How to know if someone is a lesbian

Updated February 21, 2017

Frequently family and friends have questions about the sexual orientation of loved ones. Finding out who is a lesbian can be quite tricky. There are a few things to look for, and while you may recognize someone you know in the following steps, do not simply surmise that they are gay. Tomboys can be straight or gay, and a flannel shirt may be loved by any sexual orientation.

Look for a rainbow symbol. The use of the rainbow for car plates, jewelery and even home decorating has traditionally been part of the gay community. A rainbow symbol, though, may also indicate that she supports gay rights.

See if she is wearing a pink triangle upside down. During the second world war, Nazi's labeled prisoners with various colors, depending on the crime. Gay men were made to wear an inverted triangle that was pink. "Antisocial" women, lesbians, prostitutes, and similar women wore inverted black triangles. Today the common practice is usually the pink inverted triangle indicating homosexuality of either sex.

Look at her hairstyle. Mullet haircuts and hair clipped or shaved close to the head, have been traditional stereotypes for the butch lesbian. This doesn't mean that everyone with the hairstyle is gay, nor does it mean that all lesbians have that type of hairstyle. Female mulletheads wear the look as a symbol.

Look for a labrys symbol. The labrys was used by ancient weapon used by female amazons. The term became synonymous with various types of "warring women." Later it became a symbol for both feminists and lesbians.

Realize that lesbians don't necessarily look masculine. Some lesbians, just like some straight women, make a feminine statement with their clothing and may be on top of the latest trends for women.

Watch to see if she leaves for a major city the last weekend in June. That is the weekend set aside for the Gay Pride Parade. This is celebrated every year in larger cities and is seen as the beginning of the gay liberation movement.

Ask her about her orientation. Let her know that you noticed gay pride symbols and were curious.


The freedom flag, the term for the rainbow flag became popular in 1978 to represent the diversity in sexual orientation. The flag started with eight colors, but pink and turquoise were taken off to make it more feasible to produce. It has six colored stripes. The first is red, then orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. Many of the styles that lesbians first made popular as unconventional took on a life of their own and became conventional.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

This article was created by a professional writer and edited by experienced copy editors, both qualified members of the Demand Media Studios community. All articles go through an editorial process that includes subject matter guidelines, plagiarism review, fact-checking, and other steps in an effort to provide reliable information.