Frequently Asked Questions
How is it possible that a woman feels "like a gay man" or a man feels "like a lesbian"?
Honestly, I don’t know, HOW it is possible. All I know is: it IS possible. Sex and gender are not linked to each other and neither is sexual identity/ sexual orientation to sex OR gender. Maybe it’s the next step after accepting the existence of a) homosexuals b) bisexuals c) transgender to accept that there are many many in-betweens.
Are girlfags and guydykes trans?
I’ve talked about this on this page.
Short answer by Paul'a:
Many gf/gd are cis, but there are also not so few gf/gd, who are trans, non-binary or questioning. Many understand gf/gd as a spectrum between cis, trans, homo and hetero. Some define gf/gd even as own genders.
Okay, so some gf/gd are non-binary.
But then why do you use terms like "girl" and "guy" that imply a particular
Identity is a complicated matter and the diversity of non-binary people is also not to be underestimated. So there are genderqueer people, who use neutral pronouns, others don't. Some non-binary gf/gd use the terms, even though they don't really like the "girl" and "guy", while others identify to a high degree as "girl" or "guy", but not exclusively. Still others are bigender and understand e. g "guy" as a marker for male and "dyke" as a marker for female, in addition to sexual orientation. How non-binary gf/gd deal with their identity, how they use the terms and interpret them, may vary from individual to individual. But what is clear: There is no contradiction to have a non-binary gender and to use seemingly binary self designations.
But for gf/gd frustration with finding a partner and rejection are inevitable!
That's only half the story, as there are many gf/gd for whom it's more important how they're perceived and desired by a potential partner, than the person's identity. Gf/gd can also be attracted to other genders and types of people, not just gay men and lesbian women. There are gf/gd in relationships with (other) non-binary people. There are girlfags in relationships with bisexual men and guydykes in relationships with bisexual women and it also happens, that girlfags are in relationships with gay men or guydykes in relationships with lesbians, even if it sounds unlikely.
It should be noted that sometimes there may be attraction that (seemingly) contradicts with people's sexual identity: Lesbians who have BDSM sessions with gay men are not so rare and sometimes erotic and/ or romantic tensions can arise between heterosexual women and gay men.
There are also girlfags who are attracted to other girlfags or girlfags, who are in relationships with guydykes.
Yes, gf/gd experience heartbreak and rejection: It can be very frustrating to have a sexual identity that complicates typical dating and getting to know potential partners, but this is not an exclusive problem of gf/gd.
Is this a new trend? Or why is everybody suddenly coming out as girlfag/ guydyke?
The identities were formed after the anthology
"PoMoSexuals" from 1997, where Carol Queen and Jill Nagle wrote about their gay-male desire. But we
exist much longer:
Magnus Hirschfeld (1868-1935) already described women who felt
“as if they were gay men”. So no, it’s not that new. There just wasn’t a name for it. One can interpret some
historical figures as girlfags, too, e. g. Katharine Hepburn or Carson McCullers. Uli Meyer writes about this in the article "Almost Homosexual".
Keep in mind that for a long time the concept of homosexuality did not exist, that people tried to “cure” them (and still do!). They couldn’t believe that romantic love between people of the same gender does exist. Remember that trans people were/ are seen as weird or that transgender was declared a fetish, and so on. As soon as they started a movement more and more people came out. It’s the same with girlfags and guydykes. After a term was coined and after a movement was started many people suddenly realized what was going on with them. They finally realized that they are not alone. If you’re part of the LGBTQ-community, you may know that feeling.
Aren't girlfags just immature, young yaoi-fangirls?
No, we aren't. Easy as that.
Aren't guydykes just cis-men who want to invade WLTI-/ lesbians-only
No, not all of us are cis, remember? Of course there are cis-guydykes, but they usually don't go to WLTI-/ lesbians-only spaces (WLTI: women, lesbians, trans, inter) because they respect the exclusion of cis-men. They rather go to open, queer/ gay-lesbian events.
Behind this question is usually the idea of a peeping tom or sexist guy who is looking for an excuse to hit on lesbians. All guydykes I know are very aware of that prejudice and therefore even more careful with their activities and presence in queer/ lesbian spaces.
