Boys’ team vs. Girls’ team: A lesson in dyke-otomy

Flannel-wearing, wrench-wielding, mullet-rocking dykes. This is what we’re not. Well, not all of us…

I surround myself with a group of fabulous, interesting, women-loving women. To others — and by others, I mean heterosexuals, namely of the right-wing persuasion — lesbian women are all the same. Gay people, in general, are all the same. The women are tough and probably play a sport of some sort, and the men walk on their tiptoes and most likely have glitter somewhere in their medicine cabinets. Sure, there’s truth in all stereotypes. In this case, we’re all women who have sex with women. This is what we have in common.

In our little group, we divide ourselves into “girls’ team” (GT) and “boys’ team” (BT). There are certain rules and gender roles that accompany our team-status. For instance, two GT girls can make out with each other (because it’s sexy), and may potentially even date one another, but are usually attracted to BT girls as romantic partners. BT girls, on the other hand, are in no way, shape or form encouraged to date or have any type of romantic involvement with one another. We are more like brothers, and are expected to act as such.

First, there’s my girlfriend, Zane*. Zane is definite GT. She’s high-femme, but has a tomboy personality beneath the sparkly exterior. Zane is the girl that most men drool over. She’s smart, sexy, and usually wears more make-up than a drag queen. She’s the girl that the majority of confident heterosexual men think they may actually have a chance with. These men may get a flirty interlude with her. These men may even end up getting a kiss from her. These men will also end up alone with their hands at 3:30 in the morning. Zane likes attention, as most of us do, and she will let you think that you actually matter to her — until you get too serious. Once there are genitals or the potential of genitals being involved, the game is over to her. Well, if you’re male it is. Zane will not, under any circumstances, become sexually involved with a man. She is attracted to other GT girls, and isn’t opposed to having sex with them, but she only dates BT girls. Zane has a hint of a mullet, but it’s only because she’s growing her hair out.

Next is Ziggy*. Ziggy is Zane’s first love and current roommate. One will come to find out that boundaries in the lesbian world are usually blurred. Ziggy is BT. She dresses in a masculine fashion, has short, funky hair, and never wears a stitch of make-up. In high school, Ziggy was more of the buzz-cut, polo shirt, softball kind of dyke, but now has evolved into more of a different breed. Gay men are usually drawn to Ziggy, and she has been known to make out with a ‘Mo or two. Ziggy has been sexually involved with men before, and isn’t completely closed off to the idea of doing it again. She loves women, though — all kinds of them — and women love her. Her exterior exudes that of a “top,” but behind closed doors, she’ll take it on her back.

“The Good Doctor,” I’ll call her Doc*. Doc is GT, and is Ziggy’s current girlfriend. Doc is also my former lover. The blurring continues. Doc is the kind of woman, like Zane, that men get stiff for. She is a few years older than the rest of the group in the age department, but a few years younger in the lesbian department — she wasn’t exactly sure of what she wanted until very recently. Outwardly, Doc appears incredibly straight — a significant point of interest for the BT. She likes her women BT with borderline Trans-potential. She has said, “Most of the women I date are often confused for men.” And although both Ziggy and I have had this happen to us, we’re probably the most “feminine” women she’s ever dated.

Then, there’s Zoe*. Zoe is Zane and Ziggy’s other roommate, and she is GT all the way. She has been dating her girlfriend, DJ*, for over 2 years. DJ is in the military and doesn’t get to see Zoe but once every few months. Although Zoe finds other GT girls attractive, especially those with “pretty brown skin,” as she says, she likes her “girls to be girls, and her boys to be boys.” And by “boys,” she means BT. DJ is often mistaken for a guy. She has very short hair, would never consider wearing make-up, wears boys clothes and 3 sports bras to flatten her chest. She does not, however, want to “be” a man. This is a fact often misunderstood by those outside the lesbian world. Zoe finds masculinity attractive, and is always approached by men, but she would never consider being sexually involved with a man. She finds this to be repulsive.

Next we have Mia*. Mia dances to her own beat. She is GT, but does not discriminate when it comes to dating. Mia will date other GT, BT, and even boys. For a while, Mia was involved with a woman with a BT interior and a GT exterior. Again, blurred lines. Once that relationship fizzled out, when Mia became bored and not interested in sex with her girlfriend anymore, Mia turned to men. Mia doesn’t appear to be a sexual creature — she is completely content with her cats and her showtunes — but when she wants something, she wants it. Mia is very independent and, at times, treats sex as a game. She lives alone and prefers it this way.

