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Are lesbians more accepted by society than gay men?

Sunday, April 28, 2013

CHICAGO — It may be a man’s world, as the saying goes, but lesbians seem to have an easier time living in it than gay men do.

High-profile lesbian athletes have come out while still playing their sports, but not a single gay male athlete in major U.S. professional sports has done the same. While U.S. television’s most prominent same-sex parents are the two fictional dads on “Modern Family,” surveys show that society is actually more comfortable with the idea of lesbians parenting children.

High-profile lesbian athletes — such as professional soccer midfielder Meagan Rapinoe — have come out while still playing their sports, but not a single gay male athlete in major U.S. professional sports has done the same.
Photo: Paul Connors, AP

And then there is the ongoing debate over the Boy Scouts of America proposal to ease their ban on gay leaders and scouts.

Reaction to the proposal, which the BSA’s National Council will take up next month, has been swift, and often harsh. Yet amid the discussions, the Girl Scouts of USA reiterated their policy prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, among other things. That announcement has gone largely unnoticed.

Certainly, the difference in the public’s reaction to the scouting organizations can be attributed, in part, to their varied histories, including the Boy Scouts’ longstanding religious ties and a base that has become less urban over the years, compared with the Girl Scouts’.

Sarah Toce, editor of a daily online news magazine “The Seattle Lesbian,” in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, home to many bars that cater to Seattle’s gay and lesbian community.
Photo: Ted S. Warren, AP

Siblings Benjamin and Nancy Dreyer in New York. Nancy, a lesbian, says she has noticed the different ways society treats gay men and lesbians, partly because Benjamin is also gay.
Family photo courtesy Nancy Dreyer.

Joey Carrillo, a senior at Elmhurst College, with his fraternity paddle. Carrillo, who is gay, painted a rainbow on the paddle and, while fraternity brothers had been supportive of his sexual orientation, a couple of them were upset when he appeared in a college video with the paddle. Carrillo says they were afraid people would assume they were gay, too.
Photo: Martha Irvine, AP

Joan Koffman, left, Nancy Dreyer and their son Gabe Dreyer in Newton, Mass. Nancy Dreyer says, “With gay male friends of ours who have kids, people will say, ‘My gosh, who takes care of this baby?’ – as if they’re not capable.” The assumption, she says, is that men aren’t nurturing. And if they’re too nurturing, she says, people get suspicious.
Family photo courtesy Nancy Dreyer

But there’s also an undercurrent here, one that’s often present in debates related to homosexuality, whether over same-sex marriage or the now-defunct “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that prohibited gays from openly serving in the U.S. military. Even as society has become more accepting of homosexuality overall, longstanding research has shown more societal tolerance for lesbians than gay men, and that gay men are significantly more likely to be targets of violence.

That research also has found that it’s often straight men who have the most difficult time with homosexuality – and particularly gay men – says researcher Gregory Herek.

“Men are raised to think they have to prove their masculinity, and one big part about being masculine is being heterosexual. So we see that harassment, jokes, negative statements and violence are often ways that even younger men try to prove their heterosexuality,” says Herek, a psychologist at the University of California, Davis, who has, for years, studied this phenomenon and how it plays out in the gay community.

That is not, of course, to downplay the harassment lesbians face. It can be just as ugly.

But it’s not as frequent, Herek and others have found, especially in adulthood. It’s also not uncommon for lesbians to encounter straight men who have a fascination with them.

“The men hit on me. The women hit on me. But I never feel like I’m in any immediate danger,” says Sarah Toce, the 29-year-old editor of The Seattle Lesbian and managing editor of The Contributor, both online news magazines. “If I were a gay man, I might – and if it’s like this in Seattle, can you imagine what it is like in less-accepting parts of middle America?”

One of Herek’s studies found that, overall, 38 percent of gay men said that, in adulthood, they’d been victims of vandalism, theft or violence – hit, beaten or sexually assaulted – because they were perceived as gay. About 13 percent of lesbians said the same.

A separate study of young people in England also found that, in their teens, gay boys and lesbians were almost twice as likely to be bullied as their straight peers. By young adulthood, it was about the same for lesbians and straight girls. But in this study, published recently in the journal Pediatrics, gay young men were almost four times more likely than their straight peers to be bullied.

At least one historian says it wasn’t always that way for either men or women, whose “expressions of love” with friends of the same gender were seen as a norm – even idealized – in the 19th century.