Even guydykes who are non-binary hear this question often, which is very hurtful, because it shows that their gender identity is not taken seriously and that trans/ non-binary people who were assigned male at birth are seen as a threat in WLTI spaces. I hope it's clear how transphobic that is!
But isn’t it just a fetish? Aren’t you fetishizing gay men/ lesbians?
On the one hand, yes: But aren’t gay men fetishizing themselves? Or lesbians? Or straight people other straight people? Have you ever seen how many different magazines, homepages etc. there are for people who get aroused by different things/ people/ situations? So what’s the problem if there are really straight girls who love to watch two men making out? Is it worse than a straight guy watching a man or a woman making out? A gay guy watching another guy or two guys making out – or even a straight couple because he is – like many gay men – so much into straight guys?
On the other hand, no: First of all - we are not reducing gays and lesbians to their sexual identity, if that's what you understand under "fetishizing". We get
aroused by gay sex, yes. But we do not reduce them.
And: It’s not JUST sexual. It is about what you like sexually, like homosexuality or bisexuality is also about sex (you can’t deny that, no?). But there are asexual
gays, straights and also gf/gd. There is more to it: It’s also the type of person you are drawn to romantically. The culture or subculture you feel you belong to. It's not just on the outside -
who am I attracted to, with whom do I have sex, to which subcultre do I belong and among what kind of people do I like to be - it's also on the inside, self-identity and feelings. Or short: Who
am *I* on the inside?
Reading yaoi, watching m/m-movies and gay porn or going to gay bars doesn’t make you “a gay man” or a "lesbian woman"…
That’s true. There are many straight girls who love yaoi and who would never identify as girlfags. And personally I don’t know any gf/gd who keep it that simple to say: “I’m a girlfag because I love yaoi” or “I love going to a lesbian bar – so that’s why I’m a guydyke.” We are no girlfags or guydykes because we love doing these things. We enjoy doing them BECAUSE we are girlfags or guydykes! That’s the big and important difference. Like a transwoman is not a transwoman because she wears a skirt. She wears a skirt because she is a transwoman. Wearing the skirt can be her “doing gender”, her way to express her gender identity. For girlfags and guydykes going to a gay bar, reading yaoi, watching gay and lesbian porn may be their “doing sexual orientation” – it’s a way to express their sexual identity.
But gay guys aren’t all the same. Neither are lesbians. Aren’t you stereotyping?
We are aware that not all gay men and not all lesbians are the same. Neither are all girlfags or all guydykes. Among guydykes are those you would call “lipstick lesbians” and those who are into “lipstick lesbians” as well as those who are more butch or are attracted to butches. And so on. And among girlfags you’ll find those into twinks, those who love bears or drag queens – or those who love the straight acting guys. Some girlfags bind their chest or look like butch-lesbians. Others are more flamboyant and more femme. Some gf/gd don’t even care that much about those “cultural signals” of LGBTQ people (that work not just for gf/gd, but for all LGBTQ-people), for them it’s just about the dynamic between two men or two women in a romantic and sexual relationship.
Isn’t fag a slur? Why do you use a slur?
But if you are a girl and you are into guys or a guy who is into girls - you are heterosexual!
Right, and somebody born with two XX-chromosomes is always female, no? No? Oh... you see?!
Yes, when we take the standard definition of "heterosexuality" many - if not most - gf/gd are heterosexuals, but there are also many gf/gd who are bisexual, pansexual etc., besides not all gf/gd are women or men.
The standard definition of heterosexuality would be that a person of one sex is attracted only to persons of "the other sex". (This even leaves out the whole gender identity discussion) Heterosexuality and homosexuality are just one more made up binary and also gf/gd are aware that according that definition they are considered heterosexuals. Fact is, that this binary does not cover their feelings and self-identity. Like the gender-binary does not cover the self-identity of trans people.
Are there famous girlfags and guydykes?
Yes, girlfags: Janet Hardy, Carol Queen, Jill Nagle, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Anne Rice. Guydyke: Eddie Izzard.