Where have you felt the most comfortable as a gay traveler?

Where have you felt the most comfortable as a gay traveler?

This is the thirteenth installment of the blog series called “Insta Poll.” Included are follower’s ideas and comments in response to a weekly question! If you’d like to be involved, follow LEZ BACKPACK on Instagram!


We love traveling. That is a given fact. But as gay travelers, we want to know where we can express ourselves freely. We asked our followers where they felt most comfortable on their gay travel adventures. Here’s what they had to say: 

tclay35

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“Most definitely Lauderdale aka Lotdale!!!!! You must have stayed around Wilton Manors huh?! I lived in the Manors for years before traveling with my job…. Believe it or not, Albuquerque, NM has a huge gay community!!!”

ariaanachantal

“Portland, Oregon. When I originally moved there after high school from a really small conservative town. I finally felt completely comfortable being myself. People here seem to be unique in their own way and appreciate the diversity in other people. Its just an eclectic and accepting place. I mean the motto is “keep Portland weird!””

shiftingsun

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“Manhattan. Now there’s a city where one can be out and proud! NYC was very accepting of my lifestyle, sexuality, and fashion. Can’t wait to go back!”

kbgone

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“San Francisco! Not that my current city has stigmata against gays, but SF has always been the place to be out and proud.”

fleetfootedfox

“Portland gets my vote. Never seen so many queer folks in every walk of life.”

fernwehtravels

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“Melbourne, Australia.”

ninahjuberger

“I haven’t travel at all since I came out as a lesbian except inside Sweden, but I am comfortable in my day to day life. Maybe because I am openly gay. I hold hands, give a kiss on the mouth and so on. Yes you may get looks in the country side, far in the woods. But that could be also for that fact that you are a stranger. Period. Not because you’re gay.”

melapetal

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“Toronto, ON in Canada. I visited my province back in Canada earlier this year, and it was my first time after I came out as gay. I forgot how friendly, we Canadians are, aha. But my favourite part about waking around in Toronto is seeing so many lesbian and gay couples. Not to mention the diversity that we have back in Canada. It’s the most beautiful thing. So Toronto, ON. Even RuPaul’s Drag Con this year was pretty amazing. I never wanted it to end because of what an amazing environment that place gives for gay people.”

renegadepilgrim

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“Domestic: San Francisco. Portland’s LGBT community is too small and not very diverse. SF has more diversity and I always feel welcome. I can’t say the same for Portland, and I’ve lived there my whole life International: Sweden. Very welcoming and open.”

jennyd7104

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“Disney World. I got engaged there to my future wife, and we got the “just engaged” pin. Every employee we passed said congratulations, gave us high fives, and made us feel awesome. Lots of LGBT families running around as well.”

scooterchels

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“Surprisingly enough, Dublin, Ireland, even before the marriage equality vote. No one has ever looked twice at us on the street when we’ve gone to visit my family. The old traditionalist Irish-Catholic values are evolving with the modern world and it’s a beautiful thing to experience.”

curious_jessie

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“When travelling through Australia I was in Sydney during Mardi Gras so felt completely open and comfy then. Overall I’d say Australia, but it could of been because I was there so long it started to feel like home. Currently in New Zealand and I’d like to hope here will top Australia for comfort.