“These relationships offered ample opportunity for those who would have wanted to act on it physic ally, even if most did not,” says Thomas Foster, associate professor and head of the history department at DePaul University in Chicago.

Today’s “code of male gendered behavior,” he says, often rejects these kinds of expressions between men.

We joke about the “bro-mance” – a term used to describe close friendships between straight men. But in some sense, the humor stems from the insinuation that those relationships could be romantic, though everyone assumes they aren’t.

Call those friends “gay,” a word that’s still commonly used as an insult, and that’s quite another thing. Consider the furor over Rutgers University men’s basketball coach Mike Rice, who was recently fired for mistreating his players and mocking them with gay slurs.

If two women dance together at a club or walk arm-in-arm down the street, people are usually less likely to question it – though some wonder if that has more to do with a lack of awareness than acceptance.

“Lesbians a re so invisible in our society. And so I think the hatred is more invisible,” says Laura Grimes, a licensed clinical social worker in Chicago whose counseling practice caters to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender clients.

Grimes says she also frequently hears from lesbians who are harassed for “looking like dykes,” meaning that people are less accepting if they look more masculine.

Still, Ian O’Brien, a gay man in Washington, D.C., sees more room for women “to transcend what femininity looks like, or at least negotiate that space a little bit more.”

O’Brien, who’s 23, recently wrote an opinion piece tied to the Boy Scout debate and his own experience in the Scouts when he was growing up in the San Diego area.

“To put it simply: Being a boy is supposed to look one way, and you get punished when it doesn’t,” O’Brien wrote in the piece, which appeared in The Advocate, a national magazine for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities.

Joey Carrillo, a gay student at Elmhurst College in suburban Chicago, remembers trying to be as masculine as possible in high school. He hid the fact that he was gay, particularly around other athletes. As a wrestler, he says he never wanted to hear someone say, “Oh, THAT’S why he wrestles.”

In fact, though more gay and lesbian athletes are coming out in college, gay male professional athletes in major sports have waited to do so until they have left their sport, one of the more recent being Robbie Rogers, an American soccer player who played professionally in England. There have been reports that gay male athletes who are currently playing may be on the verge of going public.

But women have already done so with little backlash.

U.S. soccer star Megan Rapinoe, for instance, came out right before she played in last year’s Olympics. WNBA star Seimone Augustus and the league’s No. 1 draft pick, Brittney Griner, are some of the more recent female athletes to follow suit.

In Hollywood in recent years, both openly gay men and lesbians have had successful careers. And when it comes to television and movies, it appears there are more high-profile gay male characters.

Still, while many see the two dads on the “Modern Family” sitcom as groundbreaking, others have a sense that the societal discomfort with gay men as parents is at the root of many of the jokes.

“A good portion of that is for comedic effect,” says Don Todd, a 32-year-old father in a two-dad family in Orange, California. He doesn’t think most people would think it was as funny if the characters were two moms.

Herek, the researcher at UC-Davis, has, in fact, found in surveys that heterosexuals think lesbians would be better parents than gay men.

Nancy Dreyer, a mother in a two-mom family, has noticed this in her own life.

“With gay male friends of ours who have kids, people will say, ‘My gosh, who takes care of this baby?’ – as if they’ re not capable,” says Dreyer, whose 57 and lives in suburban Boston.

The assumption, she says, is that men aren’t nurturing. And if they’re too nurturing, she says, people get suspicious, noting that no one has ever questioned her and her partner about their ability to raise their son, who’s now in college.

She’s noticed the different ways society treats gay men and lesbians, partly because she has a brother, Benjamin Dreyer, who’s gay. The Dreyer siblings say it’s difficult to compare their experiences because Benjamin came out in college, and Nancy in her early 30s.

So he was the first to tell their parents. “They yelled at me. They took you to dinner,” Benjamin Dreyer, who’s 54 and works in publishing in New York City, now jokes with his sister.

Truth was, as a young gay man coming of age as the AIDS epidemic took hold, his parents simply worried, and with good reason, his sister says.

There’s little doubt, they both say, that AIDS influenced the perception of gay men.

Benjamin Dreyer says he dealt with societal bias by avoiding it, and surrounding himself with people he knew would be supportive, including his parents, eventually.

