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TOPIC: I don't look like a lesbian, hence...?

I don't look like a lesbian, hence...? 5 years 4 months ago #7285

  • fioncelle
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Wow... so I've had this so many times, no matter where or who (gay/straight) I talk to. Every time after I disclose that particular aspect of my life, I get the same answer over and over again: "You don't look like a lesbian..."

So one might wonder WTH does it mean to look like a lesbian? In situations I could get deeper into the subject, I was told I look "very/too girly". Does it means that all the butches/toms and other masculine looking ladies hold the crown on true "lesbianism"? No offense, but this is such a shame that a community that is so much about diversity turns out like a joke. If all the toms/butches or whatever they like to call themselves would just be the way they are because it's their personal taste/style that can be adapted by anyone regardless the orientation, that would be true diversity. But we're far from that... The community seems to be the most conformist, conservative spiced up with some narrow-mindes here and there. No one would want to face it of course. If anyone dares to speak up, they're labeled as intolerant and rude.

But just for the record, yes, I am girly, I love girly stuff, yes, one of my favorite colors is PINK and I love wearing dresses/skirts. Yes, I'm attracted to girls of similar appearance/atitude as mine. NO, I will not cut my hair short, NO, I will not act like guy just to "protest" against so called "hetero-normative norms" (who gives anyone a right to judge if those hetero-normative things are bad anyway? - We're all tolerant, right?)...

Sorry, I had to vent, now get your stones ready to throw at me... :evil:
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Re: I don't look like a lesbian, hence...? 5 years 4 months ago #7288

  • seia
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Just like you, I consider myself to be fairly feminine. I LOVE dresses (and flowers and high-heels and earrings and pleasant-smelling body lotion), pink is one of my favorite colors, and I'm attracted to women who like to express their femininity. I've also been under similar recurring circumstances and I agree with you on how infuriating it is to be judged on the basis of your physical feministic appearances or be confronted with such ridiculousness. Just like how the popular culture prompts the narrow-minded community into preconceptions such as latinos being prone to crime, germans being anti-semitic, and the chinese population being intelligent and physically small, lesbians and lesbian relationships, especially here in Thailand, are commonly generalized.
There are so many generalizations that I've been accosted with, how lesbians are always interested in a threesome involving a man, how they came from abusive households... ugh, the physical stereotypes are among the softer ones. I think that most people recognize lesbians who dress and act in a more masculine manner rather than those who are more feminine, so it's understandable why they would believe that all lesbians are manly-looking.
What also bothers me right now is how people tend to believe that there's a “man” and a “woman” in a lesbian relationship. That's one question that poped up the most (after “How do two women have sex”), “Which one of you is the man?” That's just as ironic as asking a straight couple which one of them is gay!
It is difficult for me personally to understand why the society would not tolerate the simple, comprehensible truth that, just like any straight couples, lesbians look into the character of one another and do not pick their partners to fill a gender deficiency.
By all odds, lesbian stereotypes are absurd! And I'm definitely on your side with the stone-throwing :-)
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Re: I don't look like a lesbian, hence...? 5 years 4 months ago #7291

  • fioncelle
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Yes, there are plenty of stereotypes we have to fight against. Ironically enough, the doubt about my orientation came from a gay woman. That being said, many people seem to overlook that there's yet another side of the story. Stereotypes do not come out of the blue, they are there for a reason. Most would rather blame the "other side" for them, but that's not exactly the case. In fact, it's the minority itself who actually creates them. Not sure who's familiar with group psychology, but believe it or not, gays (along with any other minority group) fall for the same mechanisms and patterns, just like any other group would: A handful of individuals seem to adapt some sort of leader role, claiming to represent the group's voice. The rest of the group however, usually remains silent, even if they might not always agree with the leaders. If any of them would speak up, they'll most likely be bashed, as the leaders would like to maintain their power...

In our case, the activists and other leading individuals happen to look in a certain way, so that outsiders presume the rest of the group looks and acts the same. Don't get me wrong, activism and raising awareness is great, but unfortunately so, the "how" is even more important. I hate to say it, but the gay community failed miserably on the latter.

Let me say one more thing about physical appearance... No matter how much many would deny it, looks do matter! It's not meant to be judgmental on what is "pretty" or "ugly", since this is only a matter of taste. However, there are some general aspects of people's looks, that apply pretty much to everybody. If certain rules are being broken, either willingly or unwillingly, one must accept to face some controversy. It's not about being conformist, but one always should be aware of the impact one makes and how much opposition one can handle. Yet we should keep in mind, if we want to be a part of the society and we demand tolerance, we also must adapt a few things to some degree, just like anyone else does.
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Re: I don't look like a lesbian, hence...? 5 years 4 months ago #7296

Maybe there's not enough diversity in Thailand? Maybe Thai lesbians don't feel safe breaking out of the tom/dy dichotomy? (Hopefully I got that right, been a while since I've used any big words LOL). Especially if it falls within their cultural knowledge. In the States there's a really big diversity. You caould check out www.butchfemmeplanet.com.

