From Agatha Barbara to your old catechism teacher, the lady homos are everywhere, though anyone on the dating scene today will tell you that we’re kind of invisible sometimes. Still, that doesn’t mean we don’t face our fair share of stupid questions or misinformed comments when we are visible.
1. “Does your mother/father/nanna/village know?”
This is one of the forgiveable ones. A lot of us in Malta have had to come out to friends and family who perhaps are not as open-minded as we’d like. Asking where, on a scale from deep in Narnia to a family outing to Pride, we are in the process, is a question reserved for those closest to us.
If we’ve only just met, you really shouldn’t give a shit. Asking makes it sound like being gay is some kind of burden with which to torture our loved ones. Cut that shit out.
2. “Is your arċipriet cool with the ‘no kids’ thing?”
Ok, hold the phone. First, you shouldn’t assume that just because someone is gay that they are only interested in a) other gays, b) Melissa Etheridge and/or c) their collection of cats.
Many gay women want children and can and do have them. You’ll be delighted to know that there are many solutions to this reproductive challenge.
Second, you shouldn’t discuss childbearing with any woman you are not familiar with, for a variety of reasons.
Maybe she doesn’t want any and doesn’t really feel like having that conversation with you. Or worse, maybe she does want kids and can’t have them, and this is the 30th time she’s had to explain her biological ‘failings’ to a stranger. Don’t be an ass.
Third, what relatives of religious leaders think about an individual’s reproductive choices shouldn’t count for anything. That’s a habit that has us still fighting for basic reproductive rights in the year 2016.
3. “Kif jista jkun? Int ħelwa tant!”
“But you’re so girly! You can’t be a lesbian” – thanks for underlining how difficult it is to be taken seriously in this community if you’re not into plaid and monster trucks.
4. “Żomm – in your relationship, who’s the boy?”
You really think I got into a lesbian relationship because I wanted a relationship with a man, just with less body hair and more PMS? Yeah, no. The answer is neither of us, and that’s kind of the point.
5. “Int ‘butch’ jew ‘femme’?”
Firstly, these terms should really return to the 1980s, where they belong. They’re not offensive per se, just really reductive. Second, are you not looking at me right now? Do your eyeballs not give you any hints at all where on the masculine/feminine scale I might fall?
6. “Int tifel jew tifla?”
“Are you a boy or a girl?”
Ok so maybe this is not entirely your fault. Some of us like to toe the gender line and some of us also secretly like confusing nanna’s friends at the care home with our edgy new haircut and non-gender specific outfit choices. This one is usually easily forgiven… just don’t follow it up with something like ‘oh I thought you were a pudgy dude with man boobs’.
7. “Does it bother you people think you’re a guy?”
Honestly, no. Not really. The way I see it, there are very very few social interactions, barring my OB/GYN, that require anyone knowing my gender. If we’re just hanging out, shooting the breeze, what does it matter? If you think I’m a dude, cool. If you don’t, same. As long as you’re reasonably decent with me, you can believe I’m Batman. In fact, you know what, let’s go with that. I’m Batman.
8. “Imma għala tobgħod l-irġiel?”
“Why do you hate men?”
I blame popular culture for perpetuating the stereotype that lesbians hate men. I absolutely do not hate men. They make great wingmen, will do outdoorsy things with me and help when I need a hand lifting heavy things. Men make great friends. I just have no inclination to sleep with them.