I've finally admitted to myself that I'm more attracted to women than to men. This is very scary and
confusing for me. When I was dating men, most of them expected me to let them take the lead,
whether it was to ask for a date, pay the check, initiate sex.
Will lesbians expect me to play a male role or a female one? How do I know which I am? I can't go by
the things I like: I like to cook and I like to work on my car. Please help.
Thanks for writing. The world is full of stereotypes, and you're struggling with one of them.
Contrary to popular myth, lesbians and gay men do not all play either male or female roles in their relationships.
Gays and lesbians are just as varied as heterosexuals when it comes to characteristics considered stereotypically
feminine or masculine. There are some lesbians who wear leather and chains, and there are some who wear
lipstick and heels. Some are athletic and some do needlework. The more versatile among us do all of those things.
The same can be said for gay men, bisexuals, and for heterosexuals of both genders.
If you feel more comfortable engaging in what is usually thought of as male behavior, that's ok. If you identify as
feminine that's fine too. And, if like so many of us, you are a combination, that's completely acceptable.
You may find JoAnn Loulan's book, The Lesbian Erotic Dance: Butch, Femme, Androgyny and Other Rhythms,
helpful. Above all, don't let anyone else dictate your behavior. What's important is to treat yourself and others with
respect, regardless of gender-stereotypes.
Author and psychologist Gail S. Bernstein,
Ph.D. has a psychotherapy practice in Denver, Colorado. Dr. Bernstein speaks
and writes about gay, lesbian and bisexual people for both general and professional
audiences, and is the author of the new audiotape, NOT
HETEROSEXUAL: An Educational Program About Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual People.