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Sunday, October 21, 2007

A bit of Lesbian Terminology

I was reading some lesbian articles over the weekend and came across some interesting lesbian terminology. I was so entertained by some of these words and definitions that I started to do a bit more research on the subject. I was amazed to find how many different lesbian terms/slang that I had never heard of before.

Anyway, I thought it might be fun to put together a list of various lesbian terms and definitions for my blog, you never know, you might just learn something new. Oh, and if I missed any, which is very likely, then send me an email and I will add them to my list.


Lesbian Terminology

Androgynous
A lesbian who is neither masculine nor feminine in appearance or behavior. Universally known as Unisex.

Baby Dyke
A young butch or soft butchunder the age of 25.

Blue Jean Femme
A Blue Jean Femme is a lesbian who identifies as femme but prefers jeans and more casual clothing to dresses and skirts.

Boston Marriage
Old fashioned term describing two unmarried women who shared a house together. Origins: This originates from the nineteenth century when it was acceptable for two unmarried women to share a house together. As to how many of these women were lesbians is unknown.

Bulldyke
Incredibly masculine lesbian.
Origins: This supports the theory that dyke originates from the Celtic language as Queen Boudicca was around at the time and she was known for being an incredibly powerful woman.

Butch
Used to describe a lesbian who is masculine in appearance and outlook. Often relates to the way she dresses, the hairstyle, the shoes she wears etc.
Origins: Some say it comes from 1930's America from Butch, a strong and popular man's name of that time. Others believe it stems from the 1950's when both in the UK and USA working class lesbian couples dressed as one masculine and one feminine, whilst the middle class preferred to hide behind their feminine demeanor.

Chapstick Lesbian Another term for androgynous or Sporty Lesbian.
Origins: Introduced in the late 1990's to take on all those lipstick lesbians out there!

Dieseldyke
Once again this term means incredibly masculine lesbian, particularly those that drive heavy equipment and trucks.

Dyke
Another term for butch. Originally used as disparaging term for a lesbian.
Origins: This may have originated from the Celtic language, or possibly from the slang word dike used in the nineteenth century, which means male clothing. This term is widely accepted in lesbian circles but if a straight person were to call you a dyke this is thought to be offensive!

Dykon
A lesbian icon, such as kd lang, Melissa Etheridge, or Ellen Degeneres

Earthy-crunchy dyke/Granola Lesbian
A lesbian who is usually vegetarian and usually either New Age or Neopagan and has a She is often considered an earth-mother type and tends to wear Birkenstocks.

Femme
A lesbian who dresses in a feminine nature and has a feminine manner. Femmes are said to prefer skirts, flouncy clothes, makeup, and spending inconceivable amounts on their hair. (Not always true). They are the opposites of butch.
Origins: This originates from the same time as when the term butch became popular in the 1950's where lesbians were forced to choose which way they would dress in bars, or the working class lesbian couples chose to dress that way.

Gaysia
A gay Asian female.

Glamour butch
A butch who likes to wear fancy suits, tuxedos, etc, frequently.

Gold-star lesbian
A lesbian who never has and never intends to have sex with a man. Sometimes they also get points for never sleeping with bisexuals.

Grrl
A lesbian who's too old to be a baby dyke, but still fairly young and is usually a soft butch.

Gynaeotrope
Another term for Lesbian. The term was suggested in 1946 by Kurt Hiller because of what he considered to negative connotations of "lesbian" (or "homosexual") but the term never caught on.

High Femme
A lesbian who expresses the cultural norm for ultra-femininity - makeup, dresses, heels, hair, nails. May not identify as a lesbian if her desires are exclusively for Stone Butches and FtM's.

Lesbian Bed Death
This is a term invented by sex researcher Pepper Schwartz to describe the supposedly inevitable diminishment of sexual passion in long term lesbian relationships. The term is sometimes used to refer to diminished sexual activity in any long term relationship.

Lipstick Lesbian
Another term for femme. However it can also mean feminine women who are attracted to other feminine women.
Origins: This is a slang term introduced in the late 1990's.

Low femme
A femme lesbian who is, perhaps, not quite so stereotypically feminine as a high femme, usually preferring jeans and a blouse or t-shirt to skirts for everyday. Also known as a Blue Jean Femme.

LP
Lesbian Potential, used when playing spot-the-queers in public places, as in "she's got high LP"

ManDyke
A masculine woman of any orientation. Another definition is a woman who takes a male cultural role while not necessarily passing as male.

