The average lesbian


Three times. Exactly three times in two weeks, the term average lesbian has cropped up: in a reader’s comments, in a cafe conversation, and in a conversation in the car.

Three things in a row is a signal to obey the law of thinking that says, when three things happen in a row that point to the same thing, look into it and think about it deeply. And that meant I had to ponder, consider, contemplate, muse, ruminate, cogitate and lucid dream deeply. Not only that, I had to follow the bouncing ball of thought so that when I reached a conclusion, I could show how I got to it, show proof that I can follow the scientific method albeit for purely lesbian means and lesbian ends.

My first stop was the dictionary. I needed to level-set my understanding of the term. Average is a mathematical construct, a central tendency of a data set (the middle) and for the most part, not a true thing in the real world when it comes to people and behaviours.

It seemed to me that I would not be thinking hard about math, thank Goddess: math is not my first language. As it happened, the street meaning of the word average tends to be a generic and less deadly way to mean ordinary, usual, or typical or common when describing people and things.

Time to start thinking.

Into lotus position I went and meditated on the concept of average lesbian. Channelled our lesbian ancestors to get their advice and direction. Needing more clarity, I did a head stand, allowing the blood to rush to my head to let me think more deeply. Alas; all that got me was a nosey dog licking my nose.

To gain access to the most current knowledge on the subject, I organized a conference for the world’s leading experts on all things ‘average’ and all things ‘lesbian’; chaired the panel discussions and edited the policy papers that resulted. Not only that, I refereed the fights that broke out. The scratches on my arms are expected to heal soon.

I fell asleep in a room full of books that covered the last 100 years’ worth of thinking and knowledge about women who love women. It was my hope to somehow, magically, soak up the information in those books and come to some conclusion.

I rolled the dice. Consulted the I-Ching, read tarot cards, runes, crystals, drop earrings, divining rods and the planets, consulted voodoo priests and earth witches, and read the aura around the words average lesbian. I made chicken soup. One night, I dreamed a dream where I was the dreamer that dreamed of seeing a streaming LED ticker-tape that read:

“Lesbians may do things that are similar to each other within their tribes, cultural group that seem to place them within the big mass of the boring, middling, mediocre average. And there are things that seem to be stereotypical of lesbians: we’re all comedians. Or if not comedians, we’re serious; overly so. But are stereotypes perceived averages? Or just what gets airplay?”

I went for walks with the dogs. I talked about it with reasonable, smart women I know who are lesbians, in no way average, and typical of little, except being human. Then, I went to the CERN lab where the second experiment recently proved — again — that neutrinos travel faster than the speed of light. That made me happy and gave me an idea.

In my basement lab designed for such things, I replicated the experiment’s set-up in order to go through non-existent time and space so that I could spend 5 minutes with every lesbian on the planet, and a few from other dimensions, (just for fun) and to see if there was a reasonable control group. (There wasn’t.)

I arrived back where I started a week before the time I left, but still came back empty-handed.

Which brings me to today. This morning, in the shower, an answer appeared in a soap-bubble: maybe there’s no such thing as an average, common, ordinary, usual, typical, everyday lesbian.


I said that out loud, not expecting an answer and doubting the absoluteness of the thought.

“Yes, really,” answered the Goddess of Bubbles, adding, “how is a person who is a woman, who is a lesbian, average? Common? Ordinary? Usual? Typical? How is a woman anything but uniquely herself?”

She had a point. Women comprise roughly 51 per cent of the world’s population. That means there are about 3.6 billion women. The numbers alone make me wonder why have not yet achieved equality. But I digress.

If we use the old ratio — one in 10 — that means there are 360 million lesbians on the planet. That number is probably on the high side, but even if there are only 75 million of us and we are all different, what would the average be? And where is she?

If our average lesbian exists, she is elusive. All this thinking and searching has turned out to be the beginning. It gives me enough to work with to develop a hypothesis of what the universal attributes of an average lesbian would be. That project starts tonight when I go to sleep.

