Being a lesbian can be so fun.
If we focus exclusively on the positives here and not think about how dangerous it can be, it’s one of my favorite things to be. I wanted to know what other wlw felt about being wlw, so I decided to conduct a study. My target audience was all of my friends who identified as a lesbian or felt comfortable being referred to as a lesbian in a group, regardless of their gender identity. I started by putting a small sample size of 17 lesbians in one group and asked them all to text me their favorite thing about being gay. The conversation erupted immediately and soon these 17 lesbian strangers were firing off pictures of Dakota Johnson and Zendaya in suits.
Once I saw that they had a lot to say, I took it even wider. I ended up asking 30 lesbians what their favorite thing about being gay is, and this is what they said:
1. “My favorite thing about being gay is you always have a strong connection with new gay people you meet because you’re like ‘wow, you get me.’ Honorable mentionables include a larger closet, someone to do my eyebrows, and boobs.” — Dalia, 26, my girlfriend
2. “How you never have to ask a girl ‘what’s on your mind’ because women will just tell you every thought they ever had or thought about having.” — Jess, 25, high school bestie (also first queer friend!)
3. “I love when I see another maybe-gay in public and we both try to act gayer to get the other ones’ attention to make a silent connection. It’s like when dogs see other dogs and they get really excited.” — Dilean, 22, co-worker
4. “I love the connection and sense of community. Like if you meet someone else that’s gay you already understand a lot of each other’s experiences and it’s just funny how similar a lot of gay people are growing up or just living life. Also tiddies“ — Rachel O., 22, Dilean’s girlfriend
5. “I feel like I can be myself? Idk how to answer the question.” — Charlotte, 21, my cousin
6. “My favorite part about being gay is that my being out lead to my ability to meet so many amazing people and make a ton of friends. I wouldn’t be friends with half the people I’m friends with now if I wasn’t proudly out.” — Rachel B., 24, my girlfriend used to work with her and then they joined a lesbian basketball league together
7. “Having something that easily allows me to connect with others and bond over. I have made many amazing friendships and connections through the LGBTQ+ web around the world. Also, it has allowed me to experience the world in a different light than I otherwise would (for better or worse).” — Emma, 24, Rachel B.’s girlfriend who sits in the stands with me at lesbian basketball league games
8. “I think my favorite part of being gay is that it gives me the chance to be an original. Unfortunately, it’s not a very common thing yet to be gay, and we’re still at a place in society where being gay is often talked about as someone’s defining trait and not just a small part of them, so it’s not always a happy thing, but it does give me the opportunity to be a little different in any way that I want, and I think that’s pretty cool.” — Lea, 24, Rachel B.’s college roommate
9. “During my peak experiences of comp het, thoughts of relationship expectations (ex. Having to carry a baby/attempt a biological pregnancy with a husband, needing to stay young/cute/fit to appease a husband/bf, sex having to include penetration, shaving, having to fulfill certain home roles, etc.) was especially anxiety-inducing, because parts of me knew I didn’t want those. After coming out and living my truth so many things lifted for me. Like it was the first time ever I wasn’t on a diet or drastically trying to change some part of my body, or having so much stress before a first date, because so many of those societal pressures just don’t apply to a wlw relationship.” — Dom O., 25, college friend
10. “Probably the high possibility of doubling my wardrobe, but I’m sure that’s a popular answer. Another answer = dual income no kids disposable income possibilities” — Amy. 38, my next-door neighbor
11. “The style.” — Anonymous, 23, we were both performing at the same comedy open mic
12. “Probably fuckin’ girls is my #1.” — Kelly, 22, dating above lesbian, also met at a comedy open mic
13. “I have two favorite things about being queer!
“1. My family is Italian, so I grew up really internalizing messages about a man’s role and a woman’s role. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this, and ultimately… I DO prefer traditionally feminine and domestic roles. I like to nurture. I like to take care of my home. It makes me happy to do that stuff for the person I love. My partner is much more butch and does like to gravitate toward more traditionally ‘manly’ roles. Of course, we stray from that here and there, but usually, we follow a predictable trajectory. But what I like about being queer, is that I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that we are CHOOSING it. We created a relationship based on what works for us and what we’re comfortable with, after exploring what we wanted, not based on what society dictates we do. In a straight relationship, I think I’d always wonder if certain roles were *expected* of me. I am grateful every day that I don’t have to wonder about that.