But he’s also realizing how quickly the need to do that is disappearing. He was surprised and pleased, for instance, when he attended his nephew’s high school graduation last year. There, he saw a gay male graduate with his boyfriend, open and accepted by all his peers.

“It’s mind-boggling,” Benjamin Dreyer says. “It’s wonderful.”

Carrillo, too, decided to live openly when he arrived at Elmhurst College. He joined a fraternity and even painted a rainbow – a common symbol of the gay community – on his fraternity paddle. To his surprise, there was some backlash from a couple of his straight fraternity brothers who feared people would think their fraternity was the “gay fraternity.”

“There’s a long way to go,” says Carrillo, who graduates next month. But he s till feels hopeful.

“Honestly, I see it – everywhere there’s progress.”

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147 more reader comments:

  1. I know in my small hometown you occasionally see women holding hands and even kissing but never, ever, ever men. Two men take their lives into their hand if they do. Not women.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:34am
  2. DUH

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:34am
  3. Yes. Watch straight porn and my case is closed. By this I mean, lesbian sex has always fascinated hetero men, so it began as an open door… So to speak. Also women seem to be more openly bisexual than men.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:35am
  4. No.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:35am
  5. The tomboy is more socially accepted than the little boy who wants to wear pink shirts or glittery shoes to school. Could be something subconscious.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:36am
  6. itis getting so much better for all LGTBQ

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:36am
  7. Yes, I think so

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:36am
  8. i don’t know … every case is different.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:36am
  9. This is because it is still a man’s world. A heterosexual man’s world

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:37am
  10. i dont know Maybe a little bit more ya

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:37am
  11. Uhhhh….yes. What kind of a question is this?

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:37am
  12. Um, I think Leslie is the only one that thinks No.

    They obviously are.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:37am
  13. That’s exactly a confirmation to its a man’s world: Men accept lesbians easier than they accept gay men, in result the world accepts lesbians easier…

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:37am
  14. Michael yes i agree isnt that messed up

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:37am
  15. On the plastic surface, maybe- Let’s face it, straight guys and the media love lesbians. When you dig past that and into what humanity’s true core is…No. They’re treated as badly as any LGBTQ person.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:38am
  16. Pretty much. I heard a very Christian kid in my Math class say “It’s gross when men have sex.” but then he added something about how hot it is with lesbians.

    So, pretty much.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:38am
  17. what Michael said strait dogs watch lesbian prn so yaidk its weird

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:38am
  18. Yes

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:39am
  19. I’ve never lived in a small town, so I guess I can proudly say, I’ve never felt threatened.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:39am
  20. Yes, until it comes down to American same sex marriages or adoptions. Then gay or lesbians are on the same playing field. quotes SuperStar YOU’RE HORRIBLE…….horrible…. lol

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:39am
  21. Seems that way

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:40am
  22. Of course they are. Men think two chicks together are hot, and mightily clench when they think about two guys (generally speaking, of course).

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:40am
  23. lesbians are perceived as more like men. since being masculine is still a positive… you do the math.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:41am
  24. yes

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:42am
  25. Yes! There was a program on tv last week where the actors were place in a restaurant in a small Texas town and the waitress(also an actor) starts to wait on 2 lesbians with “kids” and she loudly tells the women they are disgusting and the kids would end up demented because there wasn’t a father. They wanted to see if the bystanders would speak up on behalf of the lesbians. And they did! But when it was 2 men w/ kids less bystanders stood up on their behalf. So yes society excepts lesbians more than gays.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:42am
  26. Oh, please… the reason they are more accepted is because they turn on heterosexual men, who… by my last check, still run things in most countries.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:43am
  27. That’s because
    A. Masculine women are seen as more acceptable than feminine women, because god forbid somebody seem feminine.
    B. Female sexuality is seen as something done for a male’s attention. To some men, lesbianism is nothing more than a display done to get a man’s attention. Even what women do with women is done just to get a man off.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:43am
  28. I don’t know any masculine lesbians ….so did not do the math.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:44am
  29. You also have to keep in mind that for some odd reason, men find lesbians (that which they cannot have) sexy and alluring… so they accept lesbians without a problem more readily than they do gay men.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:45am
  30. They are more accepted because of what Doreen said and because they don’t threaten straight bigoted men as much. All bigotry is fear and these men are afraid of gay men because they don’t want to be treated or viewed like they view women. But girl on girl action is hot..I mean non-threatening to straight men.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:46am
  31. I did some research on rural gay couples for my book Get Your Pitchfork On, and agree with the thesis. One of the main values in rural places is being able to do things, and because of the “butch” lesbian and “swishy” gay stereotypes, lesbians are perceived as more capable than gay men. However unfair and untrue individual cases may be.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:46am
  32. Sexy ones yes. Masculine ones. Not. At least in my country

