1971: “What Gay Women Wear” [Part 3, final]

Continued from last post…

“A lot of gay women,” says Michelle, “would like to change, but they don’t know what to do.  They don’t know how to dress in the first place, so they go down to Macy’s and buy a pantsuit.  Ugh.  I like a woman to look natural.  Her clothes should suit who she is and how she feels.”

For her part, Susan Ellard doesn’t dig “anything that makes women look weak– frills, flimsy fabric, high heels she can’t walk in.”  Feminine (or at least what the word has come to mean) is a negative concept.  “It’s been used against me too much,” Susan explains.  “Like: ‘Why can’t you be more feminine?'”

To Dixie, feminine is “like some super-Nellie queen posing and drooping.  That’s not what a woman is.  It’s just what he thinks a woman is.”

The new emphasis on womanliness makes it increasingly difficult for gay women to recognize each other, a source of frustration.

“You just can’t tell who’s gay anymore,” Jill laments, “It used to be you could tell a dyke by her hair.  A lot of European gay people wear pinkie rings.”  Jill keeps her hair short and likes short hair on other women.

“There ought to be a law,” says Susan Walsh, “that gay people have to identify themselves in some way.”

Wanda is doing her part.  She wears her Odd Fellows button just about everywhere. ~~


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