“2. The orgasms.” — Veronica, 31, former boss and current mentor
14. “It’s doing whatever the fuck you want. Don’t have to live by any preconceived limits on gender expression or literally any other societal expectations on yourself, your interests, your wedding, your partner… completely breaking out of the box. And boobs of course.” — Taylor, 31, Veronica’s partner
15. “My fave thing about being gay is our ability to take anything and make it lesbian/queer/gay/sapphic culture. Sitting weird? Gay. Cuffing your clothes? Gay. Wanting to own a farm? Queer as fuck. Patterned button-downs? Lesbiiiiannnn. Cate Blanchett? Nope sorry she’s ours now.” — Kendra, 31, former coworker and current editor
16. “One of my favorite about being a lesbian is the constant understanding of what the other person is going through. If that means how society looks at us or just how we process our daily lives. Communication is a key portion of what I expect in a relationship and I’m thrilled to have a partner that finds this just as valuable. Also, a double wardrobe is an awesome perk!“ — Liz, 25, met at ‘The L Word’ Trivia
17. “Okay I would say what I love about being a lesbian is two different things.
“So one would be of course that I think the intimacy between two women is so different and I truly don’t feel I could ever be fully seen and known by a man like men and women are socialized so differently that we have such extremely different life experiences. So the shared knowing between women is unbelievable to me.
“And then the other thing (which is kind of based on how fucked up and homophobic our society is) is actually coming out older. As much trauma as it is, and I wish I had had the tools and understanding to know who I was and had different experiences, I actually kind of love having come out later because I have gotten to have the moments of like ‘holy shit this is what it’s supposed to feel like?’ Sometimes I will be having sex with a woman and be like ‘holy shit I cannot believe I almost missed this!!!’” — Abby W., 25, met on Instagram because she was running a meme page and I had a lesbian podcast
18. “I’d have to say my favorite thing about being gay is knowing that I will literally always have at least five mutual connections with anyone I go on a date with.” — Casey, 23, met on social media somehow
19. “I’d say my favorite part if I really had to pick would be the sex. There’s just something so vital about gay sex. Like all the times the world has told you that being gay is wrong, we’ve all heard it wherever it came from, that we’re probably going to hell for it, and then to feel something so strongly you literally can’t help but do it regardless and in defiance of all that bullshit is so powerful for me. Plus, lesbian sex rocks. It’s the best thing ever. It’s all about pleasure and there’s something really meaningful in that give and take.” — Shannon, 28, writer friend
20. “It’s girls’ night every night.” — Emily, 29, Shannon’s wife
21. “The best part about being gay is being in a relationship free of societal norms and expectations. We’re both free to be whoever we are. I’ve dated men before and there was always the expectation on me as a woman to fit into the box of whatever he thought a woman was. I never felt like I was enough – not submissive enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough. Or like I was too much — too outspoken, too sexual, too emotional. I’ve been able to find someone who loves and encourages me to be all of me once I stopped dating men. Also, boobs.” — Olivia, 23, met in Greek Life, reconnected after being gay on social media
22. “My favorite thing about being gay is the magical energy that draws me to other gay people and draws other gay people to me. I know we like to joke about it, but there’s something spiritual about gay magnetism for me. I know whatever space I’m in I’ll be able to find support and support others, and that feels like a gift.” — Abby, 20, my brother’s girlfriend’s sister
23. “My favorite thing is that we have a subculture that’s influenced by a ton of other cultures that’s unique to how we walk through the world.” — Dom P., 26, met on social media somehow
24. “It’s given me a deeper appreciation for all womanhood and being removed from men has given me an objectively deeper understanding of feminism.” — Sarah, 28, Dom P.’s wife
25. “What I love most about being gay is the badass awesome community it brings together! I love the connection, I love the happiness, I love that you know for a fact each and every one of us has a different story but we can all relate in some sort of way. Idk I love all of it man. But mostly the boobs. Especially Kelsey’s.” — Mariah, 26, high school acquaintance, reconnected after being gay on social media
26. “My favorite thing about being gay is there is no set of strict rules or pressure a relationship must follow. You and your partner are allowed to decide what’s right for your relationship. There is so much more freedom in a wlw community! Also, the knowledge of basic grooming and not smelly like Axe body spray and moldy monster energy is a plus!” — Kelsey, 27, Mariah’s girlfriend
27. “The best part about being a lesbian is finding empowerment within myself and other women on a deeper level that kind of breaks the standards of heteronormativity. I think we are always taught that women somehow need a man in their life in some shape or form. Knowing not only that I’m independent but that I also broke free from these compulsory heteronormative standards makes me feel empowered. I am happier than ever and love inspiring other queer women to explore themselves and to push the ‘normal.’” — Allison, 22, sorority sister
28. “I learned that the way I see women’s bodies is probably how other people see my body. Which is beautiful even if I feel bloated. It taught me to love myself” — Hayley, 25, sorority sister
29. “Sharing a look with another queer woman in public where you just *know* the other one is gay.” — Abby S., 25, lived two doors down in my freshman dorm
30. “Is it lame that my favorite part about being gay is just having a girlfriend? Like, I love her. That’s my favorite part.” — Ayana, 25, Abby S.’s girlfriend, met in freshman dorm and had Honors Human Sexuality class together
My favorite thing about being a lesbian you ask? Being able to put 17 random lesbians in a groupchat and watch them immediately make friends with each other.
Oh, and boobs.