Mama Bear
A female police officer or security guard.

Pan Sexual
One who exhibits or suggests a sexuality that has many different forms, objects, and outlets. One who exhibits many forms of sexual expression.

Pillow Princess
A lesbian who is unwilling or uninterested in reciprocating sex.

Poppa
Any lesbian under the age of consent.

Queer
Queer was originally a derogatory term used to taunt and mock anyone who was not heterosexual or who did not conform to or uphold society's gender expectations. Now queer has been reclaimed by much of the LGBTQ community as an umbrella term referring to sexual orientations and identities (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning) that fall outside of the mainstream. It can also express a conscious desire to challenge the societal norm.

Sapphism
Another term for lesbianism
Origins: Direct origination from the poet Sappho who wrote love sonnets to and about women.

Saturday Night Butch
A term from the 1950s and 60s, when butch/femme was the norm in lesbian bars, this means that a person was not a real butch, but only dressed up as a butch on the weekends.

Serial Monogamy
This is the way some lesbians choose to aviod the possibility of Lesbian Bed Death. Short but exclusive relationships, generally very passionate and intense. Sometimes seen by others as merely a way of avoiding intimacy.

Soft Butch
A soft butch is a lesbian whose appearance is usually more androgynous. She may dress and act in a masculine manner, but be soft and more feminine on the inside. Also, a soft butch can be someone who falls somewhere between butch and femme, but closer to the butch side.

Sport Dyke
A sport dyke is a lesbian, who more than anything, identifies with being an athlete. She may also dress in a manner that would give the impression she is an athlete, like baseball caps, sweatshirts and jeans.

Stone Butch
Most masculine of the Butches. They may pass as male without actually trying. May identify as transgender, that is identifying outside of the gender usually associated with females and will often be seen as male by the outside world. Does all or most of the above in masculine gender expressions. May or may not be sexually aggressive. Will not be made love to as one would a "woman". Will derive sexual pleasure from pleasing partner and will not allow "womanly" genital touching or penetration. Usually will have questioned their gender at some time in their lives. Will not be comfortable with their female body. May think of Butch as a separate gender from man & woman.

Stone femme
A femme lesbian who never tries to flip or "melt" her Stone Butch. lover, but prefers to pleasure her lover by taking a passive role in sex. A second definition is a femme lesbian who does not like to be touched, much like a stone butch.

Strum Queen
Lesbian that likes masturbating in front of other lesbians.

Switch
one who is both a top and a bottom in the leather sense, and switches back and forth or one who is butch sometimes and femme sometimes, and andro sometimes.

Tomcat
An aggressive woman.

Tit King
A lesbian attracted to women with large breasts.

Transgender
A person who walks through life as another gender not associated with their birth sex; crosses cultural gender boundaries. May identify as a "female man" or "TransMan". Will be recognized at least part of the time by others as men.

Transsexual(FtM or TransMan)
A female born person who takes testosterone and/or has surgery to create a male looking physical body. May simply identify as a straight, gay or bisexual man depending on his desires or may feel his identity is simply "transman or FtM. Many live in "stealth mode" - that is, they live as men and not part of the queer community

Tween
One who is in between butch and femme, and can take on either role; a switch

Vagina Wig
(Yes, this term is from the L-Word Series) A vagina wig, also known as a merkin, (hence the Stacy Merkin reference) is exactly as the name implies, a wig worn over the pubic area. According to Wikipedia, merkins were worn by prostitutes beginning in the 1600s after shaving their genitalia to eliminate lice or to disguise the marks of syphilis.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Where is Same-Sex Marriage Legal?

If you haven't heard the bad news already, I am sure you could have guessed it...Last week Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed AB43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act. Not that I am surprised to hear about the Governor's veto, but with more and more Californians in support of same-sex marriage and the Legislature approving the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, it appears as though the Governor is alone in allowing discrimination against same-sex couples in California.

Of course California is not the only location the struggle for equal rights for same-sex couples is occurring, Gays & Lesbians all over the world are fighting for equal protection under the law. Here is a comprehensive guide to same-sex marriage laws around the world that I thought might be interesting for everyone to see.


Nations that recognize gay marriage:

Canada
In June of 2005, the Canadian Parliament enacted a law allowing legal marriage for same-sex couples.

Belgium
The second nation to legalize same-sex marriage in 2003.