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:46am
  33. yeah i don’t get that. i asked my husband and he doesn’t get it either.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:46am
  34. I don’t get anyone’s comments. I guess you have to live in the sticks.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:46am
  35. Yes

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:47am
  36. No fucking shit.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:47am
  37. Also, gay women are much more likely to get “You’re gay? I can fix that ;)” as a response than gay men, going back to my statement that female sexuality is seen as illegitimate and simply a display done to attract men.

    The ways in which lesbianism is seen as more “acceptable” than male queerness only illustrate that women still aren’t respected very much.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:48am
  38. The Nazi’s knew men could impregnate Lesbians.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:48am
  39. Yes,because most straight men find it hot to watch to girls making out.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:48am
  40. Am I the only one that doesn’t see this as a good thing? If you think this is a good thing, ask yourself this question, Why? And keep asking why until there is no more why then maybe you will see that on the surface its a good thing, but it belies a deeper issue that has nothing really to do with who one sleeps with.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:49am
  41. Depends on the location. In my experience, gay men were more accepted than lesbians in some parts of Mexico.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:50am
  42. Yup

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:51am
  43. watching Jerry Springer, I hear everyone screaming ‘we love lesbians’, again and again; and on most occasions the lesbians are painted as stereotypical beauties/ supermodels/strippers… Not as the normal ‘everyday/soccer-mom’ lesbian. Then a gay guy prances onto stage and everyone laughs and booo’s; because they normally paint him as a typical flamer. Also he is normally the ‘bad guy’ or slut… The guests they chose, show the stereotypes they want to highlight. Sometimes they will have a male dancer, but it’s always aimed towards straight women. Then they use lesbian dancers to turn on straight men. It’s not a balanced equation. If it were there would be a lot more hot guys wrestling in jello… Bisexuals like me laugh at how stupid it is to think of one as ‘better’ than the other.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:53am
  44. Yes. Because hatred towards gay men stems from a hatred of women or being “like” women. Straight males see gay men as traitors to their superiority, which is why the reaction is so different.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:53am
  45. ummm that’s ridiculous since not all of us are masculine , that’s just a stupid stereotype

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:53am
  46. “accepted by society”?..meh the things you are arguing are arguably reasons to say they are not. Heterosexual mens views of woman on woman sex has created a false idea about what “lesbianism” is. Would they likely respect the emotional aspect of being a lesbian? No. Also, straight men can think they like watching lesbian sex all they want but im pretty sure lesbians would argue the woman on woman sex in straight porn is not reflective of real life lesbian sex. All that stuff is geared towards men. These things do a disservice towards lesbians and their relationships being taken seriously. Many men would potentially say lesbians just havent “met” the right penis to fuck them cured. So potentially people are more likely to believe two men are in a relationship rather than two women. I think there’s a lot more exposure of gay men in the media. The campy gay character is widely known on television. Lesbian characters much less so id say. I understand what is being said to the contrary though. I just wanted to argue the opposite so other ideas were explored.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:54am
  47. Why is it that some men fantasize about 2 women together but see 2 men together as being an abomination

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:56am
  48. I don’t think so….We All Need Human Rights…People do ot understand that mostly we don”t want to be MEN…We jus LOVE Women! Why don’t they understnd this? I don’t care for men …why the hell would I want to be one?

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:56am
  49. Definitely.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:56am
  50. no. and what a dumb question!

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:58am
  51. Yes, they are.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 11:00am
  52. they do not accept all lesbians, only the ones they (men) view as sexy and think they can change.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 11:00am
  53. Wtf? Straight male ‘fascination’ is not acceptance, however you try to paint it, and try being a lesbian outside of major Westernised cities. Lesbians not only face homophobia, misogyny AND transphobia (because of COURSE all lesbians secretly aspire to either be men or compete with men)

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 11:00am
  54. This is probably one of the most sexist things I’ve read from this page. :[

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 11:08am
  55. Straight men’s fanatsies include lesbians in many cases. A majority of those men stand against gay equality and rights because of gay men. Lesbians are much more socially acceptable than gay men. I am not saying they have it easy, but they have it much easier!!!

