We all know that generalizations are incredibly accurate and not problematic in the least. So, here we go! My conclusions are supported by a tiny amount of empirical evidence, and primarily by my (clearly irrefutable) data gleaned from the people I’ve dated (not a small number, I was ambitious when I was single) and my friends and networks. This list was inspired by the gaggle of queer girls in critter-covered scrubs that I encountered on the brown line, presumably at the end of their shift at the nearby animal hospital.
It’s relevant to mention that some of these professions are female-dominated, and since there are more total women in the field, there is a larger-than-average number lesbians employed. However, some gigs are just plain queer. So here it is – a list of seven professional fields that are chock-full of dykes and queer gals.
1. Teaching: Teaching was one of the first professions that were accessible to women. Thus, lesbians have been serving as teachers for well over a hundred years. Interestingly, as a result of sexism, early women teachers were not permitted to marry, and were even prohibited from keeping company with men. While this is wildly unjust, in some ways, it worked out for Sapphic sisters. Lesbians could remain unmarried in adulthood without raising as many questions or garnering the same level of disapproval as unmarried women would have otherwise. Modern-day teachers have far more autonomy, but the field is still full o’ queers.
2. Veterinary science: I’ve dated a number of lesbian veterinary technicians (vet techs) and the field is full of them! The job involves adorable critters, intense caregiving, medical mystery-solving and lesbian clients with pets. It’s a no brainer really.
3. Home Depot Management (and other dexterous endeavors): Holy homos, everyone at Home Depot is queer! Ok, maybe not everyone, but seriously, queers are significantly overrepresented in HD staff. My lovely partner is a Department Head at the Depot, and of her store’s female supervisors, all but one is queer. If this group of women were representative of the general population, only around ten percent of them would be queer. If you’re single and on the prowl, forego OkCupid for the evening, and try a trip to the Depot.
4. Social work: Does anyone NOT know a lesbian social worker? If you didn’t before, you do now (moi). More than half of my friends are either practicing social workers or are studying social work. Social work involves emotional intuitiveness and service to others, and is social-justice focused. To me, it seems reasonable that people that are part of marginalized populations (women, queers) would feel motivated to serve and support others in their professional work.
5. Library science: Lesbian librarians are my ultimate fantasy. They’re well read, they possess a wealth of knowledge on a number of topics, they wear requisite sexy librarian glasses AND can help me identify queer books that I haven’t read yet. Swoon.
6. The military/law enforcement: These fields have historically allowed queer women to move through spaces more discreetly, as femininity was not required, and the close quarters for training/working/living provided a cover for secret lezzie love affairs. Despite my political leanings, I still find a tough woman in uniform incredibly sexy, and from what I can tell, so do loads of dykes!
7. Sex work: You might be skeptical about this one, but trust me, it’s true! When I worked in a commercial dungeon in my younger days, my Headmistress was a lesbian. So were, I found out, all of the other Mistresses working there. I thought perhaps it was a fluke, that this Amazon vixen only recruited and employed dykes, but then I met many, many Dommes, escorts, dancers and burlesque performers that were oh-so-queer. So. Many. Lesbos. My take on this Sapphic abundance is that as queer folks, we are already challenging normative values regarding sexuality and gender, making some of us more open to ‘fringe’ interests. Sex work might become interesting for queers within the context of subverting these roles, and in the field (particularly BDSM), women often occupy positions of power, honor and control.
Do you feel like your super-queer profession wasn’t represented in this list? Do you have other fields to add? Put your list in the comments!