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Help me understand !

(10 Posts)
Amockingjayhey Fri 07-Apr-17 11:56:40

Hi all

I am hoping you could help me out , i am wanting to make sure i have the correct terms for when my daughter is older so i know what to say about any family set ups her friends might have. I've always wondered and not wanted to get wrong but have also felt it a bit awkward to bring up IRL

In an LGBT family how do two women prefer to call themselves - do some women choose gay and some choose lesbian couple etc?

I am just wanting to understand what is the right thing to say so that i don't tell my daughter the wrong thing and possibly cause offence.

For example i have friends who are gay and female and as far as i know they refer to themselves as gay not lesbian but i am wondering if it's personal choice etc and is it ok to ask what people prefer?.

Thank you for responses smile

10000spoons Sat 08-Apr-17 19:19:38

Hi Mockingjay, how nice that you're thinking to ask. I think it depends on the couple and it's down to personal preference. I prefer the phrase 'gay woman' simply because the term 'lesbian' has unfortunately and unfairly been lumbered with some negative connotations, and I feel it is also quite labelling. But that's my personal preference!

Amockingjayhey Sat 08-Apr-17 19:49:50

Thank you so much for replying.

Can i ask would you mind if someone asked you what you preferred (IRL I mean) if they didn't already know? Or if someone didn't know and they had called you a lesbian instead would that be terribly offensive to you?

The thought of offending someone inadvertently is just awful!

harderandharder2breathe Sun 09-Apr-17 18:55:14

I wouldn't mind being asked if it was done genuinely.

My manager asked recently (as part of a wider conversation) and it was abbot clumsy and awkward but it didn't bother me as I knew she meant it well.

Be aware that one or both people in a same sex relationship may be bisexual rather than gay.

Amockingjayhey Sun 09-Apr-17 19:36:39

Thank you for your reply.

I hope i come across as a genuine person so if i did ask someone in person i would sincerely try to make sure it was a kind and thoughtful question.

That is a good point about bisexuality. I believe although i am not 100% sure that one of my friends in the couple i mentioned is bisexual.
Is there a specific way that a couple where one person was bisexual and one person was gay would maybe like to call themselves?

I am sorry i am asking so many questions and i really appreciate the answers.

LRDtheFeministDragon Mon 10-Apr-17 08:33:45

I think it's totally couple specific.

DP likes gay. I don't so much. We both use lesbian. We both really dislike 'queer' - me more than her - but increasingly it is becoming a catch-all term, especially if you live in an area with lots of trendy young things. I have had to correct students who think this is a polite term no-one could be offended by. But that's the way language is: it changes and shifts, and you just have to acknowledge to people that you know it might be a bit of a minefield.

Amockingjayhey Mon 10-Apr-17 22:34:21

Thank you for your response & for explaining that to me.
It certainly does seem a minefield of terms - would i be right in thinking that gender identity has come more into the media / social media etc... That there is much more terminology around / being popular at the moment ?

Chicklette Mon 10-Apr-17 23:28:29

Hi there. I would expect people to refer to us as Lesbians and it doesn't really have any negative connotations to me. Equally though I wouldn't be that surprised if someone used the term Gay-although it usually makes me think more of 2 men rather than 2 women. 'Gay women' to me, feels a bit old fashioned but wouldn't offend me!

I think it's OK to ask people which terms they prefer. I identify with the word Queer too but I could easily be offended by a straight person using it and wouldn't use it to describe anyone unless I was certain that they were OK with it.

Thanks for bothering to care!

Amockingjayhey Tue 11-Apr-17 19:44:59

Thank you for your responses.

I feel much more confident in understanding the different ways people like to refer to themselves and it's important to me to know that it would be ok to ask someone what they prefer.

Thank you all

For those who say thank you for caring - as it goes it was one of the ladies in the same sex couple to whom i referred earlier, who is the only person who has ever asked me , a person from an ethnic minority , how i liked to be referred to as. smile
No one has ever thought to ask before and i never even thought about it myself. But now i have my own child and she will be making friends in nursery and school , i don't ever want to not know or not know if it's ok to ask, how someone likes to refer to themselves as.

Our identity is super important and i hope to always be able to make sure i get it right with everyone i know

Thanks everyone so much
Many blessings x

Blossom789 Mon 17-Apr-17 09:59:50

You'd hope we can get to a time where you don't need to overthink this.. I'm
A straight woman but never refer to myself as 'straight' I'm just a woman who is married to a man! We're not a 'straight couple' we are a married couple. Such a shame isn't it.

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