29 Slightly Melodramatic Fears and Insecurities of a Baby Dyke

1. I’ll never be good at oral sex.
2. Gaycation won’t get renewed for a third season.
3. All the lesbians in my town are friends and hang out together at lesbian bars and events that I don’t know exist.
4. I’ll always be terrified of approaching and talking to women.
5. It’s because of unchecked misogyny that I prefer being labelled ‘gay’ over ‘lesbian’.
6. I’ll never go to Dinah Shore.
7. My next workplace won’t be as gay-friendly as my current one.
8. I’ll never get over being stared at in the street when hand-in-hand with another woman.
9. There aren’t as many hairy, feminist lesbians as I was led to believe.
10. My mother will never cease to express her disappointment in having a daughter that is more like a son.
11. I’ll never feel properly represented in the LGBT community as a gay WOC.
12. Ellen Page will continue to date Emma Portner and post those fucking dancing videos on her Instagram.
13. I’ll never have a group of lesbian friends.
14. I’ll never have one lesbian friend.
15. I’ll always feel disconnected from my family on some level because they’re all straight.
16. No woman over 30 will want to date someone as inexperienced as me.
17. Missy Elliott will never come out and be the legendary butch icon we need.
18. The lesbian scene was way better in the 90’s.
19. Strap-ons and dildos will never feel good to me.
20. I’ll U-Haul into every relationship I’m in.
21. I’ll never find a woman with a sex drive as high as mine.
22. The Her app is really all there is.
23. My father will never really acknowledge my being gay.
24. I’ll never find a butch lesbian who doesn’t prefer femmes.
25. I’m too lazy for lesbian sex.
26. There’ll never be another black lesbian movie as good as Pariah.
27. There’ll never be another black lesbian movie.
28. Portia and Ellen will eventually break up.
29. I’ll never feel like a real lesbian because I came out at 26.

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Zo Watt

Zo Watt is your gay aunt’s favorite zinester from Down Under. Her hobbies include counting the number of talking POC in Hollywood films, flaunting her hairy armpits at horrified onlookers abroad the train and eating macaroni and cheeze in bed. Zo hopes to one day sit fourth row centre at The Oscars and publish the novel she has yet to write. Be one of the exclusive few to follow her on Instagram: @zo.watt

Zo has written 1 article for us.


    • As a low-paid public servant, I’ll never have the cash to suavely seduce Rooney Mara. Also, I don’t look like fucking Cate Blanchett.

  1. I said “Oh my god” out loud at #3 (All the lesbians in my town are friends and hang out together at lesbian bars and events that I don’t know exist.) because that is one of my biggest insecurities in the queer girl world, and I’m not even a baby dyke anymore! I was JUST talking about that with someone yesterday. I know they exist and are all hanging out without me :(

    • my corollary to this: my fear that if I have a bad breakup with one lesbian, I’ll be blacklisted by all the queer women in town, who all must be her friend, obviously

      • Oh yeah I absolutely have worried about being blacklisted too for some totally random reason I don’t even know about, because I haven’t broken up with anyone in the scene…

      • Ugh, I have that fear too. Sometimes my social anxiety gets so bad that I’m under the impression that I’m already blacklisted which makes absolutely no sense!

      • had it happen, it was the worst, eventually dated someone else (it did not actually take as long as it seemed at the time) who didn’t even know my ex, mentioned my ex to her ex, who was like, “Oh yeah, everyone thinks she’s the worst.” And life went on, still gay.
        signed, former late-20s baby dyke

  2. 24. I’ll never find a butch lesbian who doesn’t prefer femmes.
    25. I’m too lazy for lesbian sex.

    24 made me feel seen, and 25 made me bark with laughter, because wow lesbian sex is gorgeous and wonderful but so effortful! (Especially if anti-depressants have made you kinda sexually dysfunctional, so it’s actually much harder to try to receive pleasure than it is to make her come)

    I’d also like to offer a couple of sightly melodramatic bisexual fears:
    1. I’ll never break up with my current very lovely boyfriend and then I’ll never get to be with a woman again
    2. That people will see me with this lovely boy and think I’m straight despite my butchliest efforts at queer presentation and my most strenuous swagger

    • I solemnly swear to butch nod/dyke smirk at you on the street while side eyeing your boyfriend (who I’m sure really is uite lovely!)

    • oh boy hard same at medicine-based difficulties. i’ve never heard it put quite like that, but it’s so true that it’s sometimes hardest to receive pleasure. this is something i never would have even thought to worry about as a baby dyke, even! i was all cosmo-style “do i know all the tips and tricks to keep her happy??”

      on a different not, re melodramatic bi fears, my roommate when dating her ex-bf and took the tack of just saying, “oh, you date a lady? cool, i’m bisexual!” which totally worked and was v charming. but seriously, when i see a butch/queer-looking lady with a man, i almost always assume she’s bi/pan/queer, and i think/hope others do too.