Ah, Joy. If Mia dances to her own beat, Joy dances to her own genre of music. Joy is an intellectual. She doesn’t necessarily belong to any “team.” She says, “I don’t need to ascribe to any one label.” I like to refer to Joy as The Unitard — she is of her own being. Joy has always been interested in women, but was engaged to a man a few months ago. That is, until a special woman caught her attention and reminded Joy that it would be unfair to her fiancé for her to go through with the wedding if she still had such strong feelings for the same sex. Joy likes everyone — GT, BT, no teams, all teams — she finds attraction in peoples’ insides. Joy is a poet and a romantic. If she is truly interested in someone, she will write a song for them and serenade them with guitar accompaniment. She has an unfaltering confidence about her that is often mistaken for misplaced insecurity. She will tell you how hot she is, and how great she is, but she will also tell others the same. Joy wears dresses, but also wears jeans and baseball caps, and doesn’t wear much, if any, make-up. She is the only one out of all of us who knows how to change a spare tire.

Then there’s Scout*. Scout is BT. She has long hair, which she always pulls back, and never goes hat-less unless she’s sleeping. She dresses in men’s clothing and only dates GT girls, if she’s dating at all at the given time. Scout is very internal, and very independent, but she’s also very sensitive. She’s incredibly smart, and a whiz on her Mac (which she has named Barack). It has been thought that if any of us were to actually go through with a transition (sex change), it would be Scout, although she has never actually expressed any interest in this. She doesn’t want to be a man, but she is less comfortable than the other BT members with allowing girls to be intimate with her body. She will, however, give it all night long. She likes it this way. Scout is fiercely loyal and incredibly protective of her “girls.” She is opposed to change and likes to keep a routine. Although she is the most outwardly masculine of all of us, she is also highly emotional. Blur.

Me. I’m BT. I only date GT girls. I like to wear make-up, but enjoy it more for the art aspect. I like to say that it’s my inner gay man coming out, rather than an expression of femininity. When I’m with a woman, in the biblical sense, I get more enjoyment out of pleasuring her than reaching my own climax. That is not to say, however, that I don’t enjoy that too. I never really liked penetration until I was with Zane, but it’s still not my orgasm-reaching touch of choice. I fantasize about having a penis, and become aroused when my girlfriend refers to my “cock,” but in no way do I want to be a man. I do like to play the masculine role, though. I like to open my girl’s door for her, pay for dinner, and do things that require physical strength. I am also an emotional being. I have a soft center once the walls around it are broken down. I played sports my whole life, but do not consider myself a “sporty dyke.” I’m more of an artsy-fartsy sort. I have been intimate with a man in the past, but only did it so others can’t say to me, “Well, have you tried it?” I find men attractive, because I find people attractive, but have no interest in sex with men. I am not necessarily opposed to kissing a man, but treat it more like a straight girl treats kissing another straight girl. It’s a random, fun thing to do. Usually when drunk.

Our little group, in general, is very attractive. We’re all so different, but we complement each other well. When we’re all out together, we generate attention. There’s something for everyone with us. We’re smart, or athletic, or masculine, or feminine, or outgoing, or shy, or funny, or any number of things at a given moment. We’re fluid and we change, but we stay the same in our cores. Standing in the crowd at a concert we attended one weekend, Ziggy and I were discussing the nature of our group. We came to the conclusion that to be single in our little circle would be a double-edged sword. On one hand, like I said, we get noticed. But on the other hand, especially for the BT, it would be intimidating for girls to approach us because our GT members are so hot. Seriously. They’re so hot. But being hot, and loving women, are perhaps the only things that we all share as a unit.

I like to tell people, “You’re your own rainbow.” In this case, it’s a pretty accurate (and ironic) description. We gays are usually talked about with the word “diversity” thrown in somewhere; then lumped together as a whole. It doesn’t work like this, Moral Majority. In the case of my friends, we all love women — but we all love different kinds of women, in different ways, using different methods. So next time you see two women walking down the street holding hands, try to restrain yourself from making an Indigo Girls reference. At least go with Ellen or Rosie or someone from this decade.

*We’ll call them “stage names.”

August 1, 2009

[To see the blog at Creative Loafing, click here.]

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