My Christmas Ornaments, Ranked by Lesbianism

It was recently brought to my attention that our Christmas tree is “very gay” and apparently not JUST because of the DIY Cate Blanchett ornament on it. One of my favorite things about starting to do Christmas was my now-fiancée was merging our ornament collections — a strange mix of childhood trinkets, inherited retro family pieces including some crafted by my mother, and gifts we’ve both received through the years. Now, we’ve started collecting some together, too. We’re in the market for tomato ornaments in honor of our new cat Timmy Tomato, so let me know if you see any cute ones.

16. Owl

an owl ornament

Owls are the most lesbian bird of prey imo.

15. Hot Dog

a shiny hot dog ornament

Admittedly the most lesbian thing about this one is that I am a lesbian and I love hot dogs, but we’re rolling with it. I really, really love hot dogs!

14. Hedgehog in Hat

a hedgehog ornament with a santa hat

That’s a queer elder.

13. Dorinda Shouting I MADE IT NICE

a Dorinda Medley ornament that says I MADE IT NICE

This one’s for the Bravo Dykes. Dorinda’s iconic “I MADE IT NICE” moment is very relatable to me, a lesbian aspiring dream hostess of elaborate dinner parties.

12. Two Luanns

two ornaments of Luann de Lesseps saying DON'T BE ALL UNCOOL

Luann de Lesseps may be “straight,” but I think TWO LuAnns makes it gay. (I was gifted the same ornament by two different people.)

11. Santa Topper

A glass Santa tree topper

The Santa on top of our tree is a distinguished butch top.

10. Garlic

a garlic ornament

The most important ingredient in my lesbian kitchen.

9. Cate Blanchett

Cate Blanchett on Porter Magazine as an ornament

Listen, she gets docked some points for not being gay but rather a straight who loves to play gay, but the ornament earns some points back due to its origin story: I made it for my ex after we saw Carol but then reclaimed it in the breakup as my own.

8. Groundhog in Scarf

a groundhog ornament wearing a red and black scarf

This is a dyke who lives in the Midwest. She knows how to split wood and play cribbage.

7. Glitter Tow Truck

a glitter tow truck ornament

This belongs to the glitter-loving butch you know who loves to help out their friends in style. They also have a custom neon-colored tool box.

6. Princess Leia

a Princess Leia ornament

The gayest part of this ornament is that I bought it for myself when I was a teen and was obsessed with it, displaying it year-round in my room. In many ways, closeted me was the gayest version of me.

5. Assorted Photo Ornaments of Me and My Fiancée and Our Dog

The author Kayla and her fiancee Kristen posing in front of Christmas trees with the french bulldog Lola

Sorry to be CORNY and IN LOVE but I order a photo ornament every year for my fiancée featuring the pic that also goes on our holiday card this year. I have one for each year we’ve been together except the first because we couldn’t spend Christmas together that year as we were still long distance. It’s always a whole ordeal to snap the pic because we have to get the elderly dog to cooperate, and the lighting in our home never quite seems right, but they turn out cute in the end! We’re not doing a holiday card this year, but I’ll still be ordering one using one of our engagement photos because I want to keep our tradition going.

4. Pregnant Kangaroo Couple

two kangaroo ornaments wearing shirts that say MOM TO BE and DAD TO BE

I do think these MOM TO BE and DAD TO BE kangaroos were intended to be hetero, but they both appear…to have pouches? So I think this might actually be a butch/femme couple carrying each other’s eggs OR two gender-nonconforming parents to be who are wearing the shirts ironically.

3. Tin of Anchovies

a tin of anchovies ornament

I strongly identify as a Tinned Fish Lesbian, and my best friend Becca has been gifting me seafood ornaments lately because she thinks I should have a seafood-themed tree one year. For additional context, my mother is the queen of a specific-themed Christmas tree. One year, she did a “technology tree,” which was decorated with old chargers and other technology devices. I come from a legacy of themed trees.

2. Oyster

a glittery oyster ornament

She’s homoerotic; she’s an aphrodisiac; she’s perhaps the most gorgeous ornament I currently own and therefore deserves such a high ranking.

1. The Hotel Room Key from My First Date With My Fiancée

an ornament that says ACE HOTEL NEW YORK 29th AT B'WAY

Yes, our first “date” was in the Manhattan Ace Hotel. It was also our first time meeting in person. I kept the room key because I had a feeling it wouldn’t be the last time we saw her, and I was already sensing a deeper connection. I’m glad I had the instinct to do so, because now I get to have an ornament to permanently celebrate our steamy first weekend together.

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Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya is the managing editor of Autostraddle and a lesbian writer of essays, short stories, and pop culture criticism living in Orlando. She is the assistant managing editor of TriQuarterly, and her short stories appear or are forthcoming in McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Joyland, Catapult, The Offing, and more. Some of her pop culture writing can be found at The A.V. Club, Vulture, The Cut, and others. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram and learn more about her work on her website.

Kayla has written 863 articles for us.


  1. I am still not over how cute this hedgehog/hamster in the flannel gay scarf is. Also this photography??? Is so good????? You are talented (and yes I watched you assemble this post in real time yesterday but I haven’t had a chance to talk about your photography so I will now!)

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