Thoughts on what is “lesbian cool”

20 Mar

I have to admit when I was younger I was all about not just what was cool, but what was lesbian cool. It seemed like one of the single most important things in the world. If I didn’t know what was currently chic how could I fit in? How would the potential love of my life, or sometimes the love of my night, know I was hip and worthy of her attention and affection? Even more basic I reasoned how could I be a real lesbian if I didn’t know what was lesbian cool?

The Internet was an infant in those days but it was still easy to do a quick search and find out what was hot among my lesbian icons- out or not, because let’s face it, we all knew Jodie Foster was a lesbian way before she came out. Being she had a look I loved and wanted to emulate I watched every outfit she wore and dissected how exactly I could pull off the same look at a tenth of the cost. I noticed Joan Jett is wearing feline collar with a bell, so that must be hot and I have to get one! I scoured every magazine I could find to insure I wasn’t out of date which in my mind meant out of luck as well.

Just like any clique mine was awful when it came to judging others based on appearance, as if we were so with it and had been appointed the fashion gestapo. But it didn’t end there because it’s not just about the clothing and accessories, it’s about a lifestyle. “Are you serious? Carmen went to the drag races?” We would mull such actions over and decide maybe for her that was just too butch and perhaps distance ourselves a bit until she came back to the fold. On the other extreme we would be so catty as to say “Well heck even I can change the oil in the car, why the heck can’t Emma? She may need to turn in her lesbian card.” In retrospect we were so into our own coolness and feeling so superior that any imagined transgression was so overblown out of proportion we would instantly brand the offender as not only uncool, but question just how lesbian they really were. How absurd. How ashamed I am I ever went through that phase.

Now as a bit of an elder in the community you could ask me what is lesbian cool and I would just shrug my shoulders. I have no clue and I don’t care anymore. I know on the rare occasions we go clubbing anymore there is a whole new group of kids out there in charge of assessing lesbian cool and I don’t make the cut anymore. Maybe I wear heels with my jeans- Oh the horror! Maybe I just don’t feel like fighting my hair and wear it in a ponytail, but not the style that is vogue only on the third Saturday of odd numbered months. So what if I was spotted at a ballgame wearing sweats and an over sized tee shirt with flip flops and not a stitch of makeup? Is my card identifying me as a lipstick lesbian going to be revoked?

So what is lesbian cool to me? These days it is all about community. It’s about just allowing each other to be an individual and express themselves however they feel like it. If you want to rock your clogs with Bermuda shorts be my guest! I’ll be the last to label you as not femme enough or tell you to get back in the butch box. If you want to go to a hockey game dressed to the nines then go for it! Cool is about being comfortable, not fitting into predetermined cubbie holes of what we deem each person is supposed to like for what type of sub genre of lesbian they identify as. Not judging each other when we appear to be outside of our roles is what is cool. Who says we don’t grow and change and experiment? In fact that is what is not just lesbian cool, but human being cool.

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