  3. I experience all of these and also 30. Are my rainbow hair, 64 queer pop culture pins, graphic tee of Carol 2015 dir. Todd Haynes, and snapback that says ‘G A Y’ too low-key?

  4. unpopular opinion: Ellen Page and Emma Portner are the modern dance weirdo queers that I ALWAYS WANTED AND NEEDED. And it’s great that queer women are finally gaining some representation in the generally heteronormative field of dance!

    • I love them. There are actually more queer women in that field of dance lately than people actually realize. I can name several who are probably known to you if you watch any of the popular dance shows on tv like So You Think You Can Dance, World of Dance, DWTS, etc.

      For example, SYTYCD has had Sasha Mallory, Mollee Gray, Noelle Marsh, Sonya Tayeh and a few more I can’t remember off the top of my head right now. They are all contemporary dancers who work consistently in the dance world. Sasha was just in Kelly Clarkson’s AMA performance in this week.

      • I bellydance and often feel like it’s all straight women. But then I got the chance to meet and study with Jill Parker, who basically founded tribal fusion belly dance, and she’s out. Since then, I’ve met a few other queer bellydancers in variety of styles and it’s been pretty awesome.

        • Fwiw, burlesque (which occasionally has some overlap with bellydancing) is *super* queer, at least here in the Southwest US. At my studio I think there are more queer women than straight ones.

    • @ Zo, no need to feel bad! My queer little dancer heart grew three sizes when I found out that Ellen was dating a dancer, but I get that dance vids on instagram are not to everyone’s taste. :)

      By the way, thank you for the awesome article!!!

      @ Gem, I definitely didn’t mean to shame anyone for disliking modern dance. Art is subjective, I totally support the right of the viewer to dislike a piece of dance for any given reason, etc. It’s also worth noting that Emma Portner’s dance aesthetic is only representative of a tiny fraction of what one might call “modern dance.”

    • Yeah, I second the swollen queer dancer heart thing and just want someone to make collaborative videos with

  5. Have you been talking to my therapist? I think that’s a breach of Lesbian/Lesbian confidentiality

  6. 24 was the source of my constant laments in night clubs.

    (side note: I ended up with my very own swoon-worthy lady knight and regularly threaten to buy her an axe so that I can watch her split firewood even though we live in a city an have no fireplace.)

  7. Hi Zo, this is great. I look forward to seeing more of your work.

    Re #29:
    For previous generations, coming out at 26 was often considered early. Ellen Page herself came out at 26. Just this week, noted Person We All Had A Feeling About, Rutina Wesley, came out, and she’s in her late 30s. People who think coming out ‘later’ is a problem need to be schooled. There is no expiration date on coming out, and every time someone does, at any age, it ought to be welcomed as joyful news. It’s never too late to pull up a seat at the lesbian table and reminisce about where you were when Sara Ramirez shared that one picture.

  8. omg I got anxiety just reading this. And yet also feel better. This is so real and I so appreciate your vulnerability in sharing this and the affirmation that comes to all of us reading this (and I guarantee there is not one person who isn’t worried about something on this list) and knowing we are not the only one!

  9. 24. I’ll never find a butch lesbian who doesn’t prefer femmes.

    OH HEY IT’S MY ONE OF MY BIGGEST DATING INSECURITIES (also just in general: I’ll never find ANYBODY interested in my masculine of center presentation because in my area even the femmes prefer femmes. Same for nonbinary folks and dudes and like ????? why is this a thing what is it about this area that literally E V E R Y O N E prefers femmes). Are you reading my mind Zo????

    • I think the advertising for lesbian events only makes this worse by only showing femmes in their ads. I remember there was a club in NYC that I was too intimidated to go to, back in the day, because someone told me it was mostly just femmes looking for other femmes.

    • I am femme and definitely prefer less-than-femme folks but I have such a hard time meeting anyone but femmes!

    • Hollis, I am so with you on that. Every straight man I’ve dated wanted me to look and dress more femme and then when I realised I was gay I was like “Yes, leaving the heteronormative gender roles and beauty standards of the straight world behind. Acceptance in the queer community here I come!” And then my first (and only) girlfriend told me in no uncertain terms that she wasn’t 100% attracted to me as she prefers femme women and I was devastated. I honestly thought these rigid notions of beauty only existed in the straight world.

  10. I didn’t know any gay people growing up, so I felt like the only one, and when I got my first girlfriend in college, I considered it a miracle. When she dumped me, I was legit worried I would never be loved again (not that I was unloveable, rather that there were just too gay ladies in the world to ever connect with another). Fifteen years, and several long, meaningful relationships later, my fears seem so silly, but, MAN, the heteronormative patriarchy had me convinced!

