Sure, we think Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi are the cutest, and sure, we have nothing but love for Angelina Mead King, but we still have a long way to go in eradicating ignorance and prejudice in our everyday experiences with the women who represent the many colors of the LGBTQ rainbow.
Here, we got 10 women who identify as lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and pansexual to tell us what they wish they could tell straight women. Read on to be enlightened, and maybe start being an ally by oh, I don’t know, not immediately assuming they’re into you?
PSA to all straight women: Just because a woman is bi or lesbian doesn’t mean she’s automatically trying to get with you, so don’t flatter yourself too much.
“Not every butch lesbian who looks at you is interested in you (or gusto kang manyakin). Minsan naa-amaze lang sila na may bigote ka. Some of the looks I get kasi parang, ‘Yuck, I have a boyfriend’ or ‘WTF do you want?’ I used to get offended because I’d never manyak anyone, but eventually I got used to it.” –Nic, 33, lesbian (butch)
“Though we catch feelings for those we talk to intimately or spend a lot of time with, if we declare we’re friends, we really are friends and it’s gonna be weird to look at you on another level. We don’t just fall for every female on the planet.” –Ansoy Ming, 28, bisexual
“Just because we complimented you doesn’t mean we’re trying to hit on you. Girl, I just really think that you have a beautiful smile. No need to tell your girlfriends in the group chat that there’s a ‘tomboy’ hitting on you.” –Allysa, 18, pansexual
“I want to let straight women know that even if I’m bisexual, it doesn’t necessary mean I’ll take advantage of them. Like, if I talk to you, it doesn’t mean I’m hitting on you. Just like any other person, I have standards and qualifications. Girls being straight doesn’t make them a magnet for me, and I don’t think that in any way I could automatically be attracted to straight women.” –Maree, 24, bisexual
Furthermore, do not toy with them just because you’re feeling a little reckless.
“We don’t exist for you to experiment with. There are some nights when straight girls get a little ‘adventurous’ when they’re intoxicated and start kissing girls from the LGBTQ community because they feel like it’s okay to experiment with us. Then they will start acting like we’re going to chase them afterwards when they’re sober, as if we’re preying on them. I have personally experienced this, and I know a lot of friends who have, too. Kinda sucks, but it’s also becoming annoying.” –Allysa, 18, pansexual
“Dear straight women, do not make us queer ladies your failed-straight-relationship rebound. It’s hard enough for us to guess who’s dateable and actually date someone from that tiny pool. But when you engage us into a relationship when you just wanna have a break from guys and you know full well that you won’t be sticking around (aka you’re really straight)? Fuck you.” –Nic, 33, lesbian (butch)
Get rid of the stereotype that a lesbian is a short-haired, pants-clad lover of cars and sports.
“Hindi lahat ng masculine-looking girls ay marunong mag-basketball. Or play any sports, for that matter. So please stop asking us to join the office sports fest.” –Nic, 33, lesbian (butch)
“Just because I’m a lesbian doesn’t mean I should look butch—that’s an expectation many straight people seem to have. Aside from the fact that I look feminine, I’m usually not the PDA type, so people outside my circle won’t be able to tell who I am with. Once while at a bar with my then-partner and some friends, I met this guy who thought I was kidding about being a lesbian. He started probing about our relationship, asking how long we’ve been together, and why I don’t look butch. I said the usual line I tell people: ‘Kailangan ba mukha akong butch para magka-girlfriend?’ I started to withdraw from the conversation, but then he said, ‘Sige nga, patunayan niyo nga.’ It ticked me off, but I just decided to let it go because he was a friend of a friend and we were having a great night. A year after it happened, I saw him again in Boracay, and that time I was ready to say my piece. I confronted him, told him how rude and offensive he was and how entitled he sounded that night. He said sorry, but repeated that it’s because we don’t look like typical lesbians. I just rolled my eyes and accepted his apology.” –Sunshine, 31, lesbian
And when they’re a couple, quit asking who the man in the relationship is, because NEWSFLASH: THERE IS NO MAN.
“I often get asked, ‘Who’s the man in the relationship?’ There is no freakin’ man. We are two women, two souls who want to be with each other. We just try to complement each other’s personality.” –Susan, 32, bi now, gay later (Writer’s note: Her words, not ours!)
For trans women in particular, it’s not a contest of who is more ‘woman’ between you.
“I want straight women to know that the usual comments like ‘para ka na talagang babae,’ ‘natatalo niyo pa kami sa ganda,’ or ‘mas maganda ka pa sa tunay na babae’ should stop. Most people think this kind of thinking is okay, but come on, women! You’ve got to stop low-key comparing yourself to us because there is a reason why we are labeled transgender women. If that motivates you to take care of yourself more, then good, but if it puts you down, then stop it! We aren’t trying to be you because you’re women. We are trying to be our own unique selves regardless of how people perceive us to be. Lots of love to all the women out there!” –Kiam, 25, trans woman
Just because they’re in the LGBTQ spectrum doesn’t mean children are out of the question for them…
“Just because I’m with a woman doesn’t mean I don’t want to have kids. A lot of people get surprised that I want to have a family of my own. I do. I want to be a mother. My girlfriend and I want to be mothers to a kid or two. Whether it’s by artificial insemination or adoption, we know that we want our own family and children to raise. In fact, we’ve already bought LGBTQ-themed children’s books in anticipation of the future we want to share together.” –Yna, 27, bisexual
…and if they do decide not to have kids, that doesn’t make them less of a woman, either.
“Although I’m in the LGBTQ spectrum, I really don’t think I’m a total waste if I decide not to bear a child. As a woman, a bisexual woman specifically, I think I’m much more than a child-bearer. My worth as a woman doesn’t depend on whether I become a mother in the end or not. Also, straight women have this thinking that when you’re in the LGBTQ spectrum, you’ll end up being alone because you won’t have a kid. There are tons of hetero people out there who are abandoned by their children. Having a child isn’t a safety net from that kind of future.” –Maree, 24, bisexual
Don’t be quick to dismiss who they are just because they’re different from you.
“I’m not bisexual because it’s a thing right now. I’m bisexual because I just happen to be one. I get attracted to both genders. If I get in a relationship with a man, it won’t make me straight again. Or if I’m in a relationship with a woman, it doesn’t make me a lesbian.” –Maree, 24, bisexual
“People don’t understand that I did not just wake up one day and decided that I don’t wanna be a boy anymore. I don’t wanna be a woman—I am a woman (minus the Fallopian tubes and some breast tissue). Hence, my womanhood should never be discounted just because I do not ‘pass’ the biological qualification.” –Ralz, 24, non-op trans woman
So quit judging, because how can you definitively judge what you haven’t experienced yourself?
“Women should be aware of the Spaghetti Theory: It’s only straight until it gets wet. *wink*”–Ceejay, 25, bisexual