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Invisible Femmes

Recently I have been feeling the invisibility many femme lesbians experience. Not only are we invisible to other lesbians, but also to gay men and heterosexuals. I can’t even count how many times I’ve been in a gay bar and had someone make a comment either questioning why I was hanging out there or saying how cute it was that I was so supportive. Really?! Yes, you’re right, I am supportive. I’m SO supportive that I’m here looking for a woman. No not another female to have fun making out with in order to get attention from guys, but another woman to actually get to know. No not as a friend. Could it be that this girly appearing female is actually looking for a real relationship with another woman? I know, I know, I don’t LOOK the part, right? But yet here I am at the same bar as you having fun and, just like you, hoping there’s a chance I may run into the next girl to make my heart race.

In a 1996 article titled Butch, Femme, and the Woman-Identified Woman by Connie Carter and Jean Noble, the contradiction of being both femme and lesbian is discussed. As stated in the article, “trying to construct self-presentations that read as both femme and dyke seem to work continually against each other” (p. 26). This article is over ten years old, but still today many people have trouble believing feminine-looking women can genuinely desire another woman. I’m sure there are many femmes out there that have been told that they don’t “look” like a lesbian, or were asked why they “chose” to not date men. Some heterosexual men just don’t seem to be able to comprehend the possibility of a lesbian not being obviously identifiable. But what about the gay men? They make assumptions too. A friend of mine recently had a gay guy steal her cab and tell her to go find a straight bar! I guess she just looked too femme. And that’s just covering the surface of what was wrong with that situation, but that is for a whole other blog post.

And then there’s our fellow lesbians. Typically, unless someone is in the same circle as a femme and recognizes her, femmes are assumed to be straight, even if they’re at a gay bar. This is so unfortunate. Often we’d love to be approached. Everyone enjoys the compliment of getting hit on right? But unless we’re the ones to initiate conversation and set the flirty tone, everyone else in the bar assumes we’re straight. So us femmes must either put ourselves out there and initiate conversation, or stand from afar and ogle the girl who catches our eye hoping she’ll notice and come over to talk. But even in doing that, unless I’m at a known lesbian bar, I’ve gotten the weird looks back that say, “why is that straight girl looking over here, hasn’t she ever seen a lesbian?!” Obviously that’s not the reaction I was going for. So for the lesbians out there eyeing that cute femme at the bar…go ahead and go talk to her. You may just be the one to make her heart race.

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About Dawn

Dawn is a Chicago area native and loves the city she calls home. With a strong passion for both the field of psychology and LGBT issues, she strives to combine the two through gender and sexuality research. As the Women’s Outreach Chair for the Illinois chapter of the Human Rights Campaign she reaches out to the lesbian community to further their involvement in the fight for equality. Whether putting on fundraisers or spreading the word about equality at local festivals, she is always thinking of new ways to serve the LGBT community. When not doing research or fighting for equal rights, she loves to take long walks around the city, enjoy the street festivals, go camping, and hunt for the best Persian food in Chicago!

Discussion

47 Responses to “Invisible Femmes”

  1. Funny, my gf and I have had many conversations about my invisibility in the community. Then last week we’re at a gay bar, with 8 other lesbians for a birthday. There are very clearly, 5 lesbian couples hanging out. Someone notices a gay-boy friend and he comes over and we’re chatting about a group of straight girls there for a bachelorette party. He says (in front of my girlfriend), “So why are you here, I can tell you’re not a lesbian.” My girlfriend upset, but I guess being so used to it I wasn’t that affected. But it was nice (maybe not the right word) for her to see first-hand what it’s like.

    Posted by Jenz | June 17, 2011, 11:40 am
  2. I experience this routinely. It’s even so nervewracking to attempt to flirt with other women when I can tell they assume I’m straight. Recently I’ve been adding silly but subtle rainbow into my outfits. I’ve made some custom earrings in a rainbow color that look classy, but will still be noticed by the right crowd. I get mine at http://www.kendrascott.com/colorbar and so far I think it’s helping.

