Different types of lesbians and lesbian stereotypes have been around for a long time. Butch and femme? You’ve heard of them. It’s a stereotype that says sapphics fall into either lesbian category, depending on their aesthetics and mannerisms.
Today’s lesbians and sapphic people might be less likely to fall into the butch/femme dichotomy. But the stereotypes once served a great purpose. The masculine and hyperfeminine aesthetics of butch and femme stereotypes helped lesbians identify each other in mainstream society. Now, a blend of butch and femme has birthed a new type of lesbian: the “futch” or “stem” (stud + femme).
But of course, lesbian stereotypes and different types of lesbians go much further than the masculine and feminine spectrum of gender expressions. There’s a whole slew of lesbian types. Lesbian categories derive from several things, like aesthetics. Butch and femme lesbian labels certainly gather typing from looks.
Lesbian labels also come from a lesbian’s behaviors. Think U-Haul lesbians. Or a lesbian category can be based on a lesbian’s interests, like cottagecore lesbians or astrology lesbians.
Lesbian types are fun to use and play into. Sometimes they’re even validating, like using the label “lesbian” itself is. Lesbian labels like “dopplebanger” are fun to use simply for the pun itself.
Honestly, taking lesbian stereotypes lightly makes being sapphic fun! We’ve all made U-Haul lesbian jokes and know friends who fall into the stereotype.
Identifying similar characteristics within the community in a way that we can joke about brings us close together. Or even finds us creating deeper connections with other lesbians.
Amongst many types of lesbians, here’s a list of 27 primary lesbian categories.
Types of Lesbians
- Butch Lesbians
Let’s kick off this list of lesbian types with something simple: butch lesbians. You probably have an idea of what a butch lesbian looks like. Big Boo from the lesbian series Orange Is the New Black certainly fits this lesbian stereotype.
Butch lesbians fall into a category of lesbians who fall on the masculine end of the gender expression spectrum. They often wear clothes from the men’s section and adopt traditionally “masculine” roles (like picking up the check on a date).
I wrote a lot about how to look like a butch lesbian in our lesbian fashion article. It delves into butch aesthetics and what their wardrobe collection includes.
- Stud Lesbians
Studs’ aesthetics are similar to how a butch lesbian dresses and acts. The aesthetics are generally identical: masculine clothing, short hair, masc mannerisms, no makeup, etc.
Arguably, studs are more fashionable than butch lesbians. But the lesbian identity “stud” is reserved explicitly for Black lesbians.
Both stud and butch lesbians have masculine gender expressions, but their gender identity is not male. Trans men and boys don’t fall into these lesbian categories.
Most butches and studs identify as women and express gender with masculine clothing and accessories. Some butches and studs may be non-binary and fall into these lesbian labels.
- Lipstick Lesbians
The lipstick lesbian meaning refers to lesbians on the femme side. It’s used interchangeably with “femme lesbians” as a lesbian identity label. When it comes to gender expression, they’re on the feminine end of the spectrum.
As implied by the name, lipstick lesbians wear lipstick and other makeup. As we discussed in our lesbian fashion article, femme lesbians also have an affinity for eye makeup.
The femme lesbian or lipstick lesbian, unfortunately, gets mistaken for a straight woman often. Invisible queerness can be a double-edged sword.
On the one hand, less chance of LGBTQ-based discrimination. On the other, having your identity wrongly assumed by the majority is extremely disheartening.
- Chapstick Lesbians
Unlike the lesbian labels on this types of lesbians list so far, the chapstick lesbian falls in the middle of masculine and feminine gender expressions.
On the masculine end, we have butch and stud lesbians. On the feminine end, we have lipstick lesbians. Chapstick lesbians are the perfect medium between the two.
The chapstick lesbian is also known as the “futch” or “stem.” A fun word comb of femme/butch and stud/femme.
Chapstick lesbians are the best of both worlds: chapstick lesbians blend masc and femme styles in their everyday wear. In our lesbian fashion article, we note how futch lesbians might adopt more masculine clothing while accessorizing with feminine items.
- Trans Lesbians
Transgender lesbians are self-explanatory. They are both transgender and lesbian. Unfortunately, the lesbian community can have a poor reputation for excluding trans women.
Historically, trans-exclusive radical feminists (aka TERFs) have infiltrated lesbian spaces to push a trans-exclusive agenda in the lesbian rights movement.
