‘ARE YOU GUYS SISTERS?’ & Other Insulting Questions Lesbian Couples Get Asked

Google “how do lesbians have kids?” don’t ask me, OK?

Photo by istock

When I was sixteen-years-old, I was happily chowing on a turkey burger at a trendy restaurant in Manhattan when my mind was positively blown away by the hottest lesbian couple I’d ever seen.

Earlier that day, my mother and I had taken the Metro North from Connecticut to “the city” for a well-needed break from the bleak suburbs. My heart fluttered in my chest as I sipped diet coke and dreamed of life after high school. It would be a life made up of spectacular art and voluptuous turkey burgers and brilliant Manhattan sunsets! I couldn’t wait for oppressive high school to end already! I was ready to be an out and proud lesbian icon who traipsed around the city with her wildly successful power dyke wife!

As if the colorful daydream swirling through my young little head wasn’t electrifying enough, suddenly, out of nowhere, a fabulous lesbian couple twirled through the heavy restaurant doors and delicately perched their hot bodies on the hightop table front and center in my eye-line. They appeared to be in their mid-to-late thirties and were the spitting image of what I wanted my future, grown-up love life to look like.

One of the women had jet-black, high-gloss hair that kissed the tops of her creamy clavicles and was rocking an impossibly thin, white T-shirt with black leather motorcycle boots. She was teeming with big dyke energy. Her girlfriend was an adorable minx with silver-blonde hair shorn into a 90s-style pixie-cut. She looked like a less-drugged out Edie Sedgwick (my idol). They clutched hands under the table. I wanted to memorize their chemistry and store it in a shoebox beneath my bed so I could touch it on the nights I felt unbearably lonely.

The manager of the restaurant stopped at their table. I knew they had to be famous! I thought to myself. He’s probably going to thank them for gracing his restaurant with their super famous cool New York presence. I leaned forward and intensely focused on the scene, hoping my legendary eavesdropping talent would kick in and I would garner some gossip.

“Thanks for coming in!” The manager chirped.

“Yeah, we love this place,” the glossy-haired babe responded coolly.

“You’re best friends?” the manager asked.

“She’s my wife,” the pixie silver-blonde said, her voice so cold it sent chills down my teenage spine.

“Oh, sorry!” The manager said as a stupid smile stretched out across his stupid, pock-marked face.

They both rolled their eyes. I rolled mine in solidarity. How could he be so stupid as to ask this wildly-in-love couple if they were best friends? What an asshole.

*

Cut to ten years later, and I am an out and proud lesbian surviving and thriving in New York City. I still think about that sexy couple I saw way back in the bloom of my youth, except now I’m not shocked by the idiocy of the manager, as I’m constantly flooded with a surplus of ridiculous questions from dumb straight people.

If we’re being real “are you best friends?” is one of the least insulting questions in the very long list of insulting questions.

Which is why I felt compelled to compile this list of the stupid f*cking questions us lezzie couples get asked on the reg. Starting with…


1. “Are you, like sisters?! OR TWINS? OMG. OMG. OMG.”

I’ll never forget swishing through the lobby of the Ritz Carlton hotel with my girlfriend (at the time) Lyla* when a petite man tapped me right on the bare flesh of my exposed shoulder.

“Hi!” He squealed, as he breathed his boozy breath in my face.

I glared at him. I don’t take kindly to bad breath (or shoulder-touching for that matter).

He pointed to Lyla with his swollen fingers. “Is that your twin?” He asked me, smiling with eyes wide like a psychopath.

Lyla and I looked nothing—nothing—alike. She had long, sandy-blonde hair as thick and as corse as a horse’s mane that framed her snow-white complexion. Meanwhile, I’m a swarthy, raven-haired Jew. We couldn’t be sisters, let alone twins. Also, we were holding hands. Adult sisters don’t hold hands in public unless they’re Amish or a Kardashian or have trauma-related boundary issues.

Lyla (like most of my exes) is a fiery Italian Stallion, and I watched nervously as she held herself back from socking this doofus right in the eye. In lieu of violence, she settled for a gritted-teeth sneer. “That’s my girlfriend, dumbass.

I crossed my arms and huffed. Here’s what truly pisses me off about the “sister/twin” question: it’s not authentic. 90 percent of the time, these dickwads know you’re together. F*ckboys constantly do this to lesbian couples (especially femme ones). I don’t know if it’s a fetish fantasy thing (gag), or if it’s just because they get turned on by pissing us off. Either way, I don’t care to do the deep dive of finding out.

2. “How do you plan on uh, HAVING KIDS?” 

Look, babes. I understand that maybe fifteen or twenty years ago it was a little mysterious as to how lesbians had babies, but bitch. It’s 2019. There is a glorious thing called Google.

Please, for the love of Indigo Girls, Google all those basic lesbian questions that are stewing inside of your peanut-size brain before you start firing them at me. I’m not a dyke google.

3. “I suppose you ladies want to SPLIT THE BILL, right” (Subtext: “Dykes are unromantic cheapos who don’t treat each other to dinner, right?”). 

This is one of my greatest pet peeves in the entire world; it drives me crazier than when grown men in gas stations ask me what my tattoo says.

Let’s say my girlfriend and I are on a date at a bougie fabulous dinner somewhere glamorous and “uptown.” It’s clearly a romantic night, for we’re dressed to the nines and have been canoodling our way through our four-course meal. Maybe we’ve gotten a little inappropriate and our legs are intertwined like pretzels.

And once the meal has culminated, and there is no wine left to guzzle down our gay AF throats, the waiter comes by and says, “everything good, ladies?”

“Yesh,” my girlfriend and I slur in unison.

“Shall I split the check?” the waiter asks winking, clearly thinking he’s on to us lesbians and our legendary cheapness.

WOULD YOU ASK A STRAIGHT COUPLE IF THEY ARE SPLITTING THE CHECK? NO, YOU WOULD NOT. YOU WOULD ASSUME ONE HALF OF THE COUPLE WOULD BE TAKING CARE OF THE OTHER HALF BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT COUPLES DO. ONE TREATS THE OTHER. WE ARE NOT FRIENDS—WE HAVE SEX. A LOT OF SEX. AND WHEN YOU HAVE SEX YOU DON’T SPLIT THE BILL.

Have I made myself clear? Honey?

4. “Can I join? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!” 

It’s 2 a.m., and I’m horny. So is the girl I’m hooking up with. We forget for a moment that we’re at a regular bar—not a safe gay bar—so we start salaciously making out. Right as things are getting hot and heavy, some frat boys yelps, “can I join?”

Having a greasy-faced frat boy interrupt your makeout is a real clit killer. On the positive, it totally affirms my gayness.

5. “Oh my god! You’re lesbians? Do you like, share clothes?”

This question is often asked by a buzzed sorority girl in a college town. It’s not a malicious question, because she’s genuinely asking. Maybe she’s even thinking of switching teams and covets her sorority sister’s chic wardrobe. She’s wondering, “if Becky and I went gay, could I wear her clothes?”

I get angry. Not because it’s a rude question, but because no, my girlfriend will notice that I jacked her skinny jeans without asking, and I’ll get busted and we’ll get into a fight about my lack of “boundaries.”

So, for the love of Alpha-Beta-Whatever, don’t ask this question! At least wait until my girlfriend goes to the bathroom, OK?


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