Over the past several months, I have written posts about stereotypes associated with some of the major identities in the LGBTQ+ community; namely, stereotypes associated with identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual.
When I started this series, I planned for it to coincide with a number of big events this calendar year, such as the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in June, but I had no idea quite how much this series would coincide with some other major events related to the LGBTQ+ community. For example, in July, Olympian Caster Semenya, an athlete born with intersex traits, was barred from defending her world title in the 800-meter race; that was part of why my post on intersex stereotypes weighed in on whether Semenya was being unfairly treated. I was also unaware that, before the end of this series, the United States Supreme Court would start yet another term where LGBTQ+ issues were up for consideration. There were probably other things that came up between the beginning of this series and now, but those two developments come to my mind.
If anything, these events show that understanding yet rejecting these stereotypes associated with different groups in the LGBTQ+ community is as important as ever. The rights, livelihoods, and lives of many people in the LGBTQ+ community depend on our rejecting such stereotypes.
As I said a few weeks ago, I will be doing a series
addressing stereotypes for LGBTQ+ people—talking about people who identify
themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer, as well as people
who are intersex and asexual. I look forward to continuing through this series.
As the “l” (for “lesbian) is the first word in the LGBTQ
acronym (or LGBTQIA), I think that it would be good for me to start this post
(and LGBT Pride Month) by talking about what it means to be lesbian and
stereotypes associated with friends, fellow writers, celebrities and others who
A lesbian is a
woman who is only sexually attracted to other women. If a woman is attracted to
men and to women, she is bisexual,
Now that we’ve defined what it means to be lesbian, we can
start to understand what sort of stereotypes are associated with being lesbian.
Well, in addition to the general stereotypes that are associated with people
with same-sex attraction and relationships (link to previous post), here are
some additional stereotypes often associated specifically with lesbians:
Lesbians hate men. No, lesbians do not
necessarily hate men. They’re just not sexually attracted to men. And just
because one is not sexually attracted to someone else doesn’t mean that they
hate the person.
Lesbians have just never found the “right
man.” In terms of finding a man for marriage, this is true—lesbians haven’t
found the right man. The caveat I would add, however, is that since lesbians
are attracted to other women and not to men, people who are lesbian will never
find the “right man”; however, maybe people who identify as lesbian will be
able to find the “right woman” (if they haven’t already found her).
Lesbians aren’t feminine. There is this
idea that lesbians like sports, are butches (which would basically be women
dressed in a more masculine way), and like other things that men do. While
there are some lesbians who are into those sorts of things, doing a Google
search for “lesbians” will help you discover that there are also many lesbians
into feminine things too, and that does not make “feminine” lesbians any less
valid or lesbian than anyone who is a “masculine” lesbian.
In a household with two lesbian parents,
one person has to be the “dad.” Please, let’s not apply heterosexual
standards to a homosexual relationship. A mom is a female parent, so both
parents in a household led by two lesbians are both moms. If a lesbian couple
decides that one of them should take more of the dad-like roles while the other
one should take more of the mom-like roles, that’s the couple’s decision.
However, once again, we should not force heterosexual ideas onto a homosexual
relationship of any kind.
Lesbians like all women. No. Just as
heterosexual people have standards and aren’t attracted to everyone of the
opposite sex, lesbians have standards and aren’t attracted to everyone of the
These, of course, are just a few of the harmful stereotypes associated with lesbians. If anyone feels that there were other lesbian stereotypes I neglected to mention, or if anyone wants to expand upon the lesbian stereotypes I discussed in this post, feel free to talk about that in the comments section below!
Sometimes, this blog is a smorgasbord of social justice issues, and I’m fine with that. However, given this time in history with LGBTQ+ issues, I want to spend a bit more time on LGBTQ+ issues, and particularly stereotypes that go with being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual.
To elaborate on the time in history we are at right now
(just to give a quick summary for those who aren’t fully aware), here are some
important LGBTQ+ events going on, all at the same time:
The 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots is coming up at the end of June. For those who don’t know about this piece of LGBTQ+ history, these riots were a series of violent confrontations between the police and gay people at the Stonewall Inn in New York City. To read more, read this Encyclopedia Britannica piece.
Numerous governments across the world, including the federal government and some state governments in the United States, have tried to undermine or take away LGBTQ+ rights.
Several religious institutions, most notably the Methodist Church, are grappling with LGBTQ+ issues.
The United States Supreme Court is considering a case on whether current federal law bans workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Given all these events, as well as the fact that so many of
the bad things that happen are the result of some of these LGBTQ+ stereotypes,
it’s important to address those stereotypes here and now.
So, my plan is to dedicate a post a month (or so) to stereotypes with regards to a major group in the LGBTQ+ community. Many of the stereotypes discussed will be ones I’m aware of, but I would definitely encourage my readers (and especially people with firsthand experience of being LGBTQ+) to let me know of stereotypes that I should cover, as well.
This way, by the time the series is done, probably around
December by my calculations, we are hopefully all ready to confront some of
those harmful stereotypes, both within ourselves and others.
 The “q” in LGBTQ could also stand for “questioning.”