Netherlands
The first country to grant gay marriage in 2001.

South Africa
South Africa became the fifth nation to recognize gay marriage in 2005.

Spain

Spain became the fourth nation to allow gay marriage on June 29, 2005.


US states that recognize gay marriage:

New Jersey*
New Jersey is the third U.S. state to offer same-sex civil unions behind Vermont and Connecticut. The new same-sex civil unions law, which goes into affect on February 19, 2007, grants gay and lesbian couples the same rights as marriage. *(Although same-sex unions in New Jersey are classified as civil unions, couples are granted the same rights as married heterosexual couples.) read more

Massachusetts
On May 17, 2004 Massachusetts became the first U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriage. The State of Massachusetts also issues licenses to gay couples from New Mexico and Rhode Island since neither state explicitly prohibits same-sex marriage.


Nations that allow same-sex partnerships or unions:

Croatia
Civil partnerships for same-sex couples have been granted since 2003.

Denmark
Legal civil partnerships have been allowed since 1989.

Finland
Has offered registered partnership benefits since September 2001.

France
Pacte Civil de Solidarit√©” (PACS), or “Civil Solidarity Pacts,” were instituted in France on November 9, 1999.

Germany
Gay couples can register as "Life Partnerships," granting lesser financial and pension benefits than marriage.

Hungary
Gay couples have been protected under common-law marriages since 1995; however they are not eligible for legal marriage.

Iceland
Since 1996, gay Icelanders have been protected under registered partnerships.

Luxembourg
Civil partnership legislation modeled after France's PACS were introduced in Luxembourg in 2004.

Mexico
Same sex civil unions were legalized in Mexico City in November 2006 and in the state of Coahuila on January of 2007, essentially making civil unions legal in all of Mexico (by law, each Mexican state must recognize the laws granted to individuals of the other states). (More on Gay Mexico)

New Zealand
In December, 2004, New Zealand enacted legislation recognizing same-sex civil unions.

Norway
Since 1996, gay Norwegians have been protected under registered partnerships.

Portugal
Same-sex partners have the same rights as opposite-sex partners in common law marriage.

Sweden
Swedish same-sex couples have been able to register under domestic partnership laws since 1995.

Switzerland
Same-sex couples are given limited legal benefits with civil recognition.

United Kingdom
Domestic partners can register under the Civil Partnership Act. This legislation took affect in December 5, 2005 giving registered same-sex couples all of the rights, privileges and responsibilities of married heterosexual couples. The Civil Partnership Act applies across all of England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.


US States that allow same-sex partnerships or unions:

California
California provides domestic partnership benefits. The state legislature successfully voted in favor of legal gay marriage in California, only to be vetoed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. In March, 2005, a San Francisco judge ruled that the law banning same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.

Connecticut
Although Connecticut defines marriage as between a man and woman, it became the second U.S. state to grant same-sex civil unions in April, 2005.

New Hampshire
New Hampshire, home of the Episcopal Church's first openly gay bishop, V. Gene Robinson, became the 4th state behind Vermont, New Jersey and Connecticut to offer civil unions. Same-sex partners were allowed to register for civil unions in January 2008. More on New Hampshire Civil Unions

Oregon
Under Oregon's new domestic partnership law gay and lesbian couples are eligible for all the state-wide rights and benefits of marriage. Oregon also outlaws discrimination based on sexual orientation. (more)

Vermont
The first U.S. state to offer same-sex civil unions in 2000. Learn about Vermont civil unions.

Washington
On April 21, 2007, Washington's domestic partnership bill was signed into law giving gay and lesbian couples many of the benefits of marriage.


Nations that ban same-sex unions:

Honduras
On March 29, 2005, the constitution of Honduras was amended banning same-sex marriage and adoption by same-sex couples.

Latvia
December 21, 2005 marked the day Latvian president Vaira Vike-Freiberga signed into law a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

Uganda
On September 29, 2005, legislation banning same-sex unions was signed by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. Penalties for gay marriage will be set in 2006. Under current law, homosexual acts are punishable by imprisonment from five years to life.

This information was gathered by Ramone Johnson from About.com

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Heard about Logo's newest lesbian series Exes & Ohs?

