“But, you don’t look like a lesbian? Are you sure you are a lesbian?” I was asked by a very alpha male friend.
I looked at him, and with a straight face (yeah, the only thing straight about me) asked, ‘So, what do lesbians look like’?
He responded, ‘array, you know. They have short hair, they dress up like men, they also behave like men’. I said, ‘You mean, the butch women‘? He said, ‘okay, perhaps, if that is what they are called’.
I was curious, I asked. ‘So, you think I am not a lesbian, because I don’t fit into your stereotype of what a lesbian should look like?”.
He looked a wee bit uncomfortable as he said, ‘I mean, look at you. I have often seen you in a sari, you wear dresses, you don’t have a typical boy cut, you wear lipstick and make up. That’s why I wondered if you were a lesbian‘. I waited for him to finish.
‘Do you know that being a lesbian is about being attracted to another woman?. How one self expresses is not about our sexual orientation. What we wear, our look is just an expression of ourselves‘.
He said, ‘Oh! But you can be feminine and still love another woman‘?
I had to smile at this, and said gently to him, “Yes, my dear friend. I am attracted to women emotionally and physically, regardless of whether I seem feminine or butch. Does that make sense’?
He said sheepishly, ‘Oh and here I was hoping you got it wrong. I thought perhaps you had not met the right man‘ …..
I looked straight at this man, and said, “And you thought you were THAT man?“.
Do watch my TEDx talk : 50 and Out