Most lesbians do not claim this ideology in the slightest. Transgender women who are lesbians have a space in the lesbian community. Trans women are women! Trans lesbians are lesbians!
- Cottagecore Lesbians
Personally, cottagecore lesbians are my favorite types of lesbians. Cottagecore lesbians strive to live off the land. I’m not sure how many real-life cottagecore lesbians exist, but allow me to paint a picture of their dream life:
- Living with their wife in a cottage, hopefully somewhat secluded from others.
- A large and thriving vegetable, fruit, and flower garden. They sew their own seeds. And they pick their own crops.
- Cottagecore lesbians pickle cucumbers, make jam, and only eat their own freshly baked bread. Their dining room table always has a bouquet of fresh-cut flowers.
- The land has at least one beehive.
- They have a chicken coop for eggs and goats for milk. These lesbians might have a sheep to spin their own yarn from. And they obviously know how to knit and crochet and make all their own hats, mittens, rugs, blankets, etc.
Whether or not cottagecore lesbians hit this ideal lifestyle, there’s a certain aesthetic. Photogenic picnic spreads with wine. Floral dresses with pockets and boots. Shoes only when necessary; they prefer to be barefoot. Flowers in their hair. Overalls with a hammer loop. Love it!
- Hippie/Vegan Lesbian
Next on this types of lesbians list are the hippie and vegan lesbians! This lesbian label has some overlap with cottagecore lesbians.
As you can assume, vegan lesbians are vegans. They are dairy, egg, and meat-free, amongst other animal byproducts, like leather. But generally, hippie lesbians connect with nature on a level that cottagecore lesbians also indulge in.
Like hippies from the 60s, hippie lesbians are also in tune with soul, body, and mind connections. Sometimes this means being open to trying different substances. Going to music festivals. Practicing yoga. Meditation. Hiking, biking, climbing, rowing, kayaking.
But vegan and hippie lesbians are also social and communal. You won’t see them isolated from society like cottagecore lesbians.
- U-Haul Lesbian
We’ve all heard the jokes about lesbians “U-Hauling,” every sapphic knows a U-Haul lesbian (or is one). I find this lesbian stereotype particularly hilarious because many of us are so guilty of it.
The name comes from a joke that lesbians move in with each other early in the relationship. U-Haul lesbians have a reputation for falling in love fast. Relationships steamroll through milestones in a matter of days. Hence the U-Haul.
Lesbian relationships have the fast-moving stereotype because women and sapphic people connect fast. We connect on various levels quickly. Platonically, emotionally, romantically, and ടexually. It can span over just one day. A single lesbian date can last weeks and end in a joint lease.
- Power Lesbian
The power lesbian is the lesbian of most sapphic’s fantasies. Power lesbians are often in leadership roles, whether professionally or personally. They’re always dressed to the nines. And this almost exclusively refers to pantsuits. Or at least a blazer.
The millennial generation of sapphics turns to the power lesbian icon Bette Porter. As one of the main characters in The L Word and The L Word: Generation Q, Bette Porter exudes power lesbian energy.
She served in leadership roles at the art gallery she worked at in the original series. She runs for office in the show’s comeback. And she’s always wearing a suit. See also: Lena Luthor and Kat Edison.
- Astrology Lesbian
Sapphics in this lesbian category lean into astrology and the alignment of the stars. Sometimes it’s a joke; sometimes, we take it very seriously. For example, yes, I’ve read entire astrology books cover to cover.
Yes, I ask new acquaintances what their big three signs are upon meeting. And swap co-star info with anyone who has the app. But I promise I won’t run when I hear you have a Mercury in Libra, even if I should.
That being said, astrology lesbians do buy into the whole compatibility thing. I know I get along with earth signs best. And it’s no coincidence that my partner and best friend have near-identical natal charts. It’s a little freaky.
The real scary part about astrology lesbians, though, is that they know things about you without talking about it.
- Baby Gay or Baby Dyke
The baby gays newly discovered their queer identities. A baby dyke can be any age. The single defining quality is that they just stepped into the lesbian scene, freshly out.
A baby dyke tends to leap into her newfound lesbian identity. They’re known for trying on lesbian stereotype after lesbian stereotype.
For example, a baby gay might chop their hair for the “lesbian haircut.” Although several lesbian haircuts exist, she might alter her style to something more visibly queer. If you spot a baby dyke in the wild, take her under your wing for good karma.
