15 Ways To Spot A Lesbian According To Some Really Old Medical Journals

Dell Richards’ book “Lesbian Lists,” published in 1990, contains “a look at lesbian culture, history, and personalities,” through various lists like “19 Lesbian Novelists” and “14 Cult Films With Lesbian Characters.” These lists are both entertaining and educational.

One of the lists is entitled “20 Turn-of-the-Century “Ways to Tell” if a Girl Would Become Gay or if a Woman Was a Lesbian — according to the Medical Journals of the Day.” The list offers an opportunity for us to look back on the silly assholes of Medical History who sought to quell the viral nature of young madiens’ ripe homosexuality by educating the public regarding how to spot lesbians and subsequently convert or destroy them. You never know when a lesbian is in your neighborhood, driving their car down your street, or shopping next to you at the grocery store.

We have selected 15 of the items from this list to share with you today and have illustrated these items with helpful photographs. As you can see, they were clearly completely right about everything and In parentheses you will find the year in which the cited medical journal was printed.

15 Turn-of-the-Century “Ways to Tell” if a Girl Would Become Gay or if a Woman Was a Lesbian — According to the Medical Journals of the Day

(via Lesbian Lists: a look at lesbian culture, history, and personalities by Dell Richards, 1990)

1. Smokes cigarettes in public. (1890)

confirmed lesbian julie goldman smoking cigarettes at poolside


2. Has a capacity for athletics and an incapacity for needlework and other domestic occupations. (1890)

natasha kai, confirmed lesbian with athletic capacities, screams “I hate needlepoint” on a soccer field


3. “Tomboy Habits” (1895)

autostraddle editor-in-chief riese’s girlfriend (a confirmed homosexual) participating in carpentry, a certified tomboy habit


4. Dresses in Boys’ Clothing (1895)

kim stolz, confirmed lesbian, wearing boys’ clothing on a reality television program. after the program, she continued to wear boys’ clothing in other contexts while romancing women of the same sex.


5. Abandons Dolls and Girlfriends for Marbles and Masculine Games (1895)

although these women may not be have been lesbians before this photograph was captured, this riveting game of marbles will surely transform them into lesbians


6. Prefers the Laboratory to the Nursery (1900)

fictional confirmed lesbian lexy is a doctor on the television program “Lip Service,” which requires the laboratory. furthermore, she does not have children or a nursery.


7. Goes to Bars (1900)

“gimme sugar” was a reality television program about lesbians who went to bars and also worked in bars, and yelled at each other.


8. Is Anti-Social (1900)

we are confident that there is a lesbian hiding behind this book

9. Has a firmness to her walk, a long step, and a rather heavy timbre to her voice. (1900)

kd lang, actual lesbian, records musical cds featuring her timbered voice


10. Talks loud and uses slang. (1900)

in this picture, confirmed lesbian sandra bernhard is swearing loudly using slang, probably slang for a vagina


11. Has no breasts to speak of (1900)

shane, confirmed lesbian, is not speaking of her breasts


12. Is square-shouldered and solid (1900)

skyler cooper has shoulders for days, likes girls


13. Has a strong, self-assured look in her eye (1910)

jessica clark, confirmed lesbian, is seducing you with her eyeballs

lesbian jenny shimizu seduced angelina jolie with these eyeballs


14. Shows mental arrogance and is abnormally deficient in natural female shyness (1910)

this photograph is self-explanatory


15. Has intellectual attributes usually associated with men – an acuteness of comprehension and lucid objectivity (1910)

confirmed lesbian rachel maddow hosts an acute and lucid television program

In conclusion, it would seem that the doctors of the 19th century were 100% correct when they made these scientific determinations. I wish you all luck in identifying and executing lesbians in your neighborhood as you see fit.


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Riese is the 35-year-old CEO, CFO and Editor-in-Chief of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 2471 articles for us.