    Posted by Colleen | June 17, 2011, 12:51 pm
  3. Or what about the femmes who have all the identifiers of a lesbian, (ie: star tattoo, middle finger ring, etc), and turn out to be straight? I wondered forever about a beautiful girl I used to know, she never seemed to be with a guy, had a large circle of friends some who were openly gay, and she talked about pro-gay issues. Turns out, in her private life, she was very much involved with a man who was a photographer. On his site, he had dozens of intimate pictures of her with captions that left no doubt as to the nature of their relationship. Is there such a thing as a closet straight?

    Posted by Rexie | June 17, 2011, 1:09 pm
  4. Dawn, I totally agree with you and experience the same thing. No one believes I am gay or I get ignored in bars because of it. Not sure how you overcome it, but I can emphathize!

    @rexie…so wearing a ring on your middle finger is a lesbian identifier or a star tattoo??! I would have failed that pop quiz!

    Posted by connie | June 17, 2011, 1:46 pm
  5. Sing it, sistah!

    This has been my rant for years. I can’t tell you how many people don’t believe that I’m gay. When going to straight bars with my straight bestie, I used to make it a point to keep pictures of me and my (then) gf kissing so I could “prove” I’m a lesbian. So dumb.

    But mostly its annoying cause, yeah, I’m a girlie.. A dress, heels, fake lashes, big earrangs and red lipstick wearing, femme. And yes, while I realize this is stemmed directly from steriotypical gender roles, I’d LIKE to be approached, rather than be the one doing the approaching. Never works. I’ve been approached in a bar twice in my life. I’m 27!! ::sighs:: Whats a femme to do?

    @Connie I actually JUST bought a ring at the Andersonville fest that I’ve started wearing on my middle finger (simply cause thats the one it fit) and decided it makes me look much more gay than I usually do. Who woulda thought? lmao

    Posted by Kathy J | June 17, 2011, 2:06 pm
  6. Ugh! Tell me about it!
    After I broke up with my girlfriend of 5 yrs, it was hard finding a girlfriend. Everywhere I went, I was asked the same question. “why am I here?”
    and “I believe you are in the wrong place.”
    WRONG! Well, I’m a carpet muncher that wears heels, does her hair, and does her makeup on a daily basis!!

    Worse part, my recent ex is a total femme just like me, when we would go out and made a loving gesture to one another, it became a show. I guess some people find it hard seeing 2 femmes together!

    Posted by Jessica | June 17, 2011, 2:13 pm
  7. Soooooo true! Im girly and I love it. Fashion, makeup,heels, its all the fun of being a girl. Why would I change that because I like women? I’m not going to wear specific colors, accessories, etc to pin point that I am gay. I find that pretty stupid. Should we start wearing targets on our backs too? Its sad that in Chicago if your girly, noone takes you serious about being gay. In California you will find 100000’s of femmes , out here its really not the same. i’m sorry but just because i’m not in cargo shorts does not mean I’m some creepy straight girl at the bar. Most of the femmes around here you won’t even find in a gay bar which makes it that much more harder to meet someone. Is it really that scary to see two femme girls dating one another? I dont get it

    Posted by Katie B | June 17, 2011, 2:17 pm
  8. Thank you for this post. I always thought that other lesbians would be open to diversity within their community, or at least sensitive to the different types of lesbians out there. However, I have received more “you couldn’t possibly be a lesbian” assumptions from other lesbians as compared to straight people that I meet. Surely, non-femme lesbians know first-hand what it is like to be stereotyped based on their image. Shouldn’t we all feel accepted, at least in our own community?

    Posted by Jules | June 17, 2011, 2:28 pm
  9. I’m not even SUPER femme, but femme enough that I’ve experienced this — I wear skirts and makeup, and that’s enough apparently to raise eyebrows at most gay bars and/or get you excluded. After feeling totally shut out by women at bars, I dubbed their bar-room tables “the impenetrable dyke clic” — but instead of giving up, became more outgoing.
    Hah, everyone assumes your a “bottom” as a femme, but it’s only made me more aggressive, out of necessity perhaps!

