What to Say to Someone Who Met a Lesbian

A couple of weeks ago, Laneia posted a list of search phrases that led people to us here at Autostraddle, the largest independent LGBTQ women’s news and entertainment site in the world, and – given how advanced the species that inhabit our surrounding galaxies are and how little use they would have for a website dedicated to the goings-on of a group of people who have been marked by their sexuality or gender – presumably the entire universe. Many of them were an enlightening, if not sobering, look into the human mind. For example, surely in a moment of desperation, we know that someone posed to the internet the phrase “things orange” before landing on this very site. Ouch. But also: god bless the broken road.

Along a similar, more relevant path to the person who asked “can you walk around in public with we vibe in pussy” was a person who wanted to know “what to say to someone who met a lesbian”, which I find not just haunting, but multilayered. Ultimately, what does anyone say to someone who’s just met anyone? More to the point: what does anyone say to anyone? The other day I overheard a guy ask the cashier at the grocery store if she was having “fun today.” Hello? We are all searching and failing.

Despite the unifying nature of this question’s root and the tailored subject matter, to this person’s probable dismay, the answer wasn’t here on Autostraddle, the largest independent LGBT news and entertainment site in the universe.

Until now.

Stop wandering, friend, and rest your weary eyes. I’m here to tell you what to say to someone who met a lesbian.

Before diving in, I asked for clarification on the angle: Was I talking to someone who met a lesbian, or was I talking to someone who knew someone who met a lesbian? It was no matter; I would do both, because I am nothing if not thorough when the time permits and I’m adequately hydrated and also I’m feeling the vibe in or around the pussy.

Let’s begin.

What to Say to Someone Who Met a Lesbian (Directly)

  • Congratulations! (etc.)
  • A rare find!
  • Three weeks to however-long-it-takes-your-lesbian-to-overinvest-emotionally of good luck!
  • Eat your heart out, Oprah!  (this one can really be applied to any situation, because it’s sort of like you’re saying you have something on Oprah, which you don’t, and as if you could ever, and plus it just seems like a fun thing to say )
  • Blessed image!
  • Wait, where are they? No reason.
  • Was it [redacted pop singer]?
  • Boom-boom-boom, a-let me hear you say way-o!
  • I’m smashing the like!
  • What’s your address? I’d like to send you a card.
  • Are you staying hydrated?
  • You can take that to the bank!
  • Mr./Mrs./Ms./Mx. luck over here! Gotta get me some of that. (you can laugh here)
  • Are you Paulie Walnuts from The Sopranos because HOOOOOO!

Advice for What to Say to Someone Who Met a Lesbian (Indirectly)

  • Greet them with various felicitations – ones you’re comfortable with. Don’t step too far out of your “vibe” as that will be unsettling, which is the opposite of what we’re going for here.
  • Remark on its scarcity.
  • Tailor your affirmation of this blessing to the topic at hand.
  • Literally make up a phrase as if it is an old saying that people use frequently. Have fun here!
  • Employ the kind of vernacular that has become a part of our modern daily lives to express joy.
  • Ask a cryptic question and then clarify it’s for no reason.
  • Out someone famous!
  • Song lyric.
  • Put your own spin on the vernacular that has become a part of our modern daily lives to express joy.
  • Another mysterious question that involves that person’s home address as an indication of good things to come.
  • Express concern for their should-be excited physical state.
  • Throw in a rogue actual saying that people use frequently that may or may not totally apply.
  • Assert its fortuitous nature; wish aloud you could get some of that.
  • Reference an old HBO TV show that probably not a lot of people under 30 have watched.

Good luck out there!

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Los Angeles based writer. Let's keep it clean out there!

Erin has written 208 articles for us.


  1. Erin, any time you post something (but especially when it’s under Fake News) I get the urge to propose. Then I remember I don’t want to get married. Then I reread a line like “I am nothing if not thorough when the time permits and I’m adequately hydrated and also I’m feeling the vibe in or around the pussy” or “Literally make up a phrase as if it is an old saying that people use frequently. Have fun here!” and the cycle continues.

  2. Just tell the person who has met a lesbian to take their shirt off and give the lesbian a friendly high five/hug.

  3. I met a lesbian (or bisexual or pansexual – how does one really know) once, and to date it is one of my favourite moments from that dark period in my life.

    I was a 17 year old metalhead, visiting a goth synthpop club that rarely carded anyone with my emotionally and sexually abusive boyfriend of over a year. I had barely made my way through the crowd by the entrance, when my crush from junior high came bouncing up to me for a drunken and over-enthusiastic hug. She was wearing the tightest PVC skirt and her nipples, barely covered by black electric tape, were definitely not contained in any way by her fishnet top. It was a confusing moment for me, which became even more confusing as my boyfriend pulled me over to the bar so that he could talk to a friend of his. The friend introduced my boyfriend to a magnificent “high goth” woman, who completely ignored the piece of shit I was dating and stretched out her hand with elven grace towards me and said … “And who is this lovely creature?”, and every time my boyfriend tried to speak to her she acted as if he did not even exist, and I deeply wished I could do the same.

    I met a lesbian (maybe). Feel free to practice your responses on me. Eat your heart out, Oprah!

    • Wow. The moral I’m left with is be the lesbian you wish to see in the world. I aspire to ignore men with a similar panache, today and every day.

  4. “The other day I overheard a guy ask the cashier at the grocery store if she was having ‘fun today.'”

    Recently I was in the grocery store buying some meat for the dogs I was dogsitting and the cashier excitedly asked me what I was having for dinner. I just said, “Um, not that.”

    I’m a great conversationalist!

