Because Someone Had To Tell You18 Things Lesbians Never Want to HearJill Layton

I’m a woman, and I’m engaged to be married to a woman. Walking down the street, people stare at us if we are holding hands. They question how we know each other. They say things to us that they would never consider saying to a straight couple. We are singled out because we are “different.” It’s weird though, because we don’t feel different. We don’t think of ourselves as a “lesbian couple.” We think of ourselves as a “couple”—a couple who is madly in love and who doesn’t want to hide that love in order to make other people feel more comfortable. People have their own idea of what a lesbian relationship looks like, and if someone doesn’t fit that bill, then it’s really hard for people to understand. And not understanding, apparently, opens the door for a line of questioning.

These are some of the real-life questions my fiancé and I get on a daily basis, along with my responses:

1. Which one of you is the guy in the relationship?

Neither. We are both girls. That’s kind of the point.

2. You look like sisters!

Well, we’re not. I’m almost positive that a man and a woman who are dating (or married) don’t get told they look like siblings. In fact, that’s probably the last thing anyone wants to hear about the person they’re sleeping with.

3. Have you always been a lesbian?

I was straight until I wasn’t. Have you always liked mustard? You didn’t until you did, right? Sexuality isn’t always one way or the other.

4. I’ve never been to a gay wedding, can I come?

There will be cake, dancing and that one relative who gets too drunk. It’s pretty similar to a non-gay wedding. Actually, it’s exactly the same. So, let’s just call it “wedding” and leave out the “gay.” And sure, you can come if you’re invited.

Posing with my fiancé

Me with my soon-to-be wife.

5. Do all lesbians dress like their partners? 

If we dress alike, it’s because we have the same style. And we share clothes, because why wouldn’t we? If you could share clothes with your husband, I’m sure you would.

6. Why do some lesbians dress like boys?

What people wear is a form of expression. It’s no different from straight women wearing dresses.

7. Wait, so how does sex work?

That’s a weird question to ask someone. Use your imagination or Google it.

8. (From an ex boyfriend) Oh, so THAT’S why we didn’t work out?

Wrong. We didn’t work out because we weren’t right for each other. Me being with a woman in no way validates you cheating on me or us not working out.

9. (From an ex boyfriend) Can I join?

Can you join what? Our deeply emotional, fully satisfying-on-all-levels relationship? Or our bedroom? No and no.

10. I’ve always wanted to be a lesbian, but I just can’t give up sex with men, you know?

Ok. Good talk.

11. Have you ever had real sex?

Sorry, explain to me what your definition of “real sex” is.

12. Did you choose to be a lesbian?

Did you choose to be a straight? I chose to be with the person I’m with. We all choose our partners.

13. Are you sure you won’t want to be with a man again?

If you are in a committed relationship, hopefully the only person you imagine yourself being with is that person. You wouldn’t ask a married straight woman whether she would ever want to be with another man again, would you?

14. Will you use a sperm donor or someone you know to get pregnant?

We will discuss that and keep you posted.

15. Are you attracted to your friends who are girls?

No. Even if I wasn’t in a committed relationship, my friends are like my family. And I am not attracted to my family.

16. You’re a lesbian? What a waste.

Excuse me, sir. Are you implying that my worth is based on whether or not you have a chance of sleeping with me?

17. You’re so pretty! You don’t look like a lesbian.

What do my physical characteristics have to do with my sexual orientation? All straight people don’t look alike, so why is it assumed that all lesbians do? You’re basically saying that there are no pretty lesbians, and that just doesn’t make any sense.

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  • Mark Chapman

    Ummm you kinda do look like sisters….but I’ve seen straight couples that look alike

  • Michaël Gathy

    but you DO look like sisters…

  • http://ladytam.com/ Lady Tam Li Hua

    I contest #15. People are attracted to folks who are friends but not partners all the time. That doesn’t mean it goes anywhere or is pursued…but it does happen. Even in lesbian relationships. (If it happens with straight women, why WOULDN’T it happen with gay women?) This is why I also contest #13. People cheat on spouses and committed partners on occasion. It’s not such an unrealistic thing to imagine it happening in a gay relationship as much as it would in a straight one.

  • http://ladytam.com/ Lady Tam Li Hua

    I contest #15. People are attracted to folks who are friends but not partners all the time. That doesn’t mean it goes anywhere or is pursued…but it does happen. Even in lesbian relationships. (If it happens with straight women, why WOULDN’T it happen with gay women?) This is why I also contest #13. People cheat on spouses and committed partners on occasion. It’s not such an unrealistic thing to imagine it happening in a gay relationship as much as it would in a straight one.

  • http://ladytam.com/ Lady Tam Li Hua

    I contest #15. People are attracted to folks who are friends but not partners all the time. That doesn’t mean it goes anywhere or is pursued…but it does happen. Even in lesbian relationships. (If it happens with straight women, why WOULDN’T it happen with gay women?) This is why I also contest #13. People cheat on spouses and committed partners on occasion. It’s not such an unrealistic thing to imagine it happening in a gay relationship as much as it would in a straight one.

  • Kage

    While its true that some of these are just stupid, there are people out there who have been sheltered from the facts of gay people and their lifestyles or filled with incorrect info about it. Many ask such things because they want to learn to decide what they accept and what they don’t.

    Once upon a time people wanted to educate others and it takes questions to do that. But today most people seem to just expect someone to teach themselves…but the problem is the vast amounts of false info out there. If you can’t decide what is true or false then you have to approach the source and discover it.

    Yes some of these questions are just poking with a stick…but some seem like curiosity for trying to understand something the person doesn’t.