    Posted by Val | June 17, 2011, 2:29 pm
  10. word. when i came out i thought i had to butch it up to let others know that i was a lesbian…because otherwise queer women wouldnt talk to me unless i initiated.

    Posted by jacky | June 17, 2011, 2:30 pm
  11. I love this article, and love the comments even more!! I was recently told while waiting for the bartender at Dollhouse that I would get faster service if I was gay. wth? I’m at DOLLHOUSE, for chrissake!!! *big sigh* I refuse to ‘butch it up’ because that’s not me. I will, however, wear the Venus symbol and equal sign, but that’s usually pretty subtle. Whatever. Probably meeting girls at bars is counter-productive anyway. I met my gf at work, and my best friends at Pride or gay events. It would be nice to get hit on, just to stroke my ego… but I’ll live without it. BTW, thanks for that jewelry link, Colleen! I love it!

    Posted by Amy | June 17, 2011, 5:42 pm
  12. I dont get why you cant be femme and taken serious for being gay and not considered “another straight girl at the gay bar” It makes no sense. Great article. Totally what Ive always felt. I’m not going to “butch it up ” as Amy stated. Call me crazy but we are girls right? Girls are allowed to dress like girls. Why is it because we choose to brush our hair, wear something other than a sports cut offs,sports bras, and actually want to look like we spend more than 8sec of our day getting ready we are nonexistent in our own community. Im proud of who I am but its kind of a joke when you walk into places like Spin , see how most of the girls are total slobs yet the femmes are the ones looked down at and not taken serious. I don’t go to many gay bars and don’t see that changing anytime soon.

    Posted by Jennifer | June 17, 2011, 6:05 pm
  13. I have the same problem. I used to work in a straight bar and sometimes other lesbians would come in. They were some of my meanest customers. Just because I like dressing up doesn’t mean I can’t be gay. I’ve noticed that it’s more of an issue to younger women. Most of the 35+ lesbians I know couldn’t care less what I look like and are friendly regardless. In fact, I think they think it’s fun to chat it up with a young femme lesbian.

    We need to stop treating each other like that. It’s bad enough that men just “can’t believe” you’re gay. But when you have to defend yourself to other lesbians it’s even worse.

    Posted by Miranda Smith | June 18, 2011, 8:02 am
  14. I understand your plight, dear femmes. But I have to say, I notice you as do many of my sister/brothers, and adore everything you are. In the GLBT community, we have to be reminded from time to time to honor our great diversity.

    That said, I’ll be visiting Chicago from Texas at the end of the month…any fine femme interested in showing a devilishly good looking mature butch around town? lucien_light@yahoo.com

    Posted by Lucien West | June 19, 2011, 3:37 pm
  15. I know the feeling. It’s difficult to be femme and shy as well. I don’t have the best luck going out to bars to meet women with that combo. Thank you for the article. Great read.

    Posted by Sharon | June 20, 2011, 10:21 pm
  16. First of all THANK YOU for all of the great comments about my blog post. It’s great to know that so many can relate to my post and what I’ve also felt in the community.

    @Jenz: That’s exactly what I’m talking about. I don’t understand why people make such assumptions. At least ask if the person is a lesbian, it’s better than insulting them for being in a gay bar. And even if I wanted to bring a straight friend to a gay bar I’d hope she wouldn’t be made to feel uncomfortable by being told that she shouldn’t be there. It’s terrible to have an often discriminated against community discriminate against others as well.

    @Colleen: I completely know what you mean. I feel like people think I’m weird if I try to catch a glance because they assume I’m straight and would never imagine that I am actually checking them out. Thanks for the link!

    @Rexie: LOL that’s an interesting situation. Maybe she was bisexual…you never know unless you ask I guess.

    @Connie: I’m so glad you can relate. It sounds like we need a femme get together lol. And I never heard of the star and ring lesbian markers either…

    @Kathy J: I feel you! I don’t consider myself to be super femme, but others may. You should be able to dress however you like and get all decked out and not have people assume you are the straight girl in the gay bar. It’s like we need to pick up our queer stickers at the door to be recognized.

