Top 5 Things Not To Say To A Lesbian
They are disguised as "jokes", but in actuality, showcase an unwillingness or inability to understand a different perspective.
What are They? They are stereotypes. And the LGBTQ+ community definitely has its share of them. Lets' focus on the "L" in LGBTQ+ for a moment.
If I had a dollar for the number of times I've heard folks, including my lesbian friends, utter a stereotype for a few laughs, I would not need a Powerball ticket.
Don't get me wrong. I can take a joke and yes, I've chuckled at a stereotype or two, in my lifetime. But in certain situations, one being the workplace, certain comments can make you feel isolated and excluded.
We all know education helps to bridge differences and open minds. So, in an effort to diminish the likelihood of a raised eyebrow during your next conversation with a lesbian, here are the top 5 things not to say to us:
1. Who is the man in your relationship? This question comes up the most. I get it. There are roles in our society, that although blurring, are gender-based. Growing up, my mother cooked the meals and my father took care of the lawn. So how does a relationship between two women fit into this picture? I can only speak for myself. In our household, chores and finances are dictated by interest and ability. No one would ever describe me as mechanically inclined. But, I can whip up a budget in 5 minutes flat. Consequently, my wife replaced our dining room ceiling and I made sure the credit card we used for the supplies, was quickly paid off. Every couple has their own dynamic. And that's ok.
2. You don't look gay. I suppose I missed the memo that I have to look, dress and behave in a certain way to appropriately reflect the LGBTQ+ community. Folks, there is no such thing as a "gay" look. We're available in all shapes, sizes, hair styles and clothing preferences. Take it from me, gaydar is faulty at best.
3. I knew you were gay. Based on what? Do I fit a stereotype? Did your gaydar go off? Do you see a pattern with these questions? I learned a long time ago, that if I want a question answered, I'll go to the source. Everything else is hearsay. But before you ask that question, do me a favor. Ask yourself if the question falls out of the realm of your business. If it does, don't ask. One of my best friends summed it up best when she said, "The only person's sexuality I need to know is my husbands".
4. Why do lesbians... (fill in the blank)? I'm going to stop you right here. Do you see the sweeping generalization in that question? I'm not, nor is anyone else, the spokesman for the LGBTQ+ community. I'm a spokeswoman for Danni Davis. If you have a question about me, ask. But asking me to explain the behavior of an entire group of people is unfair. One of the fabulous aspects of our society is that everyone is unique.That is why its wonderful to form relationships with different people; we have different life experiences that we all can learn from. So do not take the lazy way out and assume we are all the same.
5. Do you hate men? I'm not a math genius, but I don't know of any equation that states an attraction to women = a hatred of men. Growing up, I was called a "tomboy" because I preferred playing with boys. I still enjoy the company of my male friends to this day. We go out, have a few laughs, share what is going on in our lives and then go home to our wives. In all candor, this question gets under my skin the most. Why is my marriage and my "dudes" viewed as mutually exclusive concepts?
I could continue, but hopefully, you get my point. We may have different experiences, but we all walk this earth in search of a fulfilling life. So, the next time, you meet a lesbian, take these tips to heart. Instead of telling her she must love the Indigo Girls, how about you ask her what type of music she is into? A little kindness and interest goes a long way. No shade to the Indigo Girls, who doesn’t love Closer To Fine?