People are constantly asking me how I can tell if a girl is gay. Usually, the conversation goes something like this:
They'll look at me with bulging eyeballs, freaked out as if my long, raven hair and red lipstick has tossed them into a parallel universe where you can't tell who the hell is lesbian, bisexual, straight, trans, poly or anything anymore.
I mean, if it doesn't walk like a duck and it's doesn't talk like a duck, CAN IT STILL BE A DUCK?
Well, yes, sweet kittens. Sometimes it looks like a swan, but it's actually a duck.
A girl can wear traditionally "straight" attire, but once you tear those glam clothes off her body, you'll find she actually has lesbian skin.
There's a dyke beneath those designer duds, babe.
So, how can you tell?
Some girls wear their sexuality right on their flannel sleeves. They have rainbow tattoos and equality signs adorned on their foreheads. They're gay girls, and they dress exactly how you would expect a lesbian to dress.
Maybe they're chic pantsuit lesbians. Maybe they're sexy, short hair lesbians. Or maybe they're snapback and tattoo lesbians, but are wearing what society has traditionally deemed to be "gay attire". And that's totally fine and cool and wonderful.
I used to fiercely wish I was one of those lesbians.
Namely, so I didn't get myself into awkward situations like having to out myself the first day at work, having to gently turn down a lovely Jewish mom who wanted to set me up with her lovely Jewish son or freaking out the manicurist when she asked if I have a boyfriend and I tell her my girlfriend is waiting at the bar down the block.
I mean, I do look pretty good in flannel, but it has to be wrapped around my hips when I'm wearing a baby doll, grunge mini dress, Courtney Love ripped tights and scuffed kitten heels.
But, trust me, I don't look good with short hair. I look good with long hair, winged liner and mascara.
But you know what? Most lesbians can instantly tell that I'm a lesbian. I exude lesbian energy, I guess. I radiate a Sapphic prowess. Or maybe I'm just flirty. Who knows?
But I can tell who is gay, too.
I will always be the controversial voice who yells, "NO she's NOT GAY" when our waitress has a half-sleeve of tattoos and sports a buzzcut.
Because I know that clothes are just window dressing, honey. Looks are just looks. But I can see what's inside because I have a magical, mystical power known in the medical community as "gaydar".
It's a gift. A blessing. A treasure from God, herself.
Look, gaydar can't be taught. Like sexuality, you're born this way.
But let me tell you something, my bicurious kitten. I can give you a few gems that will help you be able to tell if a girl is GAY or NOT GAY.
Because it's hard out there for a queer girl, we have to stick together and share our gifts.
Trust your instincts.
OK, lez say you're out in a bar, you're looking at a girl and there is a twinkle in her eye, a little sparkle that's luring you in. She probably plays for your team (or at least wants to).
Our gut instincts are far wiser than our brains will ever be. If your gut is saying "she's totally gay and she totally wants you," I would boldly trust it.
In fact, screw what anyone says. Trust your gut when it comes to everything in life, especially sexuality.
Check out the nails.
Ugh, I know I'm going to get shit for this one, but I'm your lesbian older sister and I'm not going to fuck around in the name of being politically correct.
My main goal here is to help gorgeous, confused little you, so I'm going to give it to you straight (er, gay?): Check out her nails.
Does she have long acrylics that are stylishly pointed like Rhianna or Lana Del Rey? Maybe they're long, pointed and have crystals expertly glued onto them.
Now close your pretty eyes. Imagine those vicious talons inside of your vagina. I know. Brutal.
Look, as lesbians, our fingers are extremely important tools in our sex lives. If they're sharp, they're going to rip apart your insides and that's no fun for anyone.
Most lesbians will have short, immaculately clean nails.
The lesbians who do have long, sharp nails are not usually the type to be sticking their fingers inside of you, and are you really into that kind of pillow princess?
I know I'm not. Just saying!
Don't make assumptions.
Like I said earlier, just because she's wearing false eyelashes and a sequined dress doesn't mean she's straight.
On the other hand, just because she's wearing a chain wallet doesn't mean she's a lesbian.
DO NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS.
There are so many different types of lesbians in this cruel, cold world.
The moment you catch yourself making a vapid assumption, I want you to take a few deep breaths, feel your feet rooted into the earth and tap into your gut again.
Note how she acts around men.
Again, this is going to be blazingly controversial and full of sweeping generalizations that are sure to offend some, but my goal here is to point you in the right direction. And I feel this is a valid point:
How does she act around men? Most heterosexual women in a bar will slightly change around men, not because she's a disempowered entity, but her body language will change around an attractive man.
She'll hold her herself differently. She'll be more apt to smile. She might even throw him a few bitchy-but-sexy looks. Whatever her flirting style is, you'll notice at least a subtle change in her behavior when in the presence of male energy.
Lesbians, on the other hand, are completely the same around men. It's pretty awesome to watch, actually.
A lesbian will never laugh at an unfunny joke from a frat boy, she'll just be wildly annoyed and shoot him a dirty look.
She won't tap her fingers against the glass and smile coyly, she'll just make casual conversation.
He could be Brad Pitt, and a lesbian won't be thrown at all.
This is precisely why lesbians and straight men are often such good friends. Or mortal enemies. It goes both ways.
Never once in my life have I been offended when someone asked me if I was gay.
But I HAVE been offended in this kind of situation:
Lesbian stares me down. Lesbian struts over to me, takes a confident sip of her drink and harshly blurts, "Are you a lesbian?"
"Yes," I'll answer honestly, drinking my civilized glass of wine like a fucking lady.
"Oh, well you don't LOOK like a lesbian."
Well, I wasn't offended by the question, but did she really need to toss in that bitchy anecdote at the end? No. It's just not necessary.
Don't tell me I don't look like my people. I am my people, bitch.
But a simple question, a simple, polite, "I don't mean to be rude, but I was wondering if you were interested in women?" I, personally, think is fine.
I mean, if we don't ask, how the hell will we ever know?
So, when in doubt, JUST ASK, babe. If she yells at you, send her my way.
I'll set that lesbian straight (er, gay?).