Am I Doing this Wrong?

You would think that after coming out and being generally and genuinely accepted by those around me, all would be fine and dandy. Well, it is. The outside acceptance I’ve received is a privilege I will never take for granted. It’s the further definition, typography and stereotyping that causes me to feel a bit lost within the community.

Even after years of being out and loud and proud, I question whether or not I’m doing the whole gay thing right in the first place. I know I like women and on the surface, that should be the only thing that constitutes me as a proper gay person. But now that I’m past that initial factor, there are so many others that come into play within the community. Am I dressing the right way? Do I fit the right stereotype? Is this something a gay woman does? Writing it out now, I realize that this may seem ridiculous and that is my point exactly.

But, one Google search would tell you that there are multiple different “types” of lesbians out there — the butch lesbian, the soft butch, the lipstick, the chapstick — the list goes on. My point is, you can’t just be a gay woman. Society says you must fall into a type, and that’s exactly where I struggle. I don’t know where I fit into this bucket of categories and it messes with my head. Am I the type that wears a hat turned backward with athleticwear? Or am I more of the type that likes to wear makeup and dress in a feminine way? The truth is, it depends on the day. But if I don’t give off a certain vibe, dress a set way and define myself specfically, where in the lesbian community do I fit in? 

This sort of stereotyping is obviously problematic. If I don’t fit into one of the many different subcategories of lesbians, I don’t become less gay. But, even after realizing this, it is difficult to feel like an in-betweener. Of course it feels good to have a sense of belonging within your community. I shouldn’t have to label myself as a certain kind of lesbian in order to feel better, though. It’s great if you fall into one of the aforementioned “types,” but it’s worth noting that it isn’t a necessity. The problem isn’t with my physical appearance. The problem is in the societal pressure to define ourselves even further, as if being gay isn’t enough. 

My insecurity and fear of floating between types wouldn’t be a thing if there weren’t multiple articles on the handful of types of lesbians. At the end of the day, we all have the most important identity factor in common — We like women! I’m going to try harder to erase the mentality that I need to fit a defined type because who I am already is enough.