Exes and Ohs is LOGO's newest lesbian comedy series based on the award-winning short film THE TEN RULES: A LESBIAN SURVIVAL GUIDE. The show follows Jennifer (Michelle Paradise, creator of the show), a struggling documentary filmmaker on her search for Ms. Right. Jennifer tries to keep up with the drama of Seattle's dating scene, while learning to adapt to the “rules” of lesbian life, love and community.


To give you an idea of how the series will play out, here is a synopses of the first episode called "There Must Be Rules."

Jennifer (Michelle Paradise) and her best friend Sam (Marnie Alton) discover Jennifer’s girlfriend Sienna (Darby Stanchfield) making out with their couples’ therapist. A year later, Sienna’s marrying the therapist and everyone’s planning to attend – except Jennifer, who has vowed to skip the event. Sam convinces Jennifer to just drive her to the wedding… and Jennifer, wearing only a sweatshirt and jeans, accidentally gets stuck on the wedding yacht.

Sam and everyone’s surrogate little sister Crutch (Heather Matarazzo) tries to help an uncomfortable Jennifer navigate the wedding, but Sam is distracted by her girl-du-jour Becca (Cathy DeBuono), who wants much more than Sam can give…

Meanwhile, Jennifer’s dear friends Chris (Megan Cavanagh) and Kris (Angela Featherstone) have finally decided on their wedding gift: A cockatiel! But the joy of giving the perfect cockatiel soon turns to sadness when Kris sees a drunken Chris flirting with another wedding guest. After Jennifer points out the lesbian “rule” of appropriate dance floor behavior, it’s clear to everyone that Chris has some explaining to do… but can Kris forgive her?


Okay, were you able to keep up with all of that? Well here is a little bit of background on each of the characters:

Jennifer (Michelle Paradise) is looking for Ms. Right. Unfortunately, she's looking in all the wrong places. The poster child for the "Why Do Annoying Things Happen To Good People" association, Jennifer is a recently-dumped smart, single, struggling documentary filmmaker with a vivid fantasy life and has just starting to dip her toes back into the dating pool. She hasn't had sex in a really, really long time - much to the amusement of her friends - but there's always hope on the horizon...

Chris
(Megan Cavanaugh) is the first lesbian to come out - and get out - of her small Ohio town. She has a big infectious laugh and is the life of any party. She is also practical, responsible, and doesn't back down from a fight - except when it's with her long term partner Kris, who has Chris wrapped around her pretty finger. When you don't find Chris bowling you can find her skeet shooting (she was her high school champ).

Kris (Angela Featherstone) is the tad-more-feminine than her life partner Chris. She has a sly giggle, an intoxicating smile, and is not ditzy, just operating on a much simpler logic than the rest of us. Raised by Vermont hippies on a maple syrup farm, Kris is happy with herself, loves running the online pet accessories business she owns with Chris, and can always find room in their home - and in her heart - for just one more stray animal

Sam (Marnie Alton) is a sexy, commitment-phobic bartender who, unlike her best friend Jennifer, is only looking for Ms. Right Now. Yes, she's a flirt; and no, she has no problem using her looks to get what she wants... But Sam is also fiercely independent, protective of her friends, and you couldn't ask for a better shoulder to cry on. Of course, it doesn't hurt that the shoulder is hot, if you like those sexy femme types.

Crutch (Heather Matarazzo), of the purple-streaked hair, multiple piercings, and "Dyke Power" bumper stickers, is a 22-year old coffee house barista who harbors a secret crush and aspires to be a famous singer/songwriter... despite the fact that she isn't much of a songwriter (or singer). The group wants to help her as she gets her life together, but ultimately she'll have to figure out the "growing up" thing on her.

If you would like a sneak peek at the new series, you can go to Logo's website and watch a few clips. And although I personally wasn’t that impressed by what I saw, or the fact that there is little cultural diversity in the characters(yes, they are all Caucasian), I am hoping the series has something more to offer, we shall see.

The Series premiere of Exes and Oh's is Monday, Oct 8th at 10:00 pm EST. And hey, if you do get a chance to watch it, let me what you think, I would love to hear your opinion.

Monday, October 1, 2007

A Call for Dating Stories

Embarrassing, romantic, disastrous or humorous...we've all had our share of dating experiences. Whether you met online, a blind date, or bumped into her at a club, we all have a story to tell. So why not gather them all together and post them on a blog?

So if you have a little something you would like to share (good, bad or otherwise), just email me. And don't worry, if you would like to keep your story anonymous, just let me know and I will leave your name out.

I look forward to hearing from all of you!

 

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