Is It “In” To Be A Lesbian?

be a lesbian

Would you be a lesbian just because it’s trendy? Obviously not! | Source

Stripes, ox blood red, plaid, and . . . girls kissing girls? Apparently at Spring 2013 Fashion Week, it’s becoming trendy to be a lesbian.

It’s unclear when stereotyping became okay, but one stylist, Mel Otterberg (who works with Rihanna), put it thusly: “I think when you see girls running around in Air Jordans and baseball caps, then yeah, something’s moved. I’m not sure I’ve ever thought of that look as ‘lesbian,’ necessarily, but I can say that in the past year, Rih’s wearing combat boots in situations where before, nothing but four-inch-heel stiletto booties would do.” So he doesn’t necessarily call athleticism and comfort lesbian traits, but um, what is he trying to say? Wait a minute. WTF?

Fashion press is making it sound pretty fashionable to be a lesbian, with “lesbian chic” becoming a pretty common term and one site saying that lesbian chic may inspire models to start dating each other. Um, okay.

We think it’s great that it’s being more widely accepted to be a lesbian or gay (or bi, trans, queer, etc.). But here’s why this is a bit of a problem. “Lesbian chic” makes it sound like you can just choose at will to be a lesbian. Ask any lesbian you can find, and they’ll pretty much let you know that’s far from the case. Being a lesbian is something girls are born with, not something they do because Karl Lagerfeld says it’s trendy.

Being gay or lesbian (or any other member of the LGBTQ community) isn’t a choice. It’s who someone is. No one wakes up in the morning and is like, “Dude, I’m going to be a lesbian today!” just like no one randomly decides, “Hey, I’m going to be black today. It’s Friday, isn’t it?” Of course not, because your ethnicity is something you’re born with. Runways wouldn’t make it trendy to be black, because that’s offensive: Being black isn’t something that goes in or out of style–it’s something you’re born with and it’s something that’s permanent. So is being a lesbian. So why is it okay for them to assume that you can turn a switch on and off to be a lesbian or straight?

There’s also a bit of a gender double standard at play. Men are visual creatures, so they get pretty turned on by lesbians (because it’s like double the fun)–and since, as Miss Representation pointed out, men run most of the media, is it really surprising that they’d make it trendy to be a lesbian? Think back to a few years ago: Katy Perry sang “I Kissed a Girl,” which also trivialized and made it seem like a choice to be lesbian, into one of the biggest pop music careers going. She also made “Ur So Gay,” which essentially employed a bunch of stereotypes about gay men to insult an ex. Not that cool, right? (We’re glad she’s moved on from that.)

be a lesbian

Katy Perry kissed a girl (for publicity) and liked it. | Source

The fact is, making it trendy to be a lesbian is essentially trivializing lesbians and everything they go through just because they were born wired to kiss girls instead of guys. In a lot of states, lesbians can’t get married, and as other members of the LGBTQ spectrum, lesbians face a lot of intolerance, and calling combat boots and hats “lesbian chic” isn’t helping their plight any. Making it trendy to be a lesbian is actually a roundabout, indirect, and perhaps unintentional way to proliferate homophobia and ignorance. And that’s not a good look.

Do you think it’s trendy to be a lesbian? Do you think making it trendy to be a lesbian is helpful or harmful to the LGBTQ community? Do you think being gay is a choice? Tell us in the comments!

So Let’s Talk About What A Lesbian Looks Like, Shall We?

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  • Elissa

    I guess we are missin the point here, sterotype poeple are only trying to commercialise lesbian fashion. I strongly believe lesbian fashion is unique and its not and will never be a trend .Its a culture .

    Yes we have the Lesbian chic fad however I believe we as lesbians should not be concerned about that becasue lesbianism is not a fashion trend, its a culture ,you have to be born with it .

    Elissa Anderson

  • athletic_emily

    true so very true
    im not a lesbian but some of my friends are we kinda have the same style and the same hobbies like basketball and people always think that we r together but what she always says back is
    “‘ill wear what i want,she’ll wear what she wants and well date who we want but who r you to think every athletic or tmboyish girl is lesbian.”

    • athletic_emily

      i mean un true my u and n are broke 🙁 being gay is a choice for U not for your trendiness

  • athletic_emily

    true so very fricken true!

  • Lotrnerd616

    I’m bi, and my best friends mum said I was a lesbian JUST because I wear combat boots and ripped jeans and stuff. What the hell? I was honestly shocked. You’re not meant to just ASSUME stuff like that, and you’re certainly not meant to tell anyone! >:-(

  • Britt

    also this is negative thing because me myself as a bisexual dresses feminine and i think this is a very stereotypical lesbian style. Not all of us dress like guys and dont try.

  • Britt

    I think this has its ups and downs, if its popular maybe girls will feel more comfortable coming out of the closet. But on another side this could make more people think its just a phase.

