What Kind of Lesbian Are You?

Lesbian Labels

Lesbian couple embracing in Brooklyn, NY outside
Photography by Braden Summers/Taxi/Getty Images

Do you know what kind of lesbian you are? Did you know there were different varieties of lesbian? Some people take these labels pretty seriously. Others like to joke about them. One newly out lesbian was pretty confused by all these labels. Here's what she had to say.

What Kind of Lesbian Am I?

Dear Kathy:
Hi I am just in the process of coming out and someone asked me what type of lesbian I was. I didn't know. I'm not sure what all these terms mean. I don't know what stone butch, soft butch, butch, lipstick lesbian, chapstick lesbian, sport dyke, etc. These were the terms they asked me to describe myself as. What do they mean? I also wonder if it is important to have a label, as I just want to be me. I thought that was what coming out was all about. Thanks.

Dear Confused,
Whereas taking on a label like "Lipstick Lesbian” can be meaningful and empowering to some women, others would rather not classify themselves so narrowly. Some days they may wear lipstick, others a football helmet and shoulder pads!

It can fun to talk about these labels, but I hope your friends weren’t taking themselves too seriously. Can anyone really fit into one box? I agree, the right to define ourselves is what we lesbians and feminists have been fighting for for so long!

Confused, just be who you are! If people force you to choose, then those aren't the kind of people you want to hang around with anyway!

Are you Confused too?

Here's some help with some of those lesbian terms:

  • Stone Butch
  • Butch
  • Lipstick Lesbian
  • Sport Dyke
  • Soft Butch
  • Blue Jean Femme
  • Chapstick Lesbian