Like Tomboy, Like Lesbian?

8 12 2008

I was just in the shower, thinking (like you do) about lesbian stereotypes.  I think that there’s at least some assumption that if you’re a gay girl, you might have been a tomboy growing up, or you really get along with “the guys.”  And for some lesbians, I know this is true, but I never fit into that mold.  I didn’t have any really close guy friends as a kid – sure, I had a few male friends, but I never connected with them in any significant way.  I had fairly “girly” interests, and I’ve always been touchy feely and liked long conversations.  Not that there aren’t men like that, but not so many in elementary and middle school.  My best friends were always girls, and I got along well with girls.  But when I young and assumed that I was straight, and when I was a bit older and identified as bisexual, I always figured that once I was in a serious relationship with a guy, he would be my best friend.  That was what I was looking for, and it never occurred to me that it wouldn’t just… happen.

Now I know there are exceptions, and there are plenty of lesbians who relate well with men but prefer women romantically, and plenty of straight women who don’t have any men friends but connect with their romantic partner.  However, the example that comes to mind is my parents, who indeed were best friends throughout thirteen years of marriage and fifteen years and counting of divorce.  My mom has always been heterosexual and she’s always had close male friends.  It didn’t occur to me that the same wouldn’t happen for me, but in my only serious relationship with a man, it really was a “Men are from Mars” situation.  We were just speaking different languages.

Since then, I’ve always thought that women are preferable as romantic partners because you can fall in love with your best friend.  And I think there’s something to that – if your best friend is always a certain gender, and you’ve never been particularly close to the other gender, you’re probably at least somewhat unlikely to suddenly become best friends with someone of the other gender because you get into a romantic relationship with them.  So maybe it’s not that unusual when a girly girl becomes a lesbian.  After all, doesn’t it make a certain amount of sense?

Lesbian book club reminder: the poll is up now for round three and will be open until Sunday afternoon.  Please vote!  Also, feel free to start discussing for round two if you read the book.


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3 responses

9 12 2008
rebecca

I can totally relate to this. Except that I wasn’t what you’d call a “girly-girl.” Not a tomboy either – just somewhere in-between. Most of my friends were (and are) girls) and almost all my guy friends were gay. I just never really got straight guys, and I still find it difficult having any sort of conversation with them. Maybe because they’re mostly not talkers – and I will NEVER get someone who doesn’t want to just sit, have coffee, and talk for HOURS.

10 12 2008
lesfriendly

right, tomboy does not equal lesbian :) the way we look or behave physically is separate from our sexuality. and whoever said girly-girls should only be with boyee-boys?

nice read :)

23 12 2008
alesbianandascholar

rebecca – I do think there are all sorts of variation along the spectrum, and I love that. I definitely agree with you about conversation. I thrive on it, even if I can be a bit too talkative at times.

lesfriendly- Exactly! Thanks for stopping by.

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