  • B.DiDDi

    Is it just me, or was there a bit of a pun in the line: “Hey, I’m going to be black today. It’s Friday, isn’t it?”. Rebecca Black, Friday? Just me…

    • Vicky

      Ok, no you don´t decide that you are going to be “black today” but you may decide to dress in a way that was originally introduced by black youth or there are trends in fashion considered as championed by Asian youth as well. There is such a thing a Lesbian chic, it does play with stereotypes a bit but in a glam way and it breaks those stereotypes as well. In general it plays with gender and I think it is COOL!

  • skyler

    Being a member of LGBT community should *not* be a fashion trend/statement.

  • skyler

    Being a member of LGBT community should be a fashion trend/statement. Its insulting. Its like saying all gay girls dress like boys or something, or all bi girls are just going through a phase, or all gay boys are feminine. Its all ignorant. Just b/c celebs go around kissing girls and the like doesn’t mean its cool, its rudely reflected back on LGBT people, whether we’re out of the closet or not. “Lesbian Chic” should not even be brought up and a fashion trend. Being Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender is WHO we are, just like any race of people, you can’t classify us a a fashion statement, though they tried it with black-face, it’s derogatory. People need to get over themselves, and stop playing around with something so serious, b/c people take offense to nonsense like this.

  • LittleRedWolf

    Having that fashion style be trending is fine. Things go in and out of style all the time. But calling it ‘lesbian chic’ or trying to tie it to lesbians in any way is a real problem. There are plenty of lesbians who don’t dress in the style, just as there are a lot of straight chicks who do. Call it ‘Sporty’ or something else that doesn’t identify it with someone’s sexual orientation, race, or anything else along those lines.

  • mary styles

    Here here

  • mayuri

    I support the LGBT community and i find it ridiculous girls are doing that. Being a lesbian isn’t a choice and make it fashionable it offensive. I like one day people thought wearing animal sweaters were weird but then all of sudden people who start wearing them thought it was trendy even though it not. Really is ti really fashionable kissing a girl or loving one?

  • 3rd Wave

    I find it interesting to say “lesbian chic”. It reminds me of something my friend said when I referred to some underwear as ‘boy shorts’: “If I wear those underpants and I am a girl, then they aren’t boy shorts at all. They’re girl shorts because I identify as a girl and I am wearing them.” As a gay girl, it could be said that everything I wear is Lesbian Chic, since I am a lesbian (although I don’t actually like that word), and I am wearing something chic.

    So I am offended also by this stereotype that lesbians and gay girls wear combat boots instead of stilettos. I do not like combat boots. I like stilettos, even if they make me fall sometimes. I look better in fancy shoes than I do in combat boots or doc martens, so that’s what I wear and I take pride in being a femme woman. That’s my style, and I don’t like to be put in a box-by anybody.

  • NM

    And actually there are black women who get up in the morning and think, “I’m gonna look like a boring white girl today” or “I’m gonna look like a buppy today” or I’m gonna look like… whatever. Fashion is almost always about playing some kind of role with clothing. Yes, it’s annoying for there to be something called “lesbian chic,” but kids who are born in NYC have no control over whether or not they are “urban,” either. I just feel like there are other, more important, things to get worked up about. A big part of identity is deciding wht to wear. Have you ever seen the movie “Pariah?” Much of the movie is about outward appearances and what they could or should mean. I mean, that’s one opinion, but it’s a valid one.

    Here’s a question (and it’s a real question): this “look” that they are describing, what do you ladies (commenters) think is a better name for it? I fully agree that “lesbian” doesn’t work. What would be a better one?

  • NM
  • Calzona

    Personally, as someone who is bi, this doesn’t help me want to come out at all because people will see it as a phase. Which is the exact reason I didn’t come out when I first discovered I liked girls! Then it was popular for girls to kiss other girls without being openly gay and so you never knew who was truly into you or was just trying to get attention. I think it will be the same with this fade. People will see someone wearing something “Lesbian Chic” and think ‘Oh she’s just trying to get attention.
    And another thing! I personally don’t think lesbians, bi or transgender girls have a certain style. WE WEAR WHAT WE LIKE!

    • BleedingSun

      Amen girl! I had the same problem, I put off coming out to myself and to the people around me for years because I was sure every one would think I was into girls because it was “cool”.
      Then I decided I don’t care what they think.
      And the whole “lesbian chic” thing just reinforces the stereotypes that bother me so much. My first girlfriend was one of the girliest girls you’ll ever meet – and one of the gayest. I know plenty of striaght girls who act in a way that could be stereotyped as “butch”.
      Just because a girl likes other girls doesn’t mean that she acts like a guy. And more over, what is “acting like a guy” anyway! Being athletic? Please. I thought we moved out of that type of thinking 30 years ago.