Lesbian until graduation

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The LGBT slang terms lesbian until graduation (LUG),[1] gay until graduation (GUG), and bisexual until graduation (BUG) are used to describe women primarily of high-school or college age who are assumed to be experimenting with or adopting a temporary lesbian or bisexual identity. The term suggests that the woman to whom it is applied will ultimately adopt a strictly heterosexual identity. Some members of the lesbian community use this term to disparage bisexual women.[2]

Contents

Usage

Closeted women

At one time, the terms LUG/BUG were associated with lesbian and bisexual women who were closeted from parents or guardians while attending same-sex high schools, colleges or universities.[citation needed] The terms suggested an individual was openly lesbian or bisexual while on campus, but would ultimately conform to social and familial expectations of heterosexuality.

A similar usage typically described a form of situational sexual behavior, suggesting a woman would ultimately revert to heterosexual behavior, either through interpersonal pressure or actual preference.

Disparaging usage

In recent usage, the term is generally used pejoratively, suggesting that a woman's same-sex sexual activity is somehow inauthentic or illegitimate.[2] One negative suggestion is that the relations are consciously elective or temporary, or that they are primarily based on convenience. This usage suggests the participants are:

  • Concentrating on studies without the distraction of "genuine" romantic relationships
  • Avoiding unwanted male attention
  • Avoiding the risk of unwanted pregnancy while remaining sexually active

Another negative suggestion is that the behavior stems from a desire for attention, sometimes described with a new usage of the older term "bisexual chic". This usage suggests the participants are:

  • Trying to increase their sexual desirability among heterosexual men
  • Surprising parents or relatives with news presumed to be undesirable
  • Surprising friends and acquaintances with news presumed to be shocking
  • Attempting to cultivate a progressive, radical, or countercultural image
  • Developing or feigning solidarity with an oppressed community
  • Resorting to women due to a lack of male attention
  • Having trouble relating to the opposite sex romantically in a healthy manner

Other reactions

Members of the bisexual community and their allies state that these terms are evidence of biphobia or bisexual erasure, and that many women described as LUGs may actually identify as bisexual.[2] They suggest that the appearance of the term is evidence that human sexuality is more flexible (as in the case of sexual preference) than it is fixed (as in the case of sexual orientation).

They argue that the term is often used to disparage bi-curious and questioning youth who are exploring their sexual identity.[3]

People suggest that of women who engage in same-sex activity for a limited time period, some may be lesbians who become fully closeted due to societal disapprobation; some may be bisexuals who subsequently either go on to find other opposite gender partners or who, like closeted lesbians, suppress part of their identity again due to societal disapprobation; and some may be experimenting.[3]

See also

References

  1. ^ See for instance "Campus Lesbians Step Into Unfamiliar Light" New York Times, June 5, 1993
  2. ^ a b c "Bi For Now", by Amy Sohn, February 10, 2003 issue of New York Magazine, New York Metro section
  3. ^ a b "Confessions of a college lesbian", September 15, 1999 issue of the Seattle Weekly

External links


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