For any of you that may not know, I am a gay lady. A proud gay lady. I rocked my rainbow belt this last weekend at New York Pride like no other, and cheered when I saw a bunch of men riding Ricky Martin:
However, I have to say that I am not so thrilled with the general stereotype that is placed upon all gay ladies. For example, I don’t like flannel. I also don’t like mullets or power tools or construction boots. Actually, let me rephrase that. I have a minor obsession with mullets, but only when they’re on other people that think they’re stylish. Not for myself. I also don’t like cut off t-shirts. However, the world at large seems to think that just because I fancy women, I should also be butch. This is not the case.
Let’s take, for example, this past weekend when my girlfriend and I went to Henrietta Hudson’s to get our pride on. For those of you straight folks out there, let me paint you a picture: Henrietta’s is a famous lesbian bar in New York City. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s one of the oldest lesbian bars in the country. It’s so lady-focused, that when I texted some of my gay boyfriends to meet us there, they responded, “I don’t think we’re even allowed in there!”
Anyway, after I paid our cover, we were given a free t-shirt from Absolut Vodka. Awesome. Way to support the gaymos, Absolut. I immediately felt my regret dwindle for drinking that handle last weekend – at least I was supporting a good cause.
I held up the shirt to determine what size would be most suitable for me, and realized the bouncer had clearly grabbed my tee from the wrong pile; the shirt I was holding had no sleeves and was a masculine muscle shirt. I leaned in to the bouncer, to save him from any embarrassment, and whispered, “do you have any with sleeves?” He looked at me like I was out of my mind. He was bewildered. Perplexed. Flabbergasted. Dumbfounded.
Why, oh why, would a lesbian want a shirt with sleeves?
He then responded in a way I can only describe as a kindergarten teacher explaining why you can’t wipe your poop on the wall: “Ummm, no… we only have sleeveless. That’s what we’re giving out. It’s what we have for you.”
I see. So let me get this (not-so) straight. Absolut knew about pride, and thought it would be a good idea to support the mo’s of the world. I’m all for that. They also heard about one of the oldest, most famous lesbian bars and decided to give away free t-shirts to demonstrate their support. Again, I’m all for that. What I’m not all for is the assumption that I want a muscle shirt.
As I said before, it’s most definitely an all-lady establishment, so the excuse of “well, it’s for the men…” really doesn’t fly in this situation. Even my girlfriend, who is a little more open to less-feminine clothing thought it was ludicrous.
I mean, look at this thing:
I know there are women in the world that would wear this in a heartbeat, and guess what? I’m all for that. However, this shirt is like saying, “oh, you’re from Nebraska? You must wear plaid with overalls and a straw hat every day.” If you do, that’s great – but I wouldn’t send my staff to a convention in Nebraska with straw hats. A corn husker with our logo? Maybe. But not straw hats.