    @Jessica: You tell ’em! You should be able to dress how you are comfortable and not have people tell you that you’re lost in a gay bar!

    @Katie B: I totally know what you mean. How are we supposed to be able to meet someone? Ahh, time for femmes to unite haha.

    @Jules: I completely agree. We should all be accepting of one another no matter how someone chooses to express herself. It’s difficult enough without dealing with criticism within the lesbian community.

    @Val: Exactly, femme doesn’t mean you’re passive either! All it means is that we dress more feminine. People will definitely be in for a surprise if they think that also means we’re reserved and never dominant!

    @Jacky: See us femmes have to be more aggressive, otherwise no one would apparently just look like curious straight girls!

    @Amy: Thank you! And that comment at Dollhouse is BS. Really? So only butches or obvious gays get good service then? Ridiculous.

    @Jennifer: Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed the article and could relate. :)

    @Miranda: I think as everyone matures they realize that it is ridiculous to treat others who don’t “look” lesbian differently. And I’m hoping that as the community continues to diversify everyone will begin to be much more accepting of one another.

    @Lucien: Thank you! Definitely check out The L Stop to see what’s going on when you’re in town. And feel free to email me.

    Posted by Dawn | June 21, 2011, 9:36 am
  17. @Sharon: Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed it. It’s great that The L Stop has a lot of non bar related events also for the shy femmes to check out. :)

    Posted by Dawn | June 21, 2011, 9:37 am
  18. Can noooot agree with this article more.. I’m from London in the UK, and not only is the lesbian community very dispersed and weak, it has the same problem regarding femmes.. I’m a proper femme but can also be a bit chilled and casual when I feel like it.. I find it upsetting that I’m always seen as ‘the straight friend’ with the ‘gay best friend’ whenever I go out (especially with my gay guy friends at bars/clubs)..

    Something just occurred to me whilst reading all of this, femmes get your facebook names/emails/contact up on here!!.. Unite the femme community together! 😀

    Love & Peace

    Posted by A_Rachel | June 21, 2011, 1:54 pm
  19. Now…imagine being a femme jock lesbian – talk about crazy messed up signals!!! – But I love my heels, short skirts and lip gloss as much as I love my cleats, softball mit and carmex — the world just has a hard time figuring me out -and I am ok with that!! You made me nod my head and smile with this piece!!

    Posted by Kathy | June 24, 2011, 6:32 am
  20. Ah, I SO know what you mean! Nobody believes that I’m gay- especially not my (once) best friend who is also queer and tells me that I must be a fraud. Not to mention my Gay male friend who is trying to set me up with some bloke I’ve never met o_O *sigh* I guess I’ll have to just keep trundeling along…I’d get a buzz cut to prove myself but it just wouldn’t suit my bone structure!

    Posted by Pan | June 27, 2011, 4:22 pm
  21. Yes, I couldn’t agree more with the comments I am reading. It’s hard being femme in high school. All the other lesbians are either afraid to approach me or don’t believe I’m gay. Then there are the stupid typical heterosexual males that make irritating comments that make me want to pull my hair out! Seriously, what’s wrong with wearing makeup and wearing cute feminine clothes? AUGHHHHH!!!!!!!

    Posted by Em | July 27, 2011, 5:52 pm
  22. Ok so i have a really hard time approaching a lot of feminine girls that i am attracted to because i am afraid that they will freak out and tell me to get away from them. That could be speaking more to my confidence, but I feel like I need a signal or something if its just a random setting (not a gay bar). Oh well I guess we all just need to take more chances in life myself included. By the way though I am a boi dyke, and am predominately attracted to femme or hetero females. So its really hard for me to tell which times I should put myself out there.

    Posted by C | August 6, 2011, 1:20 pm
  23. PROBLEM is we need some kinda code for lesbian, because who can really tell. I mean I’m from Ohio. A woman mullet doesn’t even equal gay in Ohio. Can L Stop help with this?