Then it’s a waiting game. Immediately following CERN’S third experiment that proves once and for all that neutrinos do travel faster than the speed of light, and we revise our understanding of everything we think we know about the cosmos, time and space, I’m off on my next adventure — searching for the elusive, universal average lesbian – if she exists. Stay tuned for dispatches from the sub-atomic level.

Oh, and here are some of my photos from my first time travel search for the average lesbian. Enjoy!

from the French film, Tomboy

About FS

Toronto, Canada. Writing about slices of life, the moments and minor details of which come into awareness or out of imagination and the spaces inbetween. On hiatus from writing ... at least for now.
This entry was posted in lesbian, lesbian life and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to The average lesbian

  1. terrisitagg says:

    Once again, your meandering mind (quite apart from the analytical scientific one) has struck a chord that is intellegent, significant and humorous. I have yet to meet an “average” anyone, each
    and every person I have had the joy (or horror) to come upon has something unique that distinguishes them from the rest of the herd, despite their similarities. Good luck on your quest. Thank you once again for yet another insightful reflection. Looking very forward to your explorations on a sub-atomic level. Things that make you go “hmmmm”.

    • FS says:

      Dearest T: thank you. I’m going shopping later today for my questing uniforms, one for every day of the month and a few for special occasions — and you know how much I love, cherish and adore shopping. Oh wait: I might be mixing that up with my previous life, the one I refuse to do a past life regression for. I’m still pulling labels out of my hair from what appear to be the many shopping frenzies. We did not have pepper spray back in those days. :-).

      People are interesting, aren’t they? ;-).

  2. tomboy says:

    Ha ha ha (three times-gotta mean something!), very enjoyable. I know the sum total of two lesbians personally, and that includes myself and someone who doesn’t know that I’m one. So, basically, how the hell would I know if there was such thing! I am very glad to hear there are not, as, being a teenager, EVERYBODY tries to be ‘average’ and I am the total opposite in boy’s clothes and short hair. So, I suppose, I half wish there is a group I belong to. Somewhere where I didn’t stick out like a sore thumb and could feel accepted. In my world every person is just a carbon copy of the next person, and I spend my life trying to be true to myself, which is extraordinarily hard as everyone else doesn’t like the fact that I am different (and that I am smarter than them!). But then again if there was an ‘average lesbian’ I would try to be something else as I like being different and I like being myself, and, of course, I would hate to be in love with myself!

    • FS says:

      Dear Tomboy; Thank you — and I’m sure you know that it was your comment that started it all. 🙂

      I think you are extraordinarily courageous to be you, and to be true to you in your world. There is nothing average or common about courageousness, specially when you’re a teenager, living in a fishbowl, with a pressure to conform. It’s my hope for you that at a minimum, you know that there is a place for you, a tribe that’s out there, that accepts you for you. Are you anywhere within calling distance of a gay & lesbian youth hotline..?

      I did a quick search on international gay and lesbian youth…and it turned up things like — honest — International Gay Rodeo, International Square Dance. Good grief. Tell me you are not into square dancing, please. Or rodeo. Poor horses :-(.

      But I digress — again.

      Being smarter than the average bear, seeing things differently than other people do is never easy in our crazy culture. We like the idea of difference, just not the reality, and we don’t want people we know to be different from who we think they should be.

      It sounds as if you’ve a good leg up in the world in that you like being you. That is so cool.

      This is not a gratuitous statement — there is a place for you. There are other people like you. And there are girls, women, who like girls and women who are tomboys, who are smart, and who like themselves. Got patience ? 😉

      • tomboy says:

        Yeah, I realized that I was the “reader”, and I blushed, muttered ‘oops’ and chuckled to myself when I first got it. I was very glad it turned out to be a funny read and not a rant about being angry at people who say that. After thinking a lot about the term, I know that I would be angry at those people. But at the same time there must be an average tomboy for there to be the phrase tomboy. A lot of words about personalities must have been made because there was an average-you can’t really use an internationally known word to describe only one person. However, there certainly are no ‘average lesbians’ as there are lots of those personality terms that divide us up. Do you see what I mean? All very confusing. Oh, and no, I can’t dance to save my life and am far too scared of getting on a horse! And sometimes I don’t have patience it and sometimes I do.

