My girlfriend and I used to pass for straight—not necessarily hard considering you can’t really tell if someone is gay just by looking at them. However, when my girlfriend got a super short haircut (which is adorable and looks amazing on her, by the way), that all changed. She now looks super gay, especially when she wears certain outfits, and she loves when I point this out to her.
It’s pretty validating. Like many queer people, my girlfriend spent a lot of her life thinking she was straight. Realizing her own sexuality was a journey, just as it was for me, but when everyone around you still sees you as straight even though that isn’t who you are, it can get frustrating. That’s why when I tell her she looks gay, it’s a form of validation.
It’s basically implied that by “gay” I mean “hot.” Look, obviously I’m pretty darn gay myself. I find some stereotypically “gay” looks to be pretty attractive. The short hair and tank top look, for example, is gorgeous—especially on my girlfriend because she’s super cute. She knows that when I point out her look is particularly gay, I mean she looks damn fine.
We get recognized as a gay couple more. When my girlfriend had long hair, we would seldom be recognized as a couple in public. People would assume we were just really close friends. But when she’s wearing a particularly gay look, it’s abundantly clear that we’re a couple when we’re holding hands. That’s pretty awesome for us. We’re not trying to hide it— we’re both out and proud.
I respect her fashion choices. Before she got her hair cut, I was unsure how I felt about it but I didn’t want to stifle her personal decisions so I supported her all the way. As it turned out, she ended up looking amazing. Now when she wears certain clothes or earrings and I say she’s looking hella queer, she knows I’m respecting her choices. Again, it’s validation, which is always a good thing to give your partner.
It’s actually pretty funny. Obviously, it’s partially a joke when I tell her she’s looking super gay. It’s fun to point it out in front of our friends and shows the pride we both have in our appearances. LGBTQ+ films and media are often so sad and serious. It’s a good reminder that queer people are fun and can have great senses of humor.
It’s also our little inside joke. Having any kind of inside joke with your partner can be an important thing. It’s a form of bonding and a way to relate to each other. For us, reminders of being gay and joking about how gay we look make us remember special moments in our relationship. It also helps us remember our own journey to discovering our sexualities. The fact we can grow from those memories and laugh together is a pretty neat thing.
I’m really proud of her and us. I respect almost every decision my girlfriend makes. She’s smart and she does things for the right reasons. If she hadn’t cut her hair and still dressed very feminine all the time, I’d love her just as much and still be proud of her. However, I’m also proud of her for being out and open about her sexuality because I know it’s important to her. Reminding her how much I like her new look lets her know just how proud I am.
It makes her feel more comfortable. For most queer people, being out and proud is hard at first. There’s no obligation to dress a certain way or act a certain way—being gay is about who you love, not how you act and dress—but looking a certain way can help you feel closer to the whole LGBT+ community. It can also help you start to feel more safe and comfortable expressing sexual orientation. The fact I can say to my girlfriend that she looks gay and smile and laugh about it with her makes us both feel more comfortable in our own skins.
I support her as a person. It isn’t just about supporting her fashion choices—I respect and support who she is as a person. When we first started dating, she identified as pansexual. Nowadays, she considers herself a lesbian. I’d always tell her whatever she felt she was didn’t matter to me and that I’d support her no matter what. Our little inside joke is a reminder of my love and support. Yes, it’s silly and it might sound like an insult to the outsider, but for us, it’s the language of love.
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