Girl's Night OUT
"Women are nothing like we've been told
Not proper and prim
No, women have passions the same as men."

- City of Dreams, music by Joe Zellnik, words by David Zellnik


"How can you tell if someone's gay?" asked my mother.

"Gaydar," I confidently announced.

"What's that?" she asked.

"It's that pink sixth sense."

Or is it? Queer people rely on stereotypes for clues just as much as the straight crowd; we're just tuned into those clues more because we've lived many of them ourselves, or at least slept with someone who exibited all the telltale signs of homosexuality.

In the movie In & Out, Kevin Kline plays Howard Brackett, a high school teacher who's outed by a former student in an Oscar acceptence speech. The day after, Kline's students try and figure out why anyone would think such a thing. The reasons they come up with are: He's well-dressed, neat, considerate, kind, rides a bike, has been engaged for three years, and teaches Shakespeare and poetry. We also find out that he's a huge Barbra Streisand fan. Well! He's obviously a Friend of Dorothy - no straight man would dare be well-dressed or kind!

Gay men are easy to stereotype; the image of a neatnik, de-sexualized priss is a stock character in popular culture. Women are harder to pigeon-hole if they're outside of the diesel-dyke archetype. People assume lesbians are either androgynous or porn stars with three-inch heels and three-inch fingernails. Think again.

"Women in comfortable shoes," as we're refered to... How do you know if she's on this side of Sappho? A basic primer, sure to offend and exclude the masses, but hopefully able to provide a laugh and a clue to the rest.

Butch

Big clunky black shoes
Wallet on a chain
Keys on a chain
Biker jacket
Short hair
No or mulitple body piercings
No make-up
Body of steel, or flab
Favorite food: femmes

Jock

The latest triathelete sneakers
Cordura wallet on a carabener
Keys velcro-ed into wallet
Goretex/Polartec pull-over jacket
Short hair
Simple earings if any
Little or no make-up
Lean body
Favorite food: energy bars

Crunchy Granola

Birkenstocks, year 'round
Macromeed wallet from Guatemala
Beaded keyholder
Wool sherpa poncho
Long hair
Multiple earings
Some all-natural make-up
Normal body
Favorite food: rice & beans

Lipstick Lesbian

Easy Spirit pumps
Coach leather wallet
Silver key ring
Tailored leather jacket with tie at waist
Long hair
Multiple earings
The best simple make-up
Shapely body
Favorite food: sushi

 Who are you? Fit any of these stereotypes? Got more offensive generalizations? Share them on the GNO listserv and see if gaydar works over the internet!


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