to beer-pong. Although usually on some sort of super-food diet, life is never dull when you’re dating an Athletic. One day you’re turning a game of bowling into a relationship-defining activity (God, let them win, or prepare for wrath and sulking) and the next you’re spending date night watching WNBA matches in the pub with expensive lager and cheap nuts.
I’m a twin (Yes, also gay. No, we won’t be in your “movie”), therefore I have an in-built competitive edge myself, so I find dating athletes keeps me on my toes nicely. They’ll have you up early in the morning and tend to favor sharing showers, so there’s no point in pursuing one of these ladies if you’re shy.
The Athlete can be found on the dance-floor with sensible shoes and a bottle of beer, only to be approached if you have a decent knowledge of the Olympic line-up and at least one subscription to a sports magazine, preferably skiing or similar. Although watch out— they’re rarely single and are most likely dating another member of their hockey/baseball team.
Traits: Justin-Beiber-Hair, Dungarees & DC’s, Minimal Make-up
Most Likely To: Have a Fast Paced Career
Least Likely To: Consider Floral Dresses Acceptable
Lesbian Calling Card: Designer Eye-wear
Celebrity Example: Ellen Degeneres, Ellen Page.
Not to be confused with the Butch, the Boy-Babe is a delicate creature. Small features and masters of the “hair flick”, these girls can turn even the most confident lesbian into a cowering, needy mess. Usually focused on their careers, you’ll spot these ladies on their laptops at coffee shops and multitasking on the underground. And while most lesbian couples hate being asked, “which one of you is the boy?” these girls are proud to admit to wearing the trousers. Or the grey, pinstriped trouser-suit, to be exact.
Please note: not all Boy-Babes have short hair. Sometimes it’s disguised as a choppy fringe or quirky layers. But it’s the “hair flick” that’s the key here. Come on… you all know what I’m talking about. That “Oops, my hair got into my eyes so now I have to make your knees melt” sorta hair flick. I tried to master it myself once. I looked like I’d had a stroke and gave myself mild whiplash. Let’s never speak of it again.
To date a Boy-Babe, usually you’re happy to take a back seat and you use texting as your main form of communication. They’re addicted to Twitter, networking and can’t cook. The idea of foundation and blusher is a foreign concept to them, they’ll sometimes use some tinted moisturiser and clear mascara at most. But damn, I’ve yet to meet one that doesn’t have perfect skin. Or doesn’t own a Ralph Lauren Polo Shirt.
I went on a date with a Boy-Babe once. She was skittish, difficult to engage with on a personal level and best left to those who read The Economist and know what a bit-coin is. Which I don’t. And never, ever will.
The Lipstick Lesbian
Traits: Quirky Fashion, Liquid Eye-liner, Long Hair.
Most Likely To: Follow Kristen Stewart on Twitter
Least Likely To: Drink Lager
Lesbian Calling Card: Their Colleagues Think They’re Straight.
Celebrity Examples: Portia De Rossi, Laura Prepon as Alex Vause (OITNB)
Ah, the Lipstick Lesbian. You can rarely spot them “in the wild” as they blend in so well. Contrary to popular belief, these girls aren’t all maxi-dresses and shiny jewellery, but more likely to wear impossibly well fitting skinny jeans and casual yet expensive tops.
Lipstick Lesbian is a misleading term, I mean who wears lipstick any more? But flavoured gloss is a must, and they probably follow high fashion or write a blog. And own a hair scarf thing, and actually know how to wear it.
Usually nonchalant and definitely high maintenance, dating a Lipstick Lesbian is a full time commitment. You’ll need to send flowers, remember your two-week anniversary and get along with their sisters. Oh, and their friend’s opinion of you is of utmost importance, so be prepared to impress. Although this requires some skill… The Lipstick Lesbian is the most likely of any category to keep half their exes as friends, and the other half of their circle probably fancy them desperately.
Likely found on display in the most public part of the gay bar, attracting attention from gay men and women alike, these girls are always popular and never alone. If you choose to fall for one of these, be prepared to have some serious competition.
Traits: Pout, Short Quiffed Hair, Terrifyingly Unapproachable
Most Likely To: Have at Least Four Tattoos
Least Likely To: Ever Talk to Me
Lesbian Calling Card: Turning Straight Women
Celebrity Example: Rihanna, The Gay Years. Shane, The L Word.
God help you if you fall for one of these. Considered top of the Lesbian Food-Chain, Alphas are terrifying, addictive and an incredibly rare breed. I was once in a lesbian bar in Barcelona when one of these walked in, and the whole place stood still. And she didn’t even seem to notice! Tall, slim, with perfectly styled, short platinum blonde hair, she was wearing a loose, cap sleeved Metallica top and I don’t think she’d ever had to buy her own drink in her whole life.
Swanning through the crowd, her sharp jaw jutted out, piercing eyes ignoring everything but her iPhone, this example of an Alpha is typical. They’re unnervingly confident, impossible to talk to and can make a grown woman stutter just by looking through you. They’re probably in some quirky niche job, effortlessly successful and only shop online, at vintage stores, or look like they’re sponsored by Stuttafords.
I’m afraid that’s all the information I have on the Alpha Lesbian, as I’ve never actually spoken to one in real life. They actually make me hide behind my pint. Or my sister. They usually travel with one friend or even alone, and are rumoured to make a sport out of seducing straight women when bored. Although you can’t begrudge them that… The more of them turned, the better!
So which one are you? Do you refuse to conform to stereotyping or are you more of a crossbreed? Or, like me, are you merely an observer?