Looking for coming-out tips? Read our LGBT coming-out article so you can have the best prepared coming out!
- Boi Lesbian
A “boi” lesbian is similar to a butch lesbian because masculine gender expression is involved. But butch lesbians have this cool feature where they can look like adults.
Unfortunately, boi lesbians permanently resemble boys in their first few months of puberty. I say this with care. Because I definitely fall into this lesbian category.
My roommate and I live in the lesbian capital of Michigan. So we often play a game where we see a person from afar. Then we guess whether the victim of our game is a lesbian or a middle-school boy. Many non-binary or genderfluid lesbians have the aesthetics of a boi lesbian.
- Artsy Lesbian
Few other lesbian types bring as much energy and vibes as an artsy lesbian. Their aesthetic has an incredible range, but artsy lesbians are always easy to spot.
An obvious prerequisite to artsy lesbianhood is art. Medium is less important. Painting, photography, digital, textile, you name it.
The artsy lesbian aesthetic almost always includes fun eyeliner and crazy earrings. Both draw attention to the artsy lesbian. She’ll often wear clothing and accessories that she makes herself. Or something her friends made for her. She knows many other artsy lesbians.
- Activist Lesbian
This lesbian label goes to politically active lesbians. For the activist lesbian, identity is inseparable from politics. And though this might be true for many of us (whether we like it or not), the activist lesbian prioritizes their progressive agenda.
Activist lesbians not only march when necessary, but they organize the marches. They’re tuned into the upcoming threats and triumphs of the queer rights movement.
Right now, they’re mainly focused on combating bills targeting trans kids. We owe a great deal of gratitude to our community’s activists.
- Dopplebanger Lesbians
“Dopplebanger” isn’t a lesbian-exclusive term. It’s a play-off of the word doppelganger, which refers to someone (usually a stranger) who looks like you. Dopplebanger describes a couple who look alike. The straight community uses it too.
As usual, lesbians outdo it. Dopplebanger lesbians not only look alike, but they are the same gender (most times).
Dating another woman who looks like you can literally run the risk of looking like your twin sister. Dopplebanger lesbians take the “Are you two sisters?” question to a whole new level.
- Hey Mamas Lesbian
This particular lesbian label stems from lesbian TikTok. A specific type of masc lesbian would say “hey, Mamas” to a girl they found attractive. I don’t think they actually do that anymore since it became a cringe TikTok thirst trap trend.
A Hey Mamas lesbian is usually a white masculine lesbian with long hair. They wear it in a top knot to show off their undercut. They’re probably wearing athletic brands. My guess is Fila or Nike. They specialize in TikTok thirst traps in a cringy way but are also worth watching.
- Horse Girl Lesbian
Horse girl lesbian is crazy about horses. You probably knew one in grade school. She galloped around the playground pretending to be a horse during most breaks. If she was lucky enough, she owned a horse too. Either in her five-plus acre plot or had one at a stable.
Horse-girl lesbians never really grow out of the horse craze. They learn how to integrate other interests into their lives. It makes them appear more well-rounded. But a horse girl lesbian’s bond with her horse is unbreakable and truly something to cherish.
- Witchy Lesbian
This lesbian stereotype can sometimes overlap with astrology lesbians. The difference here is that while astrology lesbians focus on planet placements, witch lesbians take a step further. Sometimes this starts with a crystal obsession.
Different rocks have different energies to enhance your life. I’ve heard they need to be recharged by the full moon.
If witchy lesbians’ crystal collections go this far, they’re only one step away from casting spells. They probably own a cat too—likely a black cat.
- Alpha Lesbian
The alpha lesbian has an undeniable “cool” factor that triggers a very typical lesbian response: Am I in love with her, or do I want to be her?
This kind of lesbian is the most popular lesbian around. She might take on other lesbian types besides being an alpha lesbian, but you’ll know her when you see her.
Think Shane McCutcheon from The L Word. Now, the show portrays her as the coolest lesbian in LA. Everyone in the show wants her. But lots of lesbians watching the show want to be her. It’s that alpha energy.
- Sporty Lesbian
Next on this types of lesbians list is the sporty lesbian! A sporty lesbian is into sports. The kind of sport is unimportant—softball, lifting, disc golf, lacrosse, soccer, running, all of it.
