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: Shervin Lainez.
photo by Kristin Winter
AfterEllen.com: Of the above three definitions of a Lesbro, which do you think describes you
Shervin Lainez: I am a man with more lesbian friends than any other type of friend.
Sometimes I think I would make an amazing lesbian. Mostly because I have many feelings, which I articulate regularly, I love rules and my entire
iTunes library reads like a “women of rock” compilation.
AE: You have lots of relationships with lesbians both professional and personal. What is the best thing about working with and being friends with these women?
SL: On a professional level, being able to photograph some really amazing gay musicians has meant a lot to me. It’s unbelievable to go from listening to an album you love to being in a room with that person creating something.
AE: You have told me that you identify as gay yourself. When did you come out and did you always have a lot of female friends growing up? Did you have a lot of lesbian friends in high school?
I’m not sure if I ever actually “came out.” I dated girls until I was about 21 then I realized I like guys and
should probably stop lying to myself. Every single close friend I had growing up has been female. I have always been incredibly drawn to girls, and as soon as I figured out what a lesbian was, I was hooked.
AE: What stereotype about lesbians have you found to be false?
don’t all play softball, know sign language, have short hair, listen to k.d. lang,
knit, embrace body hair, live in a permanent state of anger, own many cats or
AE: What do you think specifically that draws you towards being friends with lesbians?
SL: I can let my guard down. There is no pressure to be anything other than the giant bag of lame that I actually am. Also, lesbians do not judge me when I order that second round of dessert.
AE: How have your boyfriends responded to your close relationships with
SL: Passive-aggression, jealously and a pinch of admiration for good measure. I have to be honest … I haven’t had that many boyfriends. I’m sure that is mostly because of me and not guys I’ve met. I guess the negativity I have experienced has been directly related to the mild-obsession I have with girls and photographing them. That would make any boyfriend hostile, you know? I meet a lot of gay photographers who want to shoot shirtless guys, and more power to them. But I have very little interest in doing that. I see real beauty in women and I have no problem with that getting in the way of my personal relationships.
AE: Who are your favorite lesbian/bi artists?
SL: Holly Miranda, Kaki King, Tegan and Sara, Annie Leibovitz, Le Tigre, Sleater Kinney, and Laura Nyro.
AE: You told me that your new goal in life was to be a featured Lesbro, can you tell our readers why you love this column so much?
SL: I’ve been reading the Lesbro column for a while now and I loved the idea of going against the myth that lesbians and gay guys don’t get along. It’s simply not true.
Actually, gay girls have served for much of my inspiration for the last few years. It’s kind of unexplainable how I ended up with so many in my life. But it happened naturally and I love it.
I also like the fact that lesbians seem to not relate to me exclusively as a “gay guy.” In an interesting way, I find that straight people have a tendency to categorize as their “gay friend Shervin who takes pictures,” whereas lesbians focus less on that and more on actually getting to know me. (I’m aware that this is a generalization, but what the hell.)