Posts tagged ‘closet language’
I’m wondering if there are signs which allow lesbians to recognize each other, such
as wearing something special?
Sure, wear a black triangle, wear a rainbow pin, a labyrus (a two headed axe)
or a lamba (greek letter.)
These are all gay symbols, and one of the best ways to identify yourself to
There’s many websites just a search engine away about various gay symbols and how they came to be associated with gays & lesbians.
Many symbols come from imagery taken from Sappho’s poems and the works of Virgina Woolf and Oscar Wilde.
What all the symbols boil down to is a covert way to identify ourselves to
each other of us in the know.
For example, for a while, because of Oscar Wilde’s story “The Importance of
Being Earnest”, green ties became a code for anyone who was a Friend of Dorothy.
Wearing symbols or working in knowledge of them in a conversation is pretty
much a way to identify yourself to other you think may be gay without putting
yourselves to any non-gay folks around you.
A word of caution though, lots of straight people are familiar with gay
symbols, and sometimes, this can be funny or unfortunate.
I was in charge of hiring a staff person, her resume looked good, she seemed
nice. I said, “About your earring..” (Which was a nice amethyst point (purple).
She cut me off and explained about a female exchange student who stayed with her family one summer, and they bought the earring and each of them had one of them.
It seemed like a very sweet and, from the way she said it, a gay thing. I
casually said that purple was my favorite colour, and she said it was hers too,
but she wasn’t sure why so many women liked purple. It seemed to me that
we were deep in the closet language.
I said, the purple comes from, as far as I know, that Virginia Woolf wrote the
first drafts of all her novels in purple. “That’s where it came from” she said, “I
I hired her, partly because I was sure that she was gay, and partly because her
references were so good.
As it turns out, she had stumbled her way into and through a gay code conversation
and turned out to be a rather homophobic straight chick.
It was kinda funny in hindsight.