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How the “Lesbian Masterdoc” has Influenced a New Generation of Lesbians

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at American chapter.

Quarantine, for many, has been a never ending spiral of time to ponder one’s innermost thoughts. Given the abundance of introspection that has been forced upon the general public, it makes sense that we would begin to question what is most important to us without the influence of others impeding our opinions. For example, what is the meaning of life? Why did I say that cringy thing in freshman year? And last, but certainly not least, am I really straight? For young girls finding community during isolation online, this last question has become paramount to their quarantine experience and has caused a phenomenon of internet lesbians to come out in the chaos of 2020. 

TikTok, the social video platform that has skyrocketed in popularity in the last year has over 100 million monthly users in America. The TikTok algorithm works to deliver its users a customized feed of content from other accounts who enjoy and make videos that you would like. This means that users frequently share their anxieties about love, sex, and relationships and others are quickly able to connect with that experience. In these small comment sections are where the “Lesbian Masterdoc” circulated at the beginning of quarantine and rose to sudden popularity among queer and questioning women. 

Now introducing, the almighty “Am I A Lesbian” google doc, which is more commonly referred to as the “Lesbian Masterdoc” by most internet users. This 30 plus page google document, written by a teenage lesbian in 2016 was first published as a post on Tumblr in 2018. The point of this document was to help young women discover their sexuality by reading through the common emotions and experiences that one might have as a questioning lesbian. 

“Many lesbians have previously liked men at some point in their lives before realizing they are lesbians. Now a common misconception is also that everyone is born knowing they are gay and that’s not necessarily true.” (Luz 2018) This advice comes from creator Angeli Luz, 21, who only recently opened up about making the document. 

Luz told Vice “I started researching compulsory heterosexuality and found that many lesbians had the same experiences I did. I created the document as a tool of self-reflection for myself and others.”

Many non-LGBTQ individuals think that coming out and discovering your sexuality is an easy process, something that is discovered in the first stages of childhood. But specifically for many young lesbians, sexuality is more like a road that they have to continually discover with greater experience and understanding of their emotions. Heterosexual infuence is pushed on women as soon as they are old enough to walk. A sense of “compulsory heterosexuality”, a term coined by Adrienne Rich, can be felt by many queer women who are societally expected to display attraction for men, but feel like this expectation conflicts with their own desires. 

This is where the Lesbian Masterdoc becomes extremely helpful. Due to its bulleted and easy-to follow format, questioning queers can read through the document and see what applies to them and perhaps recognize an emotion that they could not put to words. 

That recognition is what makes this document a lasting testament to queer history and an example of how being gay is not just black or white. It is an experience that is individual, nuanced, and full of contradictions, just like the question, “Am I A Lesbian?”.


couple wrapped in Pride flag
Samantha Hurley from Burst
Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

Photos: Her Campus Media

Isabel Thompson

American '23

Isabel Thompson is an undergraduate student at American University studying International Relations. She is involved with HerCampus American as well as the American University Chamber Singers. She enjoys journalism, Korean pop music, cute stationary, iced coffee, and studying languages.