Thursday, July 2, 2009

I Know You're Out There, Somewhere Out There

Where are all the lesbians?

This past Pride Weekend was a big one in Chicago, where I grew up. Several of my old friends from high school spent the weekend celebrating, allowing me to discover that a lot of people I knew in high school are gay. I had no idea how many of them were in the closet just like me. It's kind of fun, because a lot of them are really surprising.

One of my favorites was our Prom Queen my senior year. She's this amazing Jew with dreadlocks, and she and I have chatted a few times since we came out to each other. Lot's of the gays that I know from high school are lesbians. The first person I came out to is a lesbian friend from high school (she wasn't in the closet). A girl I dated has come out to me as a lesbian. I am thinking of seven or eight lesbians right now that I knew in high school. I can only name three or four gay men (excluding Romulus and Remus).

When I look at my gay friends at BYU, however, the story is quite the opposite. I can name fifty gay men at BYU without even thinking. I'm sure I could list more if I enlisted the help of facebook. But I don't know a single lesbian at BYU. Not a single one.

So what's the deal? Where have all the lesbians gone? Do Mormons only breed gay men? Is it only socially possible for gay men to come out of the closet in Mormon culture? Is it harder for women? Why? Where are you lesbian friends?! I need more women in my life!


drakames said...

I have just been wondering the same thing!

I'll be your friend...if you want. I'm not at BYU though. But if you find other girls, let me know, k? I'm starting to feel a little bit lonely, in the sense that I have gay friends and am meeting lots of new gay friends in the LDS community, who I love spending time with, but no girls. As much as I love my gay friends, it would be nice to not be the only lesbian, or even the only girl for that matter. ;)


austin said...

I met two lesbians at BYU back when Soulforce came (the second time) in 2007. One of them has gone (graduated I think) but I saw the other on campus last semester. Unfortunately I can't remember either of their names, I'm terrible with names.

I think it might be a little easier for lesbians to fly under the radar in the Mormon community since it's the guys who are supposed to be proactive in taking out the girls so they're under more scrutiny. But there's no way that could account for the huge numerical disparity in the gay Mormon community you mention. Maybe the oft-condemned "perfect Mormon woman" pressures play into it too?

Abelard Enigma said...

Do Mormons only breed gay men?

That is something I've wondered myself. In our mormon culture, I think it may be easier for a lesbian to hide than it is for gay men. My reasoning is that women tend to more naturally seek out female companionship. A man seeking male companionship tends to stick out more.

MoHoHawaii said...

You've probably heard that the likelihood of homosexuality increases by a third with every male child a woman has. No such effect occurs in successive female children.

This effect increases the percentage of homosexual male offspring in large families. In the gay community, Mormons and Catholics are famous for their gay sons.

Do the math... it's no wonder BYU has buckets of gay boys.

A.J. said...

I would think most lesbians leave the church. I think Salt Lake City has a very big Lesbian community or so I've heard. Lots of former Mormon lesbians but not many still active ones. Kate Kendell one of the directors of National Center for Lesbian Rights is a former Mormon. It is hard enough being a women in the church I would think most lesbian have left or are deeply closeted. Also I think among women isn't bisexuality more common than homosexuality? I'm not sure of the answer but I am very curious.

A.J. said...

there was a discussion of this at Times and Seasons a while back here is the link

ControllerOne said...

At the risk of saying something totally ignorant, I'm going to offer two thoughts. First, don't women tend to place a higher importance on emotional connection than physical intimacy? If yes, and given LDS acceptance of close friendships between women (true?), wouldn't it be somewhat easier for women to find at least somewhat satisfying relationships with other women while staying in the closet? Second, doesn't the physiology of intimacy make it easier for lesbians to conform to expected rolls than men? Not to put too fine a point on it but I believe it would be physically virtually impossible for me to be intimate with a woman. Not that you ladies aren't beautiful! It just isn't my thing and I don't believe I could make it so. How you gay brothers out there can manage heterosexual marriage is beyond me.

ControllerOne said...


A.J. said...

So are you asking if women fake it controller one? sorry couldn't resist. :)

ControllerOne said...

A.J. - I knew I was setting myself up for that one. I assume women often fake it given the delicate male psyche!