Do Gays and Lesbians Really Hate Each Other?

If I had a nickel for every time someone called me a lesbian, I think I would have enough money to buy every album Rihanna has ever released. Maybe it’s my bushy hair, or affinity for dress shirts that makes people think “lesbian” whenever they see me. I’m not entirely sure why people call me it- I mean plenty of boys preppy boys have bushy hair and they aren’t called lesbians. But I don’t get upset when people call me a lesbian- because that means I’m one step closer to Ellen Degeneres.

This article, however, is not about how I look like a lesbian. But it is about lesbians. Let me start by saying I know a fair amount of lesbians. Growing up, I had a lesbian relative (shout out to Cousin Trish!) and now that I am the Vice President of NU Pride, the LGBTQ club on campus, it’s safe to say I interact with them on a weekly basis. And while I get along with most of the lesbians I know, I’ve realized that there exists a divide, at least in my own personal life, between gay men and lesbians.

To put it bluntly, gays and lesbians don’t coexist well. I’ve seen many of the gay guys I know roll their eyes when someone mentions the word “lesbian” and I’ve been told by more “experienced” gays… and by more experienced I simply mean older and sluttier gays… that gays and lesbians simply don’t get along.  Whenever I ask why, I never get a straight forward answer. I’ve wondered if these negative feelings toward lesbians are reactionary. Perhaps gays don’t like lesbians simply because they feel lesbians don’t like them. And I’m sure lesbians feel the same way at times. But what it seems to come down to unfortunately is that both groups feel the need, to an extent, to prove that they are the more valid, sexual minority.

I know that what I’m saying is just a theory with little evidence or empirical data. But this is a blog so just bare with me. What I’m saying is that both groups attempt to undermine each other because they feel the other discredits or tarnishes their reputation indirectly just by existing. Maybe lesbians don’t like gays because they believe they send society a message that all same sex oriented people are nonmonogamous, superficial or sexually promiscuous. I’ve heard some lesbians say things of this nature. One lesbian I know once said that gays are “loud, gossipy, superficial and sex obsessed”. Lesbians are not the sole ones to blame for this, however, as gays do the same thing. It seems gays believe lesbians send society an unwanted message that same sex oriented people are aggressive, overly feminist and stubborn.

Maybe gays and lesbians have difficulty existing because people unjustly lump the two together. Gays and lesbians don’t want the same thing. Gays want men, lesbians want women. Maybe that’s why gay men and straight women get along so well. Gays and straight women can spend their time gossipping about the hot guy at the office or at the club, which is something they can’t do with lesbians and vice versa. Maybe gays and lesbians don’t get along because there’s some sense of self loathing involved regarding gender roles. In society there exists the stereotype that people of same sex orientation tend to act like the opposite gender. What I mean is that people believe that gay men are more feminine while lesbians are seen to be more masculine. And while I believe this is a gross stereotype, I can say that it is true at least for me. I consider myself to be a feminine person. I love traditionally female things and I’ve always gotten along with straight women more than any other group people. But I possess masculine qualities as well. Maybe gays and lesbians have difficulty coexisting because they are upset that the other group is performing their gender roles better than they are.

It is possible that no such rivalry exists. I personally don’t feud with any of the lesbians I know but I have heard enough about this issue to wonder if it is a legitimate thing. Maybe it is not fair to lump gays and lesbians in the same category. Maybe sexual orientation and gay pride is much more than just being same sex oriented. I don’t really have an answer on this issue. But I think these two groups should strive to coexist. Both groups are equally valid and they shouldn’t waste their time or energy trying to undermine the other. For those of you who do believe such a feud exists, realize that you are contributing to the thing you probably hate most. You are determining how you feel about someone solely based on their sexual orientation, which seems to be somewhat hypocritical. And let’s face it- no one likes a hypocrite.

 

12 comments

  1. I kinda feel bad for being the first person to respond to this, because I can just sense that regardless of what I am about to say, *somebody* is going to be offended… but here goes…

    So, I’m not entirely sure what it’s like for you, but my experience with lesbians (and gays) (and the relationship between them) is a bit all over the place.

    I agree that gays and lesbians, generally, don’t mix well. Where I live, the gays (generally) live south of the city, whereas the lesbians (generally) live north of the city. Most people are pigeonholed into some kind of stereotype – and before any of you get started, just remember that stereotypes don’t come from nowhere. The Man-hating, beard-growing, flannel-shirt-wearing, fridge-throwing lesbian stereotype isn’t exactly something that has just been plucked out of thin air…

    …but neither are skinny bitchy queens who think their actually women.

    A vast majority of the lesbians within my social circle are batshit fucking crazy. One of my close lesbian friends is always telling me about some new girl she’s seeing, and when I ask her why things didn’t work out with the previous one… “oh, she was fucking crazy…”. I don’t date lesbians, so I can’t really tell for myself, but that phrase is something that has become commonplace when my lesbian girl friends start discussing their lesbian girlfriends. Well, previous girlfriends.

    Please don’t think I’m sticking up for the gays either… having moved away from the south-side and away from gay-central, I’ve been enjoying domestic life with my partner of almost 6 years. Whenever we do happen to venture back south-side… ohhhh gurl, that shit is nasty!!

    So many skinny little twink bitches prancing around like their shit don’t stink – like they’re all on some gay version of The Real Housewives… more like Skinny Ratchet Twink Bitches of Melbourne… Maybe that’s a show I should pitch to Bravo…??

