Some of the words commonly heard in lesbian culture are widely known and easily understood. Others are less common and met by many with confusion and oftentimes-feigned comprehension for fear of embarrassment. To help clear things up, we have defined 10 words that we feel every lesbian should know how to use. We aren’t in favor of labels, or all encompassing describers for any one individual, but in a community that is far more than just “gay” and “lesbian,” familiarity with these words is key.
1. Grrl – If you are an out and proud lesbian woman who believes in gender equality, gay rights, and embraces the lively arts and entertainment culture within our community – You go (cherry)Grrl!
2. Lesbian – We know, you wouldn’t be on cherrygrrl.com if you didn’t know what a lesbian was. Well, you probably wouldn’t even be on the internet at all if you didn’t know what a lesbian was. OK, everyone knows what a lesbian is. But – just in case – a lesbian is a woman who is romantically or sexually attracted only to other women. The word “only” is used here because the word “bisexual” exists for those of you who also like men.
3. Butch – Because we don’t believe in labels – and do believe that a lesbian can be extremely masculine and not butch and paint her nails and be butch – we will define this word only as it pertains to the butch-femme relationship whereby, typically, the butch is the more masculine and dominant of the two women in the lesbian couple.
4. Femme – As discussed above, the femme is the yang to the butch ying.
5. Stud – A common discussion among the LGBT community has been the disassociation of gay African Americans from words often used in queer culture. “Stud” is one of the alternative words used, and has been defined as a dominant lesbian who is usually butch and often African American.
6. Gold-star – Many men don’t believe in her existence, but the gold-star lesbian is one who has never slept with a man and who has no intention of ever doing so. And she is most definitely real.
7. Boi – A cute word for a cute kind of girl, a boi is biologically female but has a boyish appearance or presentation.
8. Celesbian – A celebrity who is also a lesbian. Also, a lesbian who is also a celebrity. For example: Ellen DeGeneres is a celebrity who is also a lesbian. Dani Campbell is a lesbian who is also a celebrity. One is a celebrity who happens to be a lesbian and the other’s celebrity came about because she is a lesbian – but both make it on our list of celesbians.
9. Baby-dyke – Used pretty much exclusively among lesbians, this one is somewhat self-explanatory. If you are young and new to the scene…you might get called a baby-dyke. Embrace it, time flies.
10. Queer – Although this word has taken on many negative connotations in mainstream society, and is often used in derogatory attacks against LGBT individuals, it is becoming more and more commonly used as an accurate adjective to describe those who may or may not identify as homosexual, but consider themselves members of the LGBT community regardless of their particular orientation. For instance, you could be a hardcore lesbian, bisexual man, transsexual, or straight woman who relates best with homosexual friends and consider yourself queer – and proud of it.