How to Signal You Are a Femme Lesbian

Tips for Being an Out Feminine Lesbian

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If you are just out and you want to signal who you are, that might not come entirely naturally. You might be wondering how a femme lesbian gets noticed and lets other lesbians—butches, femmes, and those in between—know that she is also a lesbian.

How to Signal Your Status

Belinda Carroll, who is a comedian and a femme lesbian, says,

"The way I do it is to get onstage and announce I'm a single lesbian who has a lipstick addiction."
Carroll continues: “I wrote a piece for the "Persistence" anthology about this exact thing. Femme invisibility is a common topic among femmes. How do you let queers know you're queer when you look more Donna Reed than Pat Califia? My solution has been to wear obviously gay accouterments; political pins, buttons, and the like."

Also, if you are in conversation with another lesbian, you can mention a gay organization you are involved with. Get involved and volunteer with gay organizations. It's cumbersome for femmes because often they don't register on the radar, but you can do it.

You can also just wink at that girl who strikes your fancy. It sends the same message no matter who sends it to whom.

Other Tactics

Find a place where lesbians go. That way, you've got at least a 70 percent chance that the chick you want to talk to will actually be into girls (the other 30 percent are likely straight allies or bi-curious). This might limit your social scene, but it's the most fail-proof.

If you're a conversation with an obvious lesbian, casually mention an ex-girlfriend. Important note: You can't say "an old girlfriend of mine ..." because straight girls call their friends "girlfriends," and no butch girl will take you for a lesbian if you say this. You have to use the term "ex-girlfriend" to spell it out as clearly as you can.

Wearing clothing with an unmistakable political message, like a Human Rights Campaign (HRC) shirt, is a good way to announce your sexual preference without saying anything. However, there is a huge flaw with this choice, and that is this: HRC, along with every other LGBT clothing maker, doesn't make clothes for femmes, so it makes it a tough sartorial choice. Fashion or femme signal is the question.

Here's an easy way to let other lesbians know you're a lesbian: Wake up in the morning, dress, and act as you normally would, in all your sexy, confident, high-heeled glory, and let that be that. Without a doubt, the butch girl in the room will find a way to talk to someone you're with and eventually say, "Your friend is hot." At that point, your friend can fill the butch in, and you've done nothing but stand nearby and radiate sensual goodness. 

Make Eye Contact

Often the best way to tell another lesbian is by eye contact. Lesbians make eye contact in public in a different way than straight women do. Even if there is not a romantic interest, there is a way that lesbians look each other in the eye, a way that subtly says, “I see you,” that is different than how straight women look at each other.