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 11:09am
  56. yes, i believe they are… ment think its sexy therefore society tends to feed into this… sick but true… its not a choice, they are born this way and it is a normal life style to them and should be respected

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 11:10am
  57. Unlike men, women do not generally feel threatened by having lesbians around. And it doesn’t help that straight men LIKE lesbians….hell…straight guys LIKE it when lesbians – esp pretty ones – make out in public! So yeah…lesbians for the win.

    Gays…can go to hell as far as most ppl are concerned. And trans…..just no winning for a trans unless she’s super pretty. <_<;;

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 11:10am
  58. yea they are sad to say but hopefully things will change and people will start to realize that gay, straight or even lesbian people are people it doesnt matter if you like them but you have to respect them so get with the program and grow the hell up…..

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 11:11am
  59. Maybe in Omaha, but not in Chicago! Guys and girls treated like everyone else

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 11:13am
  60. certainly, I taked with my Grandma (93 @ the moment) about the past. She worked 4 a jewish lawyer befor WW2 started (my Grandma is from Berlin Germany). She told me that she had a colleague that lived together with her ” cousin”. She told me that everyone knew that she was not her cousin and that they have been a couple and no one cared about that @ that time. A few years later when the NSDAP got the power certenly the lawyer was deported. Same happend with thousands of gay man in Berlin. Luckily her colleague survived (her girlfriend died in 1944 when Berlin was carpet bombing …. my grandma told me the story about 2 years ago because she knows that I live in the gay part of Berlin (Schöneberg) and have many gay friends.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 11:13am
  61. One reason I am glad I never lived in a small city

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 11:13am
  62. i often wondered why, any sociologists lookin’ for an easy PhD thesis?

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 11:15am
  63. Sadly yes, even in Jamaica where I’m from which is the most homophobic place yup. However, where labeling is concerned, butch lesbians have a bit more problem.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 11:15am
  64. They would prefer you to be feminine, I’m sure.. it’s a lose, lose.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 11:15am
  65. yes

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 11:15am
  66. It’s not a popularity contest people. I don’t care if most people LIKE me…I just don’t want to suffer the indignity of being discriminated against. I also would rather die on my own terms and not at the hands of a power hungry overgrown little boy who sees me and doubts himself to the point he feels justified in punishing me.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 11:17am
  67. It’s because lesbians are less threatening to straight men combined with the sexism that sees women as inferior, which fuels the contempt straight men have for gay men. They think gay men are voluntarily taking on the inferior female role, which to a straight man is the worst thing a man could possibly do.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 11:17am
  68. Of course. It’s sad but true.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 11:18am
  69. I actually knew a few guys in high school that used the “haven’t met the right penis yet” ideal repeatedly (also often referring to themselves as “the right penis” to “cure lesbianism”). Might I add at last check that none of these fellows are faring well in the “real world” right now. I still wish I had kicked ‘em where it matters back then…but I’m a fairly non-violent type. Anywho, I agree that “on the surface” lesbianism is “more acceptable” in America. But that surface is riddled with misogyny and false expectations, and the truth of the matter is that homosexuality (period) is still a controversial topic for a lot of Americans that can get you fired/attacked/killed/etc. if you have the “wrong idea about things.”

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 11:18am
  70. without a doubt

