It seems that recently, lesbianism has been undergoing a cultural revival. Earlier this month lesbian author Jill Gutowitz wrote for Harper’s Bazaar that “Sapphic Style Is Going Mainstream”, a sentiment the New York Post later picked up on, proclaiming that “‘Dressing like a lesbian’ is a sexy, ‘powerful’ new trend”. 

After centuries of oppression, criminalisation and ostracisation, it is extremely refreshing to see the fashion of queer women so lovingly represented by straight women. The care and research put into these outfits by figures such as Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner is revolutionary. Lesbian sartorial history is rich and complicated, and these women are a living representation of its legacy.

But what does this mean for normal (straight) women, who have likely never encountered one of these “lesbians”? As a scholar of queer theory and established lesbiologist (one who studies the subculture and behaviours of homosexual women and those associated with them), I am here to help understand other ways in which normal women can engage in meaningful interactions with these seemingly deviant people.

Discuss Your Hatred of Men

Recent psychological studies have shown that hearing a straight woman proclaim, “Ugh, you’re so lucky! I wish I liked women, things would just be so much easier!” causes dopamine levels in the brains of lesbians to drastically increase. It is understood that all dykes are vicious, man-hating creatures, so appealing to these sensibilities is a successful technique in engagement and communication. 

Additionally, lesbian scholars have discovered that all lesbians, upon coming out, must undergo a series of training sessions on how to provide therapy to straight women. Therefore, if you are having problems with your boyfriend, they will be more than willing to support you in your time of need. Simply monologue about how awful of a man he is, and the lesbian will console you, and occasionally mutter “dump him” under their breath.

Go to Gay Bars

Previous scholarly opinion had presumed that lesbians frequent so-called “gay bars” (bars with a predominently LGBT clientele) in order to engage in mating rituals, bond with fellow lesbians, and feel safety among members of their own subculture. However, these presumptions were recently proven incorrect. 

In late 2019 a questionnaire was handed to lesbians at multiple “gay bars” across the country with the option to partake in a follow-up interview. The most common answer to the question “Why do you frequent this bar?” was “Because I enjoy it when straight women are here.” One interviewee expressed delight at the fact that her romantic advances had been turned down three times in one night by heterosexual women, with one of them expressing clear disgust at having been propositioned. Another told the interviewer, “This evening I bumped into a girl who used to shout slurs at me in school! It’s so wonderful that she feels welcome in this space.”

Empathise with Their Struggles

Although they may seem strange and threatening, the average women will always be able to relate to the lesbian in some small way. I recommend finding common ground, and working from there. Try telling the lesbian “I understand how you feel, when I forget to shave my legs my boyfriend jokes that I look like an ugly dyke”, or “I totally get you, when I cut my hair my friends were worried I was going to try and kiss them.” These are experiences those in the lesbian community will recognise, and you will be able to gain their trust. 

While they may be intimidating, lesbians can, in fact, coexist with normal women. When encountering a lesbian, I advise you not to panic. Take deep breaths, ground yourself, and remember these steps. However, it is advised that you do not expose yourself for too long to these individuals, as this may result in you being infected with the extremely contagious disease of homosexuality.