Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

Sign up for our twice-weekly newsletter!

Officials to clear homeless encampment near campus in May
By Max Porter, Contributing News Editor • March 4, 2024

Ask Annie: I identify as a lesbian, but I find myself drawn to a man. Should I pursue this?

Facing a problem yourself? Annie has answers. Ask away!

Nicholas Anastacio | Graphics Editor

Dear Annie,

I was recently courted by a man I met at a party. By the time I realized our past few hangouts were actually dates, I found myself hooking up with him. This has shocked my friends and myself: a woman who has identified as a lesbian for the past two years. I’m unsure if my interest in him is genuine or if I just appreciate the attention and the allure of fulfilling traditional gender roles. How do I decide whether or not to pursue this?

Suddenly Un-Lesbian

Introducing Annie’s Friends!

Do you remember the feeling in elementary school when the teacher would call on you, but you did not know the answer? I felt like I was back in the classroom when I received this submission, so I phoned a friend.

I’m happy to introduce “Ask Annie’s Friends,” a new series of guest columnists who will jump in every now and again when I receive submissions that could use some experience and perspective beyond my own. Without further ado, here is Ask Annie’s first guest columnist and, more importantly, my friend!

Dear Suddenly Un-Lesbian,

In a society where women are taught their worth comes from appealing to men, it makes sense that most women enjoy consensual male validation. It’s flattering to receive attention from just about anyone – everyone wants to be thought of as attractive.

While I’ve identified as a lesbian for most of my life and never questioned that, flirting with men at parties or bars is always fun. Whether it’s the result of the patriarchy, gender norms or just a strong drink, at the very least the interaction makes a funny story for a bagel debrief the next morning.

Jenna Baer | Staff Cartoonist

Remember that recognizing someone as attractive is not the same as being attracted to that person. That being said, sexuality can be a spectrum, and it’s not always linear. Sometimes, our sexual identities can shift and evolve depending on who we meet at various stages of our lives. Have fun exploring your identity, but remember there is no right or wrong answer and no pressure to label yourself right away or at all. As long as you are honest with yourself and your paramour about your feelings, there is no harm in dipping your toes in the hetero-pool.

Since you’ve identified as a lesbian for two years, this might be old news to you, but the viral lesbian masterdoc – a 30-page PDF written by Tumblr user Anjeli Luz in 2018 – delves into the term “compulsory heterosexuality.” Luz argues that society’s obsession with heterosexual romance drives women’s attitude towards men, as they over-romanticize any positive feelings and conflate them with attraction. She incorporates her personal experience in a way that has resonated with many readers exploring their own sexualities.

It’s definitely possible that you might be experiencing this phenomenon, especially if you’re grappling with the allure of fulfilling traditional gender roles. But while compulsory heterosexuality is a common experience for many lesbians, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the case in your situation. If you enjoyed hooking up and spending time with this man, you have nothing to lose by going on an official date with him – the worst that can happen is you tell him you’re not interested. Just be honest and upfront with him as soon as you understand your feelings to avoid blindsiding him or leading him on.

After experimenting, you might discover you are a lesbian after all, bisexual with a preference for women or anything in between. All of the above options are perfectly valid – but whatever the case may be, you can always flirt with men in bars – safely – for free drinks. It’s harmless, and drinks are expensive in the District! 😉

Keep slaying,
Annie’s Token Lesbian<3

More to Discover
Donate to The GW Hatchet