    I have to admit I get hit on way more often when I have short hair than when I have long hair. However I find that because I conform to gender norms for women I get a lot of praise, especially from gay men. Straight people just get confused, no offense. Straight men think you are playing with them, when really I’m just walking home holding hands with my girlfriend (no need for attention, honks, or woots). I hate how close Wrigleyville is to boystown. Straight women, tend to see femme women as a threat, even when my girlfriend is clearly the only one I’m into.

    In general, through people who are non-gender conforming people get a lot worse haressment, than femmes. Invisibility comes with its woes and advantages.

    Posted by Kim | August 11, 2011, 2:04 pm
  24. I am a femme bisexual woman and I’m married to a woman in a monogamous “traditional” marriage. I get not taken seriously as part of the LGBT community since I’m to femme and I must be confused (b/c bisexuals don’t really exist??) and most people always assume I’m straight. It gets frustrating that when I do explain I feel like I have to justify my sexuality and the way I dress. I have over 12 years history of dating both boys and girls, and now I’m so happily married to my wife. In some ways I thought that getting married would make explaining things easier and people would doubt my intentions less, but sadly I’m still faced with the same criticisms and doubts. Glad to know I’m not the only femme out there that feels this tension, but wish the gay and straight communities were more excepting to variances in femmes sexuality.

    Posted by JennyG | August 19, 2011, 5:50 pm
  25. In regards to why lesbians don’t usually approach femme looking lesbians, is because yes, if you do tend to be “straight looking”, lesbians generally don’t want to hit on straight women. all types of people go to gay bars/clubs these days, so you can’t assume everyone there is gay. also, a “straight looking” woman at a gay spot, may also be interpreted as being at least bisexual. a lot of lesbians don’t want to date bisexual women. i certainly don’t. if you are putting yourself out there and approaching women, it’s more comfortable for lesbians to hit on women whom might actually turn out to be full on gay.

    Posted by Maria Padron | September 1, 2011, 4:01 pm
  26. Thank you for the article! It’s nice to be understood. However, after reading some responses, it saddens me to read that many lesbians won’t even consider me since I’m bisexual. =( That cuts down my chances of beautiful (and yes, monogamous) love with a woman even lower than it already was. (For the record I’m more attracted to women than men and could easily see myself settling down with a gal, marriage, children, etc for the long haul. Now I am realizing that not only due to being more femme is reduced my chances, but also for being bisexual.)

    I will not pretend to be something I’m not (dress differently or say I’m a lesbian) to attract a lovely lady. Oh well, I suppose I wouldn’t fall in love with a man that couldn’t accept my true self… I have to say the same about women, too. I just thought I would find more understanding and acceptance from the LGBT community.

    It’s a shame bisexuals still face negative judgement from our community more often than I like to admit. I do partially understand why to some degree. For example, there are straight women that “play bi” for attention or just to entice men. =/ Or some that give it a try with a homosexual person and find out they are straight and break their heart. I’m sure there are other reasons, but please consider why before writing us all off completely. =) We can be capable of great love and commitment.

    Posted by LM | September 12, 2011, 12:51 pm
  27. Well, I would like to share that it’s surely confusing to identify femme women out of a straight crowd. I am myself really feminine, not only in appearance: I’m always the first one to cry in a movie theatre; I always ask for help to open a bottle of water; I can karaoke pretty much every album of Britney Spears, Kylie Minogue and Maroon 5 ; I order my outfits online from UK (I live in Canada) …

    I am a lipstick lesbian that appreciates the company of feminine partners. I do look around a lot for “the one”, I actually feel like I’m some kind of a modern love hunter. However, I find myself way too often in this situation where I can’t tell if this feminine girl in front of me is a lesbian and if it’s appropriate for me to openly flirt with her. Really pretty girls do flirt back often but in most cases they are not lesbians: they just like attention, like kissing or they like the idea of trying it once.

