The trusty website, UrbanDictionary.com, has several definitions for the term lesbro:
1. A man who has more friendships with lesbians than other women or men.
2. The male equivalent of a fag hag.
3. A heterosexual man who is either one or both of the following: a brother to one or more lesbian sisters, or, friends with a disproportionate amount of homosexual women. “Wow, your brother really only hangs out with gay girls, doesn’t he! And you’re a big gay yourself, sister! What a lesbro you’ve got there!”
To us, a lesbro is a little bit of all, but at his core, a lesbro is a male friend to at least one, but possibly several, lesbians. This column shares a little bit about some famous lesbros that we love.
This week’s Lesbro: Ian Harvie.
Photo by Kevin Neales
Ian Harvie is an FTM transgender comic who, put in context, make his anecdotes about his own phobia of public restrooms all the more side-splitting. Ian’s performance makes you think and wonder but, most importantly, it makes you laugh.
AfterEllen.com: Of the above three definitions of Lesbro, which do you think describes you best?
Ian Harvie: I would say number 1.
AE: Do you think that having lesbian friends has anything to do with where you fall on the Kinsey scale? Do you identify as a completely hetero male or would you say that you are somewhere in the middle of the Kinsey scale?
IH: Kinsey was great for his time, but I’m queer and I’m a trans man. He doesn’t cover that s–t. So, I’m a man but not male, and definitely not hetero. I mean, I love hetero folks but don’t identify as one.
AE: What stereotype about lesbians have you found to be false?
IH:That butches are tougher than femmes. I know from first hand experience.
AE: What do you think it is specifically that draws you toward being friends with lesbians?
IH: My particular fave denomination of lesbian culture is in the butch/femme community. I’m drawn to butches. It feels like a shared experience thing and has potential to become a mutual adoration thing. You know, where you’re excited to meet someone who gets it. Like a couple of pups at the dog park sniffin’ each other up, prancing around, but then playing really hard.
With femmes — well, that’s obvious. Femmes are nearly always amazing and often “get” butches in ways they sometimes don’t even get themselves. They’re the Jedis of the queer female culture to me.
AE: How have your girlfriends responded to your friendships with lesbians?
IH:My girlfriend gets excited for me and can see the child like excitement I get when I make a new butch buddy. Its the same excitement that a kid gets when they’ve made a friend at school and comes home and can’t stop jabbering on about their new BFF. She’s genuinely happy for me and all the queers I meet and make friends with.
AE: How does your girlfriend identify?
IH:I know she’s not straight or hetero, but other than that you’d have to ask her how she identifies, I’ve heard her say she’s “queer of some sort.” Maybe interview her next.
AE: Maybe I will — she is super-awesome!
You are directing the Maine Comedy Festival in August , which looks to be an amazing event! Do you find that your audience is primarily queer? Do you find yourself catering to the LGBT community?
IH: Most audiences are non-queer and I cater my material to no one, really. I do the same jokes for any type of audience. To me, our first identity is human and we all share the human experience, we can all find something to relate to with one another. That’s what I draw from when I write comedy.
AE: Who do you think laughs at your jokes the most? Who is your target audience?
AE: Ha! I laughed through your entire set, guess I am a genius! So tell me about your dating website, www.ftmlover.com, that you are developing?
IH:I figured it was high time someone created a connection site for FTM and trans masculine guys and the folks who truly adore them, so that’s what I did. Plus it’s a modern take for an online dating site; we have many new genders/identities and relationship styles to choose from. There’s no shame in being who you are and wanting long-term romance or a straight up hookup. No shame.
There’s no judgement on FTMLover.com. In an effort to create safe online space, we have a zero tolerance policy for hate speech. We FTM and trans guys deserve love and adoration just like anyone else does. If you love to date guys like me, now you know where to find us!
AE: Right now there is a huge push in the trans-community for better healthcare, as there should be, do you think that the fight for marriage equality is overshadowing the healthcare movement? Or do you feel that one fight helps the other?
IH:I think the push during the last several decades has been for equality, not just marriage equality. We want equality across the board; for marriage, healthcare, jobs security, and housing. All folks in the LGB and T community are directly impacted by these all of these subjects. Everyone in the community should at least believe in, if not also fight for equality for all of members of the queer family. No letter in the queer alphabet should be left to be picked up at a later date. The push for these individual items may fluctuate based on what can be done now, but there’s room for all of these agendas to be happening at the same time.
I think its divisive to say that one issue is more important than another, just as it would be to say that the G is more important than the LB or T. It’s about legislating equality in all aspects of human and civil rights. We have the focus, organization, and drive to get it all done. The order in which the fruits of our labors are realized will differ, and we will all likely feel impatient at times; but we will get it all done, this I’m certain of.
Visit IanHarvie.com for more on Ian and his work.