Perhaps you are young, or perhaps you came out of the closet in a later age and you're new to the Lesbian Community. Perhaps you are a family member of a lesbian or perhaps ally. Like any group of people, the lesbian community has a shared set of terms they use to describe their identities, roles, behaviors, plus much more. Lesbians, like any other people are within their group a varied and diverse group. When first learning about lesbian subculture, especially if you can be a lesbian, the amount of information to learn can be overwhelming. This is the short list of terms which can be particular to the lesbian community. There are several more terms associated with lesbians as well as the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community as a whole.
Before defining terms concerning lesbians, the term lesbian needs to be defined. A lesbian is often a homosexual woman, a female who loves and is also sexually attracted to women. A lesbian is very little woman who dates women until the right guy occurs, or a woman who is sexually attracted to women if there aren't any men around.
Those two examples of women would belong to the definition of bisexual, though they would not describe all bisexuals at all.
1) Baby Dyke- A little daughter lesbian new to lesbianism, who is often immature.
2) Butch- a lesbian who may have masculine appearance and manners who often identifies with stereotypically masculine activities.
3) Drag King- A woman dresses like a man often within a performance. While drag kings could be straight, drag shows with drag kings and queens (men dressed as women) are popular in the gay and lesbian community.
4) Dyke- Another word for lesbian. A derogative term. But in recent years lesbians have reclaimed this word and then use it as a term of power and strength. This is a term only individuals the in group (LGBT community) should use.
5) Femme- A lesbian who's feminine appearance and manners and who identifies with stereotypical feminine activities.
6) Gold Star or Star Lesbian- A lesbian who has never been with a man. It is a rarity because many lesbians happen to be with men previously mainly because they didn't know these were lesbian or they were afraid to be released because of a homophobic society.
7) Lip Stick Lesbian- A lipstick lesbian is sort of a femme lesbian but she is even more feminine. She may wear make-up and dresses. Some say that lip stick lesbians are merely attracted to other lipstick lesbians, while other sources don't support that.
8) MTF- can be a male who has transitioned right into a woman. Also called a trans woman, or perhaps woman. While many transgender males who transition into women usually are not lesbians many are. There was heated debate as to whether these individuals should be in the lesbian community.
9) Sapphic- Of or linked to the Poet Sappho. In the 7th Century B.C.E. Sappho was a lyrical Poet from the Island of Lesbos. Her poems had themes of female homosexuality. The definition of lesbian derives from the word Lesbos.
10) Soft Butch- A gentle butch like a butch has some masculine characteristics specifically in dressing or manner, but will be slightly more androgynous and even feminine on the inside. Chap stick lesbian is an additional term for a soft butch lesbian.
Understanding the common language and terms can be extremely helpful if you are new to a group or community. Otherwise, you may feel left out, when a sense of belonging is exactly what you really need. These are just a number of the myriad terms somebody just coming into the lesbian scene or out of your closet might like to know. It's a good start, but there are several more exciting, infuriating, and enlightening terms to find out yet.