I find that here in Malaysia butch lesbians never look at me. They never see me unless I was with my ex (butch). I find that a lot - that unless you're able to catch a butch's eye, they don't see us :((

Can I just say, the colour pink isn't related to femininity. It's a cultural construct and not even a very old one (less than 60 years). I NEVER used to wear pink because so many people consider it to be a feminine colour.

Anyway, once I have a ticket to Bangkok, I'll be posting some questions for the grrly gurls in Bangkok! :)
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Re: I don't look like a lesbian, hence...? 5 years 4 months ago #7300

  • Nikki1003
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I am a really feminin lesbian too and i really like feminin ladies who are lesbian too (long hair, like dresses and skirts, make up etc.). But I agree, in thailand it is not easy to find a girlfriend like this. Where you have to look, except internet? Why, is this not accepted? I do not know :whistle: . There are also not many places too meet lesbians. Even if someone starts with sonething, it often happens that it closed short after. Hmmm. That is no good news. Maybe it will change soon, I hope :P
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Re: I don't look like a lesbian, hence...? 5 years 4 months ago #7301

  • CrystalJ
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I'm agree with that in Thailand it not easy to find girlfriend (long hair,dress up with high heel,make up..etc),I think here in Thailand they have many but they just don't want to show up.Another side they have so many Tom/Dee and it look normal.
But who are really female & female it just hmm?????

I had told my friend that I like girl but they doesn't really believe it when i said 'girl' not 'Tom' and it just bha bha bhaaaaa..hahahaha
So no more explain cause I know who I am and I know what I want.
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Re: I don't look like a lesbian, hence...? 5 years 4 months ago #7303

  • charlener
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I think this a dichotomy through much of Asia - I do wonder if it's a trend moving from older archetypes of non-straight dynamics - didn't this butch/femme role thing used to be a big thing in the US in the 50s?

Living in Thailand (and asia) for the past almost 5 years, I've pretty much given up on the pool due to this dichotomy as I think I'm slightly butch of center in some ways, and slightly femme of center in others.

I look at girls across the spectrum, though probably fewer super butch folks. You never know where you'll find someone.
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Re: I don't look like a lesbian, hence...? 5 years 4 months ago #7304

  • duangkamol
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It does seem pretty much throughout Asia, though the degree varies (even here in Thailand)...

Myself I'm not IMHO butch, I like wearing dresses but never fool with makeup and have taken to wearing the baggy pants one sees in the markets here for comfort. That said some of us do find butch types very attractive, for me not to the point that they consider themselves a man and I don't like binding.... but I do like toms just to the point they don't reject their femaleness (then I consider them FTM)... that said there have been exceptions, because in the end it depends on the person....
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Re: I don't look like a lesbian, hence...? 5 years 4 months ago #7305

Could it be that people still mix 'sexual identity' with our 'sexual preference'? For my look, I would get, "Are you a man or a woman?" after they have learned that I am a lesbian.

I usually take some time to explain to them (social education time!). I called myself a lesbian because I like girls. It doesn't describe how I look.
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Re: I don't look like a lesbian, hence...? 5 years 4 months ago #7306

  • duangkamol
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I agree with Tinctorum to a large degree, and some of it certainly stems from confusing gender identity and sexuality. I do think that is part of it, and individuals being forced into roles by social norms - i.e. butch lesbian women into the tomboy role and effeminate gay men into the role of kathoey. I believe that people should be free to define themselves without social pressure.

That said I know many tomboys who do not want to be men and are secure in their female identity but are comfortable in the tom role, and they should have that freedom without being pressured to be as much like a man as they can be. To some extent I think there is a counter pressure on people to conform to the other extreme, presenting a very feminine persona even if that is not really who they are. I am thinking about the second story in "If These Walls Could Talk 2" where one character found herself attracted to a butch and faced criticism from her friend for that.

I do know some though who feel that they are genuinely men, and I consider them to be men and are genuinely FTM, which I respect.

Myself I like someone on the butch side of the spectrum, but not to the point that they are FTM (I like women, just not the lipstick lesbian type). We are all different though and we should respect our mutual differences... :)

Grace
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