Nowadays the clichés surrounding gay men and women, lesbians specifically, are pretty much laughed off. But we have to accept that they’re stereotypes for a reason – they are, somewhat, based on the truth. I often find myself fitting in the stereotypical lesbian persona: I have short, boy-ish hair (sometimes it does look like the Bieber cut…), I adore plaid shirts, I wear biker boots, I love unicorns and anything rainbow, I’m not too into make-up etc. and I like ‘gay’ musicians like Tegan and Sara, Missy Higgins and P!nk. Fitting into this category is something I don’t mind, something I am used to and something that’s become a running joke among my friends and I, but can it be damaging? Occasionally my younger self re-emerges, wanting to experiment with lipstick colours or wear a dress, and because of how I feel I am now, and who I feel I am, I ignore these desires. Not because I think they’re stupid or wrong, or that I ‘can’t’ do them as a ‘butch lesbian’, but because I feel uncomfortable participating in stereotypically ‘girly’ things now. And it is this I do not understand. It seems to me that, although I do have incredibly low self esteem among other things, the main reason for this has to be the fact that for years now, I’ve just been ‘the lesbian’, and I’ve fitted neatly into a perfect box. I’ve spent years enjoying my box, and not really minding, but as I grow older and more comfortable with myself, my more feminine side does come out. Yet I don’t want to embrace that? It feels as though I am almost insecure in my ‘butchness’, which seems a ridiculous concept.
It’s a confusing, multi-dimensional topic and I don’t pretend to understand it on my own level, let alone a wider range. What are your thoughts? Has anyone else felt like this?