  11. I feel so much of this as a baby dyke who came out at 34. I know it’s never too late to come out (thank you @donnamartingraduates for your kind comment above), but for me it’s been a big readjustment of my identity, priorities, and goals during a time of life when most people are settling down. Also I feel old and uncool and too straight-passing when I try to enter queer spaces. This in-between of my old life and new is not a super fun place. I hope it gets better soon!

    • I have those feels, too. I basically came out at 29 by stumbling upon a long-term relationship with another woman. Now that it’s over and I’m in my mid-thirties and trying to date women for real for the first time, it’s intimidating.
      I am envious of people who came out in college and got to establish their identities while coming of age in general.

  12. I’m not sure if I want to laugh nervously because I can relate or because I’m terrified. Oh, and you should try coming out in your late-40’s. Magnify everything by a factor of 11.

  13. That being extremely introverted and also sober means I will never organically make any lesbian friends (or straight friends tbh) / that I will never actually hang out with anyone ever again, but not in a cool emily Dickinson way bc I don’t have the stamina for letter writing

  14. That I might die alone but, also, that I might actually really enjoy dying alone. Like, that I might 100% prefer it

  15. (That I WON’T die alone & imstead go full white picket but she won’t like my parrot & I’ll have to give him away AND THEN SHE WILL GET A CAT THAT I HATE: THE ULTIMATE BETRAYAL.)

  16. That I won’t die alone but will also never have the means to live beside my spouse in adjoining houses like Tim Burton & Helena Bonham Carter before they split up (?) and also she has opinions about interior design

    That I’ll get married and be forced by law & convention attend my owm wedding

  17. Feeling so seen by all of the above.

    And adding, “That no woman will want to date a baby dyke with kids” – this is maybe my biggest fear, y’all.

  18. The the stereotype abt lesbians being Dog People was a lie and everyone actually likes sharing their homes / lives / hearts with cats (MONSTERS) and I’ll be pet incompatible with everyone forever

    • I feel like we should make that pet compatibility based dating app for queer women that they joked about because the cat/dog struggle is real.

  19. I have this weird anxiety that femmes won’t like me because I don’t act butch enough and other butches won’t like me because they prefer femmes.

  20. I’m just going “at” this at everybody

    because I remember being a smol nearly literally baby bisexual realising oh wait not everyone like-likes women and then an avalanche of THINGS over time.

  21. Yeah, I second the swollen queer dancer heart thing and just want someone to make collaborative videos with

  22. I am fascinated by all the experiences about femmes vs. moc peeps. When I came out in 1999 (in London), every queer place I went to I was the only person with what’s considered a femme look, and I felt SO UNCOMFORTABLE all the time, and unwelcome.

    I really wish we could just get to the everyone feeling comfortable/welcome whatever their presentation already. Damn, you’re all so beautiful, and should all be and feel celebrated.

  23. 31. That I will never stop feeling a bit like a babydyke (it’s been five years!! Let me LIVE, brain!)

        • Always say that you wish you were a Bette but realistically you’re more of an Alice. Never say Jenny or Shane.

          If you really can’t bring yourself to watch the L Word, you should get by fine if you:

          -offer general trash talk the theme song, the final season, and Ilene Chaiken
          -lament the erasure of Alice’s bisexuality
          -suggest that Dana’s cat, Mr Piddles, may have been murdered
          -point out that Shane’s fashion sense has not aged well (that leather vest really hasn’t)

      • Umm so I watched like 7 episodes at most of the L word back in college and not only skated by for YEARS without having seen the whole thing (and being able to make/understand references based on the general internet zeitgeist), but also came to believe my own ~lie and literally DID NOT KNOW that I never finished watching it until like a month ago when my friends were watching an ep from Season 2 at my house and I was like….wow I have never seen this episode before in my life.

  24. Oh my, I’m crying right now

    100. Feeling that because I don’t want to date right now to take time for myself makes me less gay
    101. People will use my self-doubt as doubt of my sexuality.
    102. All those crushes on boys that looked like soft butches make me not gay
    103. There will be a panel with everyone I ever slept with after I come out where I must explain myself
    104. Overgeneralization of sexual experiences: I wasn’t into sex with that one woman, so does that mean I’m wrong about liking women????
    105. That there won’t be as much fan fare when I come out to people as I want

  25. Know what I hate about being a baby dyke at 24? Like I missed everything, I’m already super far behind in life and the girls I’ve talked too all seemed to have explored their sexuality and KNEW since they were literal babies. Then there’s me, all by myself and wondering how the hell do I put myself out there for anything gay really.

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