    • I must look unpleasant to chat with. All cashiers ever ask me is “Excuse me, what’s this?”

      The answer is usually “a rutabaga”.

      • “Why this little baby is the love child of a cabbage and a turnip. Love is love, know what I’m saying ?”

      • I don’t think I look particularly pleasant to chat with either. In fact, just based on my facial expression, I’ve actually had random people ask me if everything was ok when I was actually having a perfectly fine day. But I also live in the Southern United States and a lot of people here are really into casually chatting with strangers.

    • I think asking about having fun is a solid question if you slow down to think about it, and that ‘not dog food’ is a good start to ‘what’s for dinner?’, but I am a known grocery checkout conversation dork. It’s such a strange setup- you have, say, 45 to 180 seconds of interaction with a person who you probably don’t know at all. What are you going to do with that time to acknowledge that you’re two human beings, to transcend the merely transactional? The possibilities are endless. It’s usually weird. It is wonderful.

      I might tell the next one that I met a lesbian and see what happens.

  5. My favorite thing is that I always know a post is an Erin post just by the headline. Thanks for being you. <3

  6. I was trying to come up with a witty saying using ” A bird in the bush…” and “vibe”, but whew, it sure is warm in my workspace all of a sudden. So never mind off to the water cooler now…

  7. Y’know, I was having a fine morning. Reading on my phone while I wait for my coffee to brew. And I’m laughing along to this article, imagining myself saying these things to someone. But then, Erin. BUT THEN.

    I had the horrific thought that a straight man might say any of these things to ME and felt a deep and resounding existential horror.

    My point is, we’re all just worrying too much about drinking water and where it’s appropriate to wear vibrating eggs while the world is full of darkness and cis men

    • Ok, especially with the “blessed image!” one, I am picturing like a Tobias Funke type exclaiming it loudly AT ME. “Blessed image! A lesbian! Huzzah!”

      • This question has led me on a deep and introspective adventure through my psyche, mainly because I only very slowly realized I did not actually know what song you were referencing.

        At first, the way-o made me think of day-o which made me think of that scene from Beetlejuice where they’re all dancing around the table to who youtube tells me is Harry Belafonte. When my brain decided no, those lyrics don’t match at all, I thought it was that song Informer with the licky boom boom down. And THEN, i got stuck on the “boom boom” part, which just made me think of that vengaboys song and how it still gives me preteen Feels every time I listen to it.

        Finally I just… looked the song up (what an age we live in!) and felt an immediate and painful pang of nostalgia and regret because there are so many things-SO many things-that should’ve been left in the 90s and honestly, this song is one of them.

        Ultimately, I think the answer to your question is fundamentally unknowable. I mean, we can all talk about what we would do in extreme situations, but do any of us REALLY know what we’d do if a cis man quoted a 90s song that should have been lost to time to us if we haven’t been there?

        Thank you for coming to my TED talk.

  8. This is the best thing I have read today – and I read a lot, too much really! Bless you and your lovely sense of humor.

  9. I’m wondering if this person thinks we have our own language

    Maybe they were looking for a Greek phrasebook and just got really lost

  10. Related question: Could you do a post on what to say to people who claim they know a lesbian, once talked to a lesbian, etc. in an effort to show they aren’t homophobic?
    Oh you’re gay? I think the cashier at my grocery store is too… smh

    • I vote pretend you used to date them and continue doing this until they’re convinced you have literally dated every lesbian they have ever encountered (which, depending on how large of a town you live in, may actually be true).

  11. Here is my fav that I use when it comes up……

    “Really! A real live lesbian?

    Wow you’re lucky. it’s rare to see them out in the wild! They usually stay hidden at independent coffee shops, organic markets and standing right in front of you.

    Right after if the dumbass remembers her name will ask if know her.

    “Well I’ll have to check with my copy of the Lesbian Registry if I don’t I’m sure my Ex will.

  12. I read the search as “How do I talk to some who ***MET** a lesbian, because we’re so irresistible.
    Enigmatic, rare and inscrutable but also irresistible.

    Not exactly contagious, but close.

  13. What I did after reading this:

    1. Laughed out loud
    2. Frantically shared it with all the LGBTQIA people in my contact list
    3. Paused
    4. Frantically shared it with all the straight people in my contact list
    5. Patted myself on the back for a job well done

    • I think the next round of search terms leading to Autostraddle will be very interesting indeed thanks to your public spiritedness.

      Well done !

  14. “They fart in their sleep. A lot.”
    Okay, here’s the thing, I work at a homeless shelter and right now I’m in the last few hours of a double shift, reading everything on Autostraddle, and there are homeless people sleeping and they certainly have been farting, though I can’t actually say “a lot” because that implies that I have some way of determining what is a normal amount of sleep-farting and that homeless people sleep-fart more than that, which I don’t. I don’t know how much or how often anybody farts in their sleep, including myself. Actually, that’s kind of unsettling. I’m single, thank God, and I don’t sleep with anyone except the cats. I may never sleep in the same room with another human being again.
    But if you said that to someone who met a lesbian, like you knew what you were talking about but didn’t want to give away your source, ya know like in a low voice as if you didn’t want anybody to overhear and a little nod with raised eyebrows, they’d believe you. And if you did it enough, it would eventually get back to you. Like someone would tell you that lesbians fart in their sleep. A lot. And that would be very, very gratifying. I know because there’s a guy in my town with the last name “Keane” and I went around for a few years telling people that his grandfather was Bil Keane, the “Family Circus” cartoonist, and then somebody passed that total lie on and it went around until it got back to me and I was like “My work here is done” and I never told anyone that stupid lie again. But I am going to tell people that lesbians fart in their sleep. A lot.

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