    However, with butch lesbians you obviously don’t deal with this issue. Even though the community is often too much and too over the top for me, I have found that integrating it by going out during the lesbian night(not the gay night, the lesbian night), volunteering for the local pride … is really helpful to identify who is what and to make yourself identify as what you are too. But outside of the “community” I’m overwhelmed and I feel like it must be hard for femme girls to approach me too.

    To answer the comments above, I clearly do the first step in gay clubs, and I often meet straight girls looking for a lesbian fling so I do understand the reluctance of some girls to approach us.

    Finally, in a none LGBT environment, I’m getting better with the lesbian “look”. The way that we kind of lock our eyes together, (I’m raising the gaydar issue) which I hope will help me sort it all out.

    I’m confident I will find my match but meanwhile I will have to get use to be taken for a fag hag and I will have to overcome my natural disposition to take other eligible pretty femmes for fag hags.

    Posted by Mel M | September 27, 2011, 12:01 am
  28. Can I consider myself femme if I am very feminine bisexual woman?

    Posted by Jess Jade | October 12, 2011, 1:36 am
  29. @Jess Jade: yeah! If it’s how you identify and how you feel the more like..
    Sometimes you feel compelled to a label when in fact it’s just how others label you. I identified as femme, but really I felt more butch inside and in my relationship… say, I had a femme appearance but in the relationships I was the butch.

    Posted by Palama | October 23, 2011, 8:22 am
  30. Try adding older transwoman on top and it’s “even more invisible”, even when you are in a pub where there are a few people who have met you!

    Posted by Karen | November 5, 2011, 6:45 am
  31. Any advice for lesbians who don’t fall into “butch” or “femme” category? I’m not very girly or butch. Guess, I’m more of a seriously shy tomboy. I’m not gonna wear heels and tight dresses. Also, I’m not into plaid and taking on traditionally male roles. I guess, I’m saying that while I’m a woman, I feel more androgynous in society. How would a woman like me go about dating in a world of butches and femmes? Clearly, I am neither and don’t desire to pretend to accept those roles. Thanks for any insight.

    Posted by Erica | November 27, 2011, 12:11 am
  32. I am starting aline of clothing for lesbian femmes called Lez-Phemme that is fashion forward and would at least recognize you as a lesbian femme in a way that is both classy and fashion savvy. I wanted to get some reviews on it, ad was wondering if anyone would be interested in giving me some feedback on it.

    Posted by Lez-Phemme | April 7, 2012, 6:22 am
  33. I think a large part of it is that when a feminine woman travels in a pack (as most queer women seem to do because Christ forbid they grow a set of eggs/balls/what the fuck ever and not be surrounded by six million people), other gay women are afraid to approach them. They may think she is the ‘straight friend’ the others are protecting or someone’s girlfriend. I agree with the article, and it’s a situation I face as well, but… there are other factors.

    Posted by welp | July 4, 2012, 3:55 pm
  34. I can notice that this happens in differents countries and cities. Here in Spain we have the same situations as all of you´ve mentioned, and I know also lesbian night life in London, it´s like that.
    As someone said in other post, we could join ourselves and build like a kind of net to be in contact.

    Thanks for this interesting post!

    Posted by avidadolars | August 15, 2012, 11:05 am
  35. How you choose to portray your femininity is questioned because women have traditionally been seen as the property of men. How she looked ultimately only mattered if a guy had an opinion on it. Women have traditionally also brought into this idea consequently only a fraction of your possible romantic interests are considered by men, women, gay or straight. Society has to change its perception of women’s sexuality if this stereotype is going to reverse itself. A man may find a feminine woman attractive but this does not mean that she makes herself appear feminine to attract a man. No one should assume such a thing. The ultimate goal of expressing ones sexuality is to satisfy one’s own craving for intimacy and companionship which tastes are as varied as what we choose to eat and where we choose to live. Be a happy femme, keep doing what you’re doing, and hopefully the right girl will come along. I see no reason for you to compromise your identity just to clarify it to people who really have no interest in your future love life.

