No, there doesn’t have to be a ‘manly’ one in a lesbian relationship

So stop asking me who wears the trousers

“How DO you have sex?”, “Is it all scissoring?” “Do you use a strap on?” – I get asked the sexually intrusive, the overly curious and the downright offensive all the time.

But it’s people shoehorning my relationship into gender roles that annoys me the most. “Who’s the man and who’s the woman?”.

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Who’s the man?

There’s this old and boring stereotype that lesbian couples have to have opposing genders. One trouser-wearing and masculine who takes the place of a man, and the other feminine and dainty, who remains a woman.

And if both women in the relationship look feminine, the relationship must be a sham. Cue invites to threesomes, fivesomes and other unwanted orgies.

All of this reeks of complete bullshit. What makes the heterosexual world so great that I would ever want to imitate it? Cheers for the persecution, but I’m alright without mimicking the community responsible for impeding my human rights. There are no gender roles in my relationship, because we’re both women. We transcend the heteronormative realm.

When I asked Rosa Wicks, a fellow KCL gay, how some lesbians feels about this stereotyping. “People have often said to me, especially since I adopt a slightly less traditionally ‘feminine’ appearance than my girlfriend (short hair, undercut, Dr. Martins, etc) whether I am ‘the dude’ in our relationship. I’m not. I’m not a man, I don’t identify as a man, and guess what? My relationship is made no less legitimate by that fact.”

Fellow gay Rosa.

Yes, some lesbians appear more androgynous than others. But that doesn’t make those lesbians “like men”. People should be allowed to like and wear what they want.

In this phallocentric universe it is often hard, particularly for men (although I’ve met women with the same issue), to imagine sex without a penis. To understand how we could ever derive sexual pleasure with only female genitalia.

It’s this kind of close-mindedness that delayed the decriminalisation of homosexuality, resulted in the implementation of Section 28 (thanks for voting against the law’s repeal, Mr Cameron), and prevented same-sex marriage from being legalised until 2014. The notion that anything outside the female-male binary is either wrong, or inferior.

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My lesbian relationships can be just as loving, fulfilling, life changing, sexually liberating, fleeting, cheating, heart breaking and totally fucking awful as your straight ones. They’re just between two girls instead.

In the end, I’m no different. I’m still swimming around, like every other impoverished student reduced to Sainsbury’s Basics, in a pool of life’s uncertainties. I have no idea how serious this relationship will become. I only want it to be taken – without scrutiny – seriously.

@ella_braidwood 

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