Back in October one of my favorite successful and out lesbians was answering questions via Twitter. Lauren Bedford Russell participated on Showtimes The Real L Word and has since garnered much more visibility in the lesbian community. She is currently travelling with sexy girlfriend Kiyomi Mccloskey and her band Hunter Valentine. Aside from starring on a lesbian reality show, Lauren is also an established jewelry designer, advocate for gay rights, and educator of multiple sclerosis (as she was recently diagnosed with).
I decided to ask Lauren a question that has kind of been on my mind ever since I began discovering my own sexuality and so on. I asked her if it seemed like there are more out gay men than women and she she replied with a “very much so.” While I was in college I kind of noticed that there seemed to be more “out” gay men on campus than out women. Obviously my conservative University located in small town Ohio does not represent every environment, but my observation seems to hold true in the public eye as well. When we hear entertainment news concerning the gay community in terms of engagements, coming out of the closet stories, or scandals, they always seem to be about men.
So I began thinking, is this a true perception? There are a couple of factors that could paint this picture and one of them is due to the fact that men are still the more dominant images in media. Men still dominate news and entertainment allowing them to easier receive exposure on topics other than body image or clothing choices. But this doesn’t account for the gay men who are not celebrities. Another factor could be that female friendships are often more intimate than male friendships, so the line between gay and straight is a bit more blurry.
Another reason why I’m curious about this perception is because to my observations, it seems as though American culture is more comfortable with two women being in relationships than men, promoting an easier transition for women to come out. Maybe it’s possible that there are more lesbians but for some reason they don’t feel the need to come out or fear the process more. I don’t feel as though it’s necessary to “come out” persay, but I think it’s important to embrace ones sexuality and be proud of your attractions.
I wouldn’t have questioned my perception so much, but since a significant figure often socializing in gay environments feels the same way, I thought it was a worthy topic to write about. Obviously there’s no good way to measure the number of out gay men to women, but it would be interesting to know. What do you guys think?