    Posted by Anthony Rizzo | November 17, 2012, 2:32 am
  36. Oh my god, this. I’m not even super femme, I tend to wear jeans more than anything else, but I will dress up a bit to go out to the bar cause I like to look pretty sometimes.
    I have never been hit on by a woman in my life and I’m 26. I go to GSA meetings, preach gay rights and talk about sexism issues all the time. And yet all of the lesbians I know (even the femme ones!) don’t register that I’m into the ladies. I get reactions of surprise every time I mention it.
    And what’s worse, I’m too shy to try to approach them. I’ve never had a girlfriend.

    Posted by Julez | March 14, 2013, 10:41 am
  37. Stereo typing is so last century. For some it is not a fad. It’s ok to be femme and its ok to like femme. It’s also ok to look and feel femme. I like looking and feeling good for myself. It’s hard to get someone else to like you if you don’t like yourself very much. I mean I don’t roam around wearing flowers in my hair and floral dresses to look or feel femme but hey. People like what they like. End of.

    (http://www.pinklobsterdating.co.uk/ShowUserBlog_uid_LobsterShell_bpid_44.aspx)

    Posted by Shelly w | July 2, 2013, 4:09 am
  38. I can so relate to this article! I’m bisexual and while not a super girly girl nor butch, people assume that I’m straight. It bothers me at times. This is the reason why it’s hard for me to come out the closet. I came out of the closet to my mother, but I always had this feeling that she still thinks I’m straight. In high school, people would tell me, “You look straight. You couldn’t be bisexual; it’s just wrong!” I got this not only from straight people, but from bisexuals too. Since I’m in my early 20’s and has never dated, been asked out, or had a boy/girlfriend, I know that it will be hard for me to be accepted as a bisexual person in the dating scene. People in the dating circles in both the straight and LGBTQ community would not believe that I’m bi. I think part of the reason why people would assume I’m straight is because I have that innocent, naïve look; some bi/lesbian women might think that I wouldn’t be open to having a lesbian relationship because they think I’m some wholesome girl who would freak out about that stuff. There’s an assumption that all bisexual women are lose and promiscuous. I’ve had people treat me like I would freak out about lesbian/bi relationships in the past.

    Thanks for writing an article that me and many other bi/lesbian women can relate to. I felt this way since middle school.

    Posted by 20FG | July 29, 2013, 4:31 pm
  39. You’re a really helpful website; could not make
    it without ya!

    Posted by web page | December 23, 2013, 5:14 am
  40. With so many Gay and Bi women today, that is the very reason why many of us Straight Men can’t meet a decent normal woman anymore. Especially when we will try to start a conversation with the women that we’re attracted too, and then they will Curse at us and walk away. Either their very sick or GAY.

    Posted by Seriously | September 11, 2014, 11:45 pm
  41. So what else is new?

    Posted by Truth | October 24, 2014, 1:41 pm
  42. This article was really helpful, thank you. ^^ That’s awful that the author was mistaken for an ally instead of a lesbian. D: It’s encouraging and scary that we have to make the first move to communicate our interest.

    And Juliez, I totally hear you. I’m somewhere in the middle of butch and femme, too shy to approach femmes and have never had a girlfriend.That’s great you’re a gay rights activist though! ^^

    Posted by shyleaf | March 6, 2015, 2:28 pm

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] I know exactly which LGBT-friendly establishments are also straight-friendly. However, as a femme, I obviously know more about gay men’s establishments that are friendly to seemingly straight […]

  2. […] The L Stop “Invisible Femmes” […]

  3. […] Lesbians discuss the invisibility of femmes in lesbian culture, and how femmes have to prove their identity.  Judith Halberstam has written some awesome theoretical stuff about how one can identify as a […]

  4. […] of one of the most read articles on The L Stop, Invisible Femmes.  If you haven’t read it yet, check it out!  Then make sure to come back here and find out how you can share your story for the upcoming book […]

  5. […] than a femme lesbian because mainstream society assumes that all lesbians are butch and you can’t possibly be a femme lesbian. The cause? Mainstream society’s perception of female-attraction being “a masculine […]

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