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 11:21am
  71. I agree with this. No one complains when a little girl wears camo, but when my 2 year-old son is attracted to a glittery pink purse all hell breaks loose.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 11:21am
  72. Yeah, not to offend the cool gentlemen I know it I think the badgers are often make and are particularly offended by males, I’ve heard some of the uncooked ones say that. Meanwhile, I think women are expected to have close female friends and maybe we just blend more? But I don’t think the bashers are necessarily accepting of lesbians. We just maybe don’t set off their macho bs buttons as much. To be clear, I caught hell for being gay as a kid in school especially. Maybe a varying kind of hell.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 11:36am
  73. Yeah, not to offend the cool gentlemen I know it But I think the bashers are often male and are particularly offended by males. I’ve heard some of the uncool ones say that. Meanwhile, I think women are expected to have close female friends and maybe we just blend more? But I don’t think the bashers are necessarily accepting of lesbians. We just maybe don’t set off their macho bs buttons as much. To be clear, I caught hell for being gay as a kid in school especially. Maybe a varying kind of hell.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 11:38am
  74. First post full of iPhone auto corrects, 2nd one corrected.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 11:38am
  75. Yes.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 11:40am
  76. What Would You Do? That’s the program.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 11:41am
  77. That ‘acceptance’ of lesbians, first of all, is acceptance only when it pertains to the heterosexual male fantasy of lesbianism: model type, ultra feminine females that are secretly dying to have a male join in, not normal females, or masculine-identifying ones like myself. And I hate to say it, but this new brand of bisexualism has turned lesbianism into exactly what everyone else has been saying: that lesbians aren’t really lesbians, but simply appear to be for the pleasure of men. Second, that ‘acceptance’ is not acceptance. It’s misogyny. Men don’t feel threatened by feminine lesbians, but a good deal of them DO feel threatened by masculine-identifying ones, especially if we end up with females they think they should have (i.e. the ones that are classified ‘too pretty to be gay’, because apparently all lesbians look like ogres?). And that’s where we run into a lot of trouble, because there’s always that one guy that wants to prove your femininity once and for all: through rape, because he still has the power to emasculate you due to what he has and you don’t, and ‘put you in your place’ as an inferior, weak being.

    Gay men apparently seem to be a slap in the face of masculinity, because I mean, why would a guy want to be in the lesser position of a female? But I think that ideology is directed at the flaming, effeminate gays, because I think they don’t have as much of a problem with the average Joe who is gay, but still acts like a male. Me personally, I love all my LGBTQ family. I have the hardest time because I’m transgender, and THAT is a whole other ball game.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 11:46am
  78. With you Joaquian!

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 11:48am
  79. Your comments are so articulate and impassioned. Thank you Joaquian and Judy…

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 11:50am
  80. yes and that “needs” to change what i really hate and i had a freind who said this if two girls wanna be togaher thats fine two guys are digusting and i can’t stand that gay men need more positve attetion

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 11:53am
  81. Certainly Sisters are found, less threatening to the heterosexual male ego and sexual gratifications their brain is controlled by ;o)

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 11:55am
  82. I’m gonna say… hell no.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 12:13pm
  83. To elaborate, straight-acting gay men have assmiliated, all other LGBTQ people have not and are thus seen as more of a social threat.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 12:13pm
  84. Damn right!

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 12:14pm
  85. What you call acceptance is merely straight male fetishism.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 12:15pm
  86. That’s not acceptance, it’s objectification.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 12:15pm
  87. That’s not acceptance, that’s fetishism.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 12:16pm
  88. Yes. Does a bear shit in the woods?

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 12:17pm
  89. Ummmm….yea

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 12:17pm
  90. There is nothing ‘accepting’ about treating lesbians like a cheap porn show. Particularly since most lesbians aren’t interested in being attractive to men. To assume that lesbians are more accepted than gay men as straight men fancy them is just offensive and misogynistic!

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 12:18pm
  91. yes– straight men just LOVE the idea of 2 women getting it on..

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 12:19pm
  92. But that’s not acceptance. That’s just oppression by way of objectification and identity erasure.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 12:19pm
  93. L-O-L at this incredibly divisive fuckshit post, way to stay losing LGBT-nation.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 12:21pm
  94. I never said it was acceptance.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 12:21pm
  95. That’s not acceptance, man. That’s just objectification (and in most cases, erasure of their lesbian identity)

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 12:21pm
  96. Yes

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 12:23pm
  97. Lets say this. It looks like people rather see two lesbians walking down the street holding hands than two gay men walking down the street holding hands. Wish it wasn’t true, but that’s society.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 12:26pm
  98. Historically, lesbianism has been ignored by society. It’s cute. After all two women can’t really have sex. We are just two friends living together. We were ignored by the greater society. Women were controlled by their families, not by outside society since we weren’t really seen as part of outside society. Our place was in the home and our fathers/brothers/uncles “took care of us”. Because of this, social taboos against lesbianism didn’t develop. It was never illegal, as far as I know, unlike gay male sex. We have always been invisible. Today, that translates into having it a little easier.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 12:37pm
  99. Yes.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 12:37pm
  100. No-they are patronized and found titillating

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 12:41pm
  101. yeah it only works if you use a certain definition of acceptance, good point. like positive stereotypes aren’t real acceptance either.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 12:46pm
  102. sure ! less frightening to straight men..!!!