But the sporty lesbian has a specific aesthetic. They wear athletic gear constantly (big surprise).
Sporty lesbians likely have a specific brand they wear nearly exclusively. Adidas, Nike, and Fila tend to be the big three.
Many sporty lesbians have either a short haircut or wear their hair in a top knot paired with an undercut. Wearing bandanas as a sweatband has also been the most significant fashion statement in the sporty lesbian world as of late.
- Skater Lesbian
A skater lesbian is a subset of sporty lesbians. They…skateboard. Arguably, longboarding lesbians also fit into this lesbian category. But rollerskating and rollerblading lesbians hit a different lesbian label, in my opinion. Different vibes there entirely.
The aesthetic of a skater lesbian follows something parallel to the 90s grunge: ripped baggy jeans, oversized flannels, beanies, baseball caps, or snapbacks.
Skater lesbians probably have some pretty cool lesbian tattoos.
This lesbian type has very relaxed and chilled energy. Probably, someone I need to have in my life.
- Gold Star Lesbian
This lesbian label refers to a lesbian who has never been with a man. In her entire life, the gold star lesbian has only ever been with women.
Nowadays, this is expanded to women and gender-diverse people who are not men—so nonbinary people, genderfluid people, etc.
“Gold star lesbian” implies a kind of superiority. Or that a gold star lesbian is “more lesbian” than those who have been with men. While this term is still going around in lesbian communities, it is somewhat frowned upon now.
People come to terms with their identities at different rates and in different ways. So being a “gold star” shouldn’t be a way to one-up other lesbians.
- Pillow Princess
For several years, I assumed that this lesbian title was just an exaggeration. The pillow princess is a type of lesbian who is always on the receiving end in the bedroom.
Surely no one is literally never going to give?
Apparently, pillow princesses are real. I would have never guessed. Thankfully I’ve never come across one myself. I’m trusting the rumors on this one.
- Stone Butch
Next on this list of types of lesbians is the stone butch!
On the flip side of the pillow princess, we have the stone butch. In the bedroom, the stone butch does all the giving. They don’t like to be touched.
Again, I couldn’t imagine this type of lesbian existing in real life. But to each their own.
A stone butch looks like a butch. Big Boo from Orange Is the New Black is the stone butch icon most people know. And this lesbian label comes from their bedroom preference.
- Lesbian Cat Mom
Lesbians are known for being cat owners. Another true stereotype for most lesbians I know (myself included).
My lesbian roommate and I co-parent our cat, Eloise. After she moved into a no-pet apartment and rehoused her to live with me for two years, we decided to give Eloise the gift of living with both her parents.
I suspect many cats are collateral damage to lesbian u-hauling and quick separation. The good news is that at least one of the lesbians will be obsessed with the cat.
In my situation, it’s me. I’m the Eloise-obsessed lesbian cat mom.
- Lesbian Dog Moms
Lesbian dog moms certainly carry different energy than lesbian cat lovers. While all but one lesbian household I know owns cats, a particular lesbian type owns a dog.
The only lesbian couple I know with a dog is engaged and owns a home together. They walk their dog around surrounding neighborhoods every day.
Compare that image to a lesbian couple in a studio apartment. They live with two cats who they push around in a kitty stroller while wearing their crocs in “sports mode.” The ankle piece flipped behind the heel. It paints a very different picture, doesn’t it?
- Denim Dyke
Last but not least on this types of lesbians list; the denim dyke!
This type of lesbian is also known as “blue jean lesbian.” In fact, I think this is the “real” name for the lesbian label, but doesn’t denim dyke sound way better? Let’s jump on this train together.
Denim dykes are typically femme lesbians (or at least lesbians who fall more on the feminine side of the spectrum) who wear denim. While still leaning into feminine clothing and accessories, the denim dyke avoids skirts and dresses.
She simply prefers her blue jeans (or black jeans). I discovered this lesbian label because it fits my best friend like a glove.
Of course, this is not an exhaustive list of lesbian types. We are a diverse group of people with many aesthetics and interests.
Even if a lot of us fall into some stereotypical categories. But embracing the lesbian stereotypes can be fun or even a bit of a relief!
Which lesbian stereotypes do you fall into? What’s your lesbian style? And is there a lesbian stereotype that we have to add to this list with types of lesbians? Let us know in the comments!
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