      • FS says:

        Dear Tomboy — Oh there is SUCH a huge discussion here: about word usage, about social psychology, social norms, society, and culture and stereotyping and shortcuts and communication. There might be a stereotypical Tomboy…which might in some people’s mind be synonymous with average.

        SO, are dancing lessons, and meeting horses in the cards for your future..?

      • tomboy says:

        There is no reply (humph) at the bottom, so here is my reply, if you want it or not.
        Ah, yes, the stereotype. That is why for years and years, whenever people asked me whether I was a tomboy, I would always say no as I didn’t like it when people stick a label on you without getting to know you first. But now, being older, there are more important questions, like are you a man or a woman? Are you straight or are you gay? For me, it helped having a stereotype as I had something to mold myself around. So, I made myself into myself with a little help from the definition of tomboy. I thought that, if there was a word, there were more people like that, so more people like me.
        I would love to learn to dance, as long as I have a good teacher (hint, hint). And I think that horse riding is the ultimate cool butch thing to do.

      • FS says:

        Dear Tomboy; You mean…reply to the reply? Hmm. Sorry about that. A quirk of wordpress, I guess.

        Wow — aren’t people amazing? It’s a bit shocking, isn’t it? I think that people do not take the time to look, because seriously, if you look, you can always tell.

        But people don’t look, because in general, the public is kind of lazy. Consider that they’ll eat all sorts of crap without looking at the labels to find out if what they are about to ingest is healthy or not, or what sort of cancer-causing agents they might want to consider consuming, and yet, they have no qualms about asking for people that don’t fit into a box to drag out a label so they can appease that inner need to categorize. YOu’re right about stereotypes: there are things in our culture that we use as iconic symbols, something to use as a starting point for how we want to — at a minimum — look like, dress like, what attitudes and behaviours to follow. 😉 And it’s everywhere: cars, houses, make-up, music, food, travel, and sexual identity.

        Hmm.. you mean to tell me, that there aren’t dance studios where you are? Where you can learn some of the cool b-boy, hip-hop, street, flow moves? AND: how to slow dance well? A very important skill. Or any horse riding schools? (Western style) to teach you safely and properly? (AND — you’ll know a good teacher, because you will be a good student and say, I am a bit scared of this: a good teacher will say, “well let’s work this together so that you know what you don’t have to be afraid of.”
        Horses are big: having a healthy respect for them is a good thing. 😉

  3. kodamae says:

    Often, words are used without thinking of what they really mean. Thank you for your smart, thoughtful and funny posts. It is always a pleasure to read you. Buona giornata e grazie per le tue belle storie che fanno riflettere, sorridere e emozionare!

    • FS says:

      Dear Kodamae; Grazie mille. 🙂 It’s true about words, isn’t it? Or people and words? Have a lovely rest of the day. Alla prossima!

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  5. bookishbutch says:

    Personally I don’t know any average lesbians only exceptional ones- some are exceptionally beautiful, sexy, smart, articulate, sensual, gifted, giving, astute- some are exceptionally neurotic, annoying, politically correct, uptight, humour challenged etc- all unique, all far from average. But, then again I was never good at Math, just saying:-) You know my dear you’re good for my aging brain cells- you keep me thinking!!

    • FS says:

      Dear BB: OOOh…..does it hurt? To think? Good to know that I am good for brain cells. 😉 I like that. Not everyone…likes that, you know.

      I’m with you: I have been either fortunate or picky or both. Most women I know are remarkable in some way.

  6. Valerie says:

    FS, that is absolutely hilarious ! Thanks for a good laugh …. 😉

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