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 12:50pm
  103. It is which is very very sad! I am with a women and so many guys think it is so hot! It is but guys who want to be with each other is just as beautiful,shows they are not afraid to be with who they really want! And come on what girl does not want a guy gay friend who won’t hit on them and can borrow girl products if they use them! Gay guy friends are awesome!

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 12:55pm
  104. Lesbians have a different kind of violence they deal with, rape. In Africa there is something called corrective rape. More than 10 lesbians per week are raped or gang-raped in Cape Town alone. That is ONE city. That doesn’t even put a dent in all the other countries that are notorious for having their women treated less than animals. Which society are you talking about? I certainly see no logic in your argument. This article is not only misguided, but completely false and should be taken down immediately. This is one of the most offensive articles I’ve seen. You want to make a huge sweeping generalization about the whole world’s opinions on lesbians? You mention the U.S and England and use only two countries as absolute proof. You want to do an article on society, then do it properly. If you’re too lazy to do research then you should think of another career.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 1:01pm
  105. Familial-wise probably not, but yes by society

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 1:10pm
  106. exactly… couldn’t have said it better.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 1:17pm
  107. as long as they’re “pretty” (whatever that’s s’posed to mean!)

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 1:18pm
  108. Yes sisters can two straight men would love to see two women get it on and if two guys did that’s it would be wierd

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 1:19pm
  109. Lesbianism is not more “accepted by society,” and comparing two oppressions which involve different experiences is silly. This article shouldn’t even try to speak for all of the lesbian community since the oppression and ways that oppression is reinforced in society against the lesbian community differs from the experiences gay men have. Plus the author uses tolerance (which is different than acceptance) and the examples they use do not consider the fact that anything that has to do with women is often overlooked or undervalued (marked as unimportant or unifluential–for example– lesbians coming out in sports where the primary supporters are other women won’t shift how men view lesbians and since lesbians are women (who knew) their voice is deemed less important to shifting broader society) because as stated “it is a man’s world.” I think we are mistaking acceptance for being able to be overlooked in society and those are two separate issues. Homophobia and heterosexism affects all of us differently.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 1:19pm
  110. Idk people here in Texas seem to hate everyone equally.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 1:34pm
  111. Potato, pot-to. Through the objectification, it becomes “acceptable”. I’m not defending it, it’s abhorrent, but it is the way of things.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 1:41pm
  112. Crap. I’m having issues with posting comments. The “potato” bit was part of another comment.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 1:49pm
  113. Television is definitely biased towards the heterosexual male. For instance, “The Big bang Theory”. The obviously gay Sheldon is characterized as being asexual. Never a word about sex, especially for another man, never. But his opposing female character, Amy, is constantly, and overtly referring to sex, both homo, and heterosexual, as well as masturbation. I often wonder if the Sheldon character came out on the show, how it would be dealt with. The producers would probably have him loose job, catch a sexually transmitted disease and have his character die a sad and lonely death.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 1:53pm
  114. You have a great point Alicia, but the sentiment is the same. If you read the comments you will see that this sociological observance from the UK ad the US media and culture is based in misogyny. Gay women aren’t seen as much of a threat because men think women are less, or non-persons.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 2:02pm
  115. Very True here in Reno Nv..

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 2:03pm
  116. Yes. not just because of hetero guys, but also because of feminist women (regardless of orientation)

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 2:13pm
  117. Yes. A lot of guys see two women as “hot”, but the thought of two guys is disgusting and unacceptable. Straight guy mentality -_-

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 2:37pm
  118. Lesbians if of the pretty lipstick variety are a man’s secret fantasy, especially if the man is a mysogonist loser or both.
    Butch ones scare them for obvious reasons. If a woman is strong, resilient, intelligent and can beat your ass then the losers only attack in packs.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 2:40pm
  119. yes some how must men feel there sexy and that too gay men or gross i don’t get it either me personaly i get aroused by both Just sad that that why people are so scared who caresd who u sleep with we glbt community don’t care or ask who ur sleeping with are judge u because of it

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 2:58pm
  120. I agree for the most part, Joaquian. The exception: “….the average Joe who is gay but still ACTS LIKE A MALE”. That last part kinda made me bristle. I know plenty of gay men both masculine in manner, dress and appearance as I do those who do not fit that ideal. But, I think you meant the masculine gay men, who to a straight male, could ‘pass as straight’ based upon how a straight male perceives them – non-threatening, ‘one of the guys’. Sad, in this day & age, society has yet to learn to accept people as they are. Frankly, ones sexuality should only “matter” to a prospective dating/sexual partner – why, if one isn’t interested in pursuing a relationship does it fekkin matter!!!!!