    You have to remember the large amounts of negative and false info spread about gay people in our history and everyday how they are fighting for equal rights. You don’t achieve that equality if you aren’t willing to be open and honest about your lifestyle. People fear what they don’t understand, its practically written into our DNA. While I do think some things are over the line of privacy to be asked, a selection of these questions seem like they would be a good jumpings off point for better discussion about gay and straight relationships being mostly the same.

    Just my opinion, but it always seems that people demand understanding but refuse to educate those who don’t understand.

  • marie

    whoever wrote this sounds like they’re either a huge b*tch or really confused.

  • Emily

    Wrong about #2 on the list. Straight couples get told they look like siblings too. All the time. But you are right that it is super weird to tell ANY couple that.

    • Shiala

      Right? I was flipping through this magazine some years back, and there were two pages dedicated to celebrity couples that look related. I was just like, “Way to make it weird.”

    • bexojo

      Yeah, I look nothing like my boyfriend, as I am fair skinned, mixed white and black, and he is a very tan latino, but people who don’t know us sometimes tell us we look related and it’s just like 0_o
      I think it’s just because I look older than my age and he looks younger than his age, so even though we’re the same age, he looks 18 and I look 23 (we’re 20), so people assume we aren’t together and so we must be brother and sister. Gag. I guess maybe that’s better than them assuming I’m dating a high schooler?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=509114606 Marjorie Dillon

    You two look lovely together! Congrats!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=758222660 Miralda Sanchez

    ‘7. Wait, so how does sex work?
    That’s a weird question to ask someone. Use your imagination or Google it.’

    Still to this day, some of my best straigth friends ask me and our male gay friends, ‘how do you guys do it ? You also like foreplay and stuff ? … i’ve tried to explain before that is the same, we are humans too, you know…. So last nigth i just answered “google it dear” : ) and today i read this… hilarious [so true!] Cheers and Congratulations on Your Weeding : )

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002669790243 Vivi Skellig Brown

    Ok. Good Talk. Lol – that cracked me up. But yeah, it’s totally true, people are people no matter what. My sister’s had a lot of trouble coming to terms with her sexuality (she’s a lesbian too) but I’m happy that she’s not happy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002593604859 Eva LifeDaughter OfJoy

    My mom was a wedding photographer and she had a /lot/ of heterosexual clients who looked like they /could/ be siblings. When I asked her about it, she shared a theory that people tend to be attracted to people who look like them, or who at least have some similar features. She also told me that she thinks couples who have some similar features tend to stay together longer.

    Now, she by no means was an expert, and her theory was based on the clients that came to her door and she had no real way of knowing how many of them stayed together or divorced a few years later, so take it with a grain of salt. That said, she would have told you that you two look alike, because you do have a lot of similarities. She also would have predicted your relationship’s success. :-) Mazel tov on your engagement. May you two enjoy a wonderful life together!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1578649827 Gerardo Morales

    What I get is that this was written with the intention to be acclaimed for being lesbians and a bunch of people trying to look good and avoid to look bad. “Look how cool I am. I like lesbians.” It’s not that I don’t like them. I love people for loving people caring less of their choices period.
    One of the things that you must get, is to take responsibility for what you choose to be. The longer you take, the longer you’ll be miserable. Questions come with your choices. I’m married to a 20 year old women; I’m 41. We knew questions will come and we took responsibility for what was coming and will continue to come (some are awkward, but so are we per say)
    Most of you whine because of discrimination, but guess what you’re doing whining because of people’s questions?
    When something is off, people wonder. That’s the human design whether you like it or not.

    • http://jilllayton.blogspot.com Jill Layton

      Nothing is off. We are just being us. Just as you are you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004160733557 Angela Nino

    Actually, the cutest couples look like siblings.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002594797893 Charli Denae

    I honestly have to say that I am shocked at how rude people can be. I always think, “No way would anyone do or say that” but I know I’m just naive because I am forever reminded how clueless I really am.

    I also have never cared who anyone is in a relationship with, or sleeping with. It’s a shame that people have to ‘come out’. I didn’t ‘come out’ when I started dating my husband. As a woman in a relationship with a man, no one questioned it. It’s sad that some people are made to feel that they have to justify their relationship. The world would be a much better place if people would just mind their own business.

    Best of everything to you, Jill.

    • http://jilllayton.blogspot.com Jill Layton

      I couldn’t agree more. Thank you for sharing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1230573450 Allie Desjardins

    Some girl at my work recently found out I am bi-sexual and asked the question if that means I want to sleep with all my female friends and I just looked at her dumb founded then finally said do you wanna sleep with all your male friends? Just because I can find the beauty in both men and woman, and fall in love based on personality and not which genitals they possess doesn’t mean I want to sleep with everyone I meet…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=748842407 Ron Braet

    First, great list! Also, please know I rarely correct people I don’t know (and even don’t do so commonly with those I do know), but this one is worth knowing… when referring to a female, fiancé is spelled fiancée. :) I only let you know as using the former in writing will most likely lead to even sillier questions, LOL! ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=680901134 Josh Absher

    Actually people have assumed my gf and I are siblings because we both had blond curly hair. So that being marked a “gay only” issues is just blowing steam. These “x Things you should never say to a _____.” articles seem written by aliens that just do not want people to talk to them at all.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=511158299 Emma Yada-yada

    Fantastic blog – loved it! And am constantly getting asked most if not all of these questions. Great responses to give and so true too!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=594036409 Gem Renegaw

    I love being asked these questions! Open-mindedness in other individuals always gives me the opportunity to educate someone about an issue s/he might have never been aware of.

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