You know you are a lesbian in your 30s when…


The very wise Britney Spears once eloquently sang, “I’m not a girl, not yet a woman.” Gurl, I can relate. Even as I sail through my 30s at a breakneck speed, I can’t help but feel caught between two worlds.

I know I’m not alone in this. Older queer women—well, fuck it—older women,  period, are often put in a position where we are slowly being pushed out of spaces we once occupied. It’s a disorienting feeling, especially when you don’t feel like all that much has changed inside you, but the rest of the world can’t help but remind you. And frankly, being in your 30s isn’t even that old!

But don’t get me wrong: Your thirties are an amazing time! Anyone who has reached this pinnacle can tell you, it also comes with a lot more self-awareness, confidence and much less shit-taking. For my queer ladies in their 30s, I salute you. I am one of you.

Here are some telltale ways you know you are a lesbian in your 30s.

1. You actually called women, and still do


And talk to them and everything! Like with real words and voices! Texting is great and we all do it, but there was a special thrill to dialing someone’s number you snagged at a bar and hoping they pick up.

2. You went to lesbian bars…god rest their souls


Before Tinder, there were lesbian bars. Man, I miss them. You were once forced to make bad decisions in person, while mentally swiping left or right based on chemistry or conversation. Sometimes you met a real peach of a lady and danced the night away. Other nights, well, you cried quietly in the corner to an Indigo Girls song.

3. You spent hours at Blockbuster Video searching for movies with lesbians


Aaaaand they usually died. Holy shit, it was really bleak for lesbian characters in the 90s. We went from being evil to just sad and tragic. Thankfully the millennials don’t have to live in a world where only one queer film comes out a year, and the lead launches herself off a roof pretending to be a hawk.

4. You’ve heard the phrase “lesbian chic” all too often


Remember when being a lesbian or bisexual was “cool”? Ha, it still is! But seriously, lesbian chic was just a nonsense term we heard all too often to make being queer more palatable to the mass market. Thank god it’s dead—hopefully.

5. You liked Tegan and Sara before they were friends with Taylor Swift


Remember This Business of Art? Of course you do. You probably had it on CD and sang it in the car on the way to Lilith Fair. You also rock out to Hearthrob on your iPhone. The medium may have changed, but your love for these perfect Canadians remain the same.

6. The L Word changed your life


It’s easy to forget with so many amazing queer characters on TV now, that this is still a relatively new phenomenon. Many of us grew up without anything like Emily Fields or Santana Lopez. When The L Word debuted in 2004, it was massively important and the first time many of us had access to queer female characters. You don’t have to forgive Ilene Chaiken for killing off Dana (or Shenny), but you do have to acknowledge our world would be a different place without that show.

7. You are secretly thrilled that flannel and Birkenstocks came back in style


Because that shit is comfortable and you can embrace comfort in your 30s.

8. You sometimes identify more with the parents on Pretty Little Liars than the Liars themselves


Always has a box of wine nearby. Has no idea who A is either. Hero.

9. You’ve come to embrace being a cat mom


Contrary to what television and movies would have you believe, not all lesbians and bisexual women want to have kids. Sometimes being a pet parent is fulfilling enough. You’re also old enough not to give a shit when people sweat you about having babies of the human variety.

10. You know older women are sexy as hell


It’s tough getting older in a society that values youth above all else. But a great thing about getting older yourself, if realizing that maturity, and experience (yassss) is super sexy. Being uber focused on the age of your partner or bed mate is pointless when the conversation is just as stimulating as the rest of it.

11. You’ve been through a lot and come out stronger for it


You are a grown up, and sometimes it’s no fun but you’ve earned the chance to revel in it. You’ve been through DADT, DOMA, growing up knowing that just because the world didn’t always view you as equal, that you sure as hell were in your heart. There weren’t a ton of voices to guide us through the early years, so we learned to raise our voices instead. You may have to moisturize a lot more, and sometimes your knees crack, and maybe you wish you had the energy you did in your early 20s, but what you’ve gained through growing up is priceless. 

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