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 3:38pm
  121. As a lesbian I;d say no.. and questions as this perpetuate stereotypes.. define accepting? Non threatening? or accepting as in easy to “change”.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 3:44pm
  122. ^that was the point I was trying to get at. No disrespect intended.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 3:48pm
  123. Mmm, I think Lesbians are taking less seriously, but as far as how poeple react to lesbians compared to gay guys, you got it easy. Gay men face all those things too, we get treated like women a lot of the time

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 3:49pm
  124. absolutely yes. matter of factthey arecelebrated

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 4:01pm
  125. It’s unfortunate in society. We need real acceptance =/ Not just acceptance for one because ” Some of them are hot”

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 4:10pm
  126. It wasn’t made illegal in Britain because nobody could figure out how to explain it to Queen Victoria!
    At least that’s the popular idea.
    But years ago women didn’t usually live alone. If they had no relatives, two friends would often live together and nobody thought anything of it. Sadly after WWI there were many women left alone.

    It was considered a “crime” in the WRAC when I was there. I think there was quite a witch hunt at one stage after I had left. But we knew who they were and it didn’t bother us.
    (How did this comment get to the top? Computers!)

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 4:13pm
  127. took a long time for them to get any visibility at all. Lets not polarize. We’re all community, from the questioning teen to the drag queen.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 5:22pm
  128. Then why start the piece off with the sentence- “It may be a man’s world, as the saying goes, but lesbians seem to have an easier time living in it than gay men do.” That implies that all around the world lesbians have it easier, which is a statement so far removed from reality that it makes me nauseous. That sentence alone does say only the U.S and U.K. It broadly defines the world as a whole without giving any mention of the whole world. Choosing only two countries. Not only is this argument false, but it is also eurocentric.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 5:59pm
  129. I’m sorry what was that?

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 6:07pm
  130. Women don’t get killed huh?

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 6:09pm
  131. How’s this for frightening…

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 6:35pm
  132. agree! when there is murder it is frightening!

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 6:38pm
  133. Ummmmm…no

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 6:39pm
  134. Did the christian kid tell you about this too?

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 6:42pm
  135. Apparently not.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 6:44pm
  136. Ah yes, look at all that acceptance!

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 6:46pm
  137. What did the all-knowing christian kid have to say about this?

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 6:46pm
  138. Not a good one.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 6:48pm
  139. I said more accepting in society….But that’s pretty relative to how horrible men are treated. And when it comes to the religious fanatics all bets are off…I’m talking about acceptance against the average discriminating bigot who don’t actually shoot gay people in the head.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 6:50pm
  140. unfortunately, I would say yes. I think ,it goes back to a straight man’s sexual fantasy of two women.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 8:08pm
  141. yes defiently way more. for multiple reasons. not to say that lesbian women do not have it as hard. but when women have the option now to be home makers or work. and get two sets of lyrical sheets and men only get one which is work or work, yeah lesbians are widely more accepted.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 8:35pm
  142. Maybe because the majority of straight men are pigs and the majority of fascist women are too scared to say shit to their gay “friends”

    Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 at 12:22am
  143. It is because MEN (not all) love to see two women together and imagine being there

    Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 at 3:13am
  144. Asking if “society” accepts anything is obtuse. There are so many definitions of the meaning of “society” that it is a question that can result in many answers, many of which will be true, many of which will be questionable, and many of which will be false…….all depending on your point of view, your personal experiences or observations, and which definition of society you choose to use. So take each answer individually, with a grain of salt, and don’t hyperventilate if someone posts something that goes against your grain.

    Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 at 6:27am
  145. Very much more accepted than gay men……

    Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 at 7:47am
  146. A general question asking for an opinion does not require you to reply directly to me, because you disagree.

    Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 at 8:02am
  147. I would say it is because being “masculine” is more acceptable than being “feminine” is this culture in general. While there are expected gender roles and any deviation from them makes certain people uncomfortable, which often expresses itself as violence, in this male dominated world of ours it is better to err on the side of being too masculine rather than too feminine. It all comes back to patriarchy and the subtle and inherent bias in society toward “maleness”.

    Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 at 8:20am