    I think there will always be a rivalry between the G’s and the L’s. Yes, we may all unite under the same rainbow flag, and we may all want and support important social issues like equality, particularly marriage equality, but regardless, there will always be an underlying rivalry between the two.

    It’s not that I’m choosing one over the other, let me be perfectly clear, I dislike society in general, regardless of who’s part of it, gay, straight, bi, tri, etc I just don’t necessarily like people. I do however agree that there is a divide, but I’m not entirely sure how that divide can be addressed, and rectified.

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  2. Thank you for actually responding! I like hearing other people’s opinions on the subject. Also I couldn’t agree more with this line: “I dislike society in general, regardless of who’s part of it, gay, straight, bi, tri, etc I just don’t necessarily like people. ” Why don’t we just hate everyone equally?

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  3. This is a very interesting post, thank you for sharing. I have definitely heard “gay men and lesbians don’t get along,” but I never understood the reasoning behind it, or whether it just so happens to be that way for no good reason. Personally, I identify as a lesbian and one of my best friends is a gay man, and I feel that we were able to connect so well over similar experiences in the coming out process. Of course, to each their own, but I feel that the whole gay men and lesbians don’t get along might be some shallow social construct developed by only a few opinions.
    It’s also interesting how some people hate stereotypes when directed towards them, but then unfairly place them on others.
    My male friend (above mentioned) is in a committed, monogamous relationship with a man he loves, and I have also encountered gay women who are deemed “players”. I like to consider each person as their own, and not identify them as the sole of a group. However, I think everyone’s opinions are formulated from different points of views and experiences. Anyways, I am rambling! Thank you for sharing this post, an interesting topic I have not really read about.

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    • Thanks for the response! I personally relate more with your opinion but I thought it was a topic worth mentioning. I think because the gay people I interact with are college aged and still finding themselves that they are more prone to kind of distancing themselves from others in attempt to formulate their own identity. I’m glad to hear stories that don’t agree with the statement made in the article because it would be kind of a sad world if the points made in my article were an absolute truth.

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      • Yes, I am definitely glad you wrote about it! And that is very interesting about your college-aged friends. Now that I think about it, that is a very true observation. Hopefully, people will see that a person is just a person and should not be defined by one certain stereotype. Looking forward to more of your posts, happy blogging!

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      • Got to agree with this. Maybe if they stopped insulting women’s biology, stopped deliberately using their patriarchal control over the fashion and modeling industries on straight women like you to try to make you less appealing to straight men so THEY can get them, stopped calling natural curves on preteen girls fat, stopped talking like valley girls in 1987 when they are hairy grown men in 2015, and stopped gossiping and obsessing over retail like 11 year olds, we’d have a use for them. But they won’t so we don’t. Meanwhile we have work to do. No offense. I’m lesbian and gay males give me a headache. I don’t give a s who that offends. We don’t need em. Imho they bring nothing but noise and trouble. I wonder what your agenda is as a straight girl telling us who we should be friends with. Take your holding hands and kum ba ya elsewhere. Go use it on your boyfriend before he inevitably uses and beats you. But then, you straight chicks like that. which makes you exactly as annoying as gay men and in a whole different way. Both of you are the enemies of feminism and as a lesbian I yeah, kinda hate you both.

        You’re both useless. Go hit a gay bar tonight, laugh and agree behind unwept stinging tears you dare not voice out loud, when you get called fish or fat, watch your boyfriend get taken away by your twink best friend and then pass out drunk on the dance floor. All your kind are good for! Pathetic. .. both your kind, haha!

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  4. Speaking as a gay man I could tell that lesbians are less glamour oriented than gays because is an stetic and shallow tendency, gays are “gay” laughing even about ourselves, lesbians take it so seriously, lesbian are more power and control oriented in a more direct way, gays want to influence but not in a “king`s way” more like a “queen`s way” I mean, graciously. Gay life is a visual and sensorial experience, lesbian life is a feelings and mind experience, those two points of view are hard to reconcile. If you want to do a research, overpower your enemies and connect to mother Earth, hire a lesbian. If you want to fill with beauty and taste your life, do things in a clockwork style and have lots of fun and drama, hire a gay. I know, full stereotype opinion, but come on, we are just part of the world (lesbians and gays) we have come to a point we never dream to get, and it`s thanks to all our sisters and brothers, even when we don`t get along well. We are family, and most of families are not perfect examples of armony.

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  5. I’m a lesbian and have many male friends that are gay. I don’t understand why there is a rivalry. We are fighting for the same rights. Yeah, I don’t talk to them about gender crap. We are a weird bunch and kind of proud of it. Yeah I am not glamorous and never will be- I’ve got friends that get me though.

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  6. The reason they don’t get along is quite obvious. Their natural goals are in direct contrast to each other, more so than any other gender-sexuality combination. Gays have no real survivability impediment to being gay, they can go about their business as a straight man would. Lesbians have a huge survivability impediment to being lesbian. Since a lesbian has no biological drive to find a male provider, if she does not pair with one, it is in her best interests to try and undermine the males and increase the influence and social status of the women, hence, undermining gays and also the reason women get on so well with both.

    This of course assumes you believe in biology, evolution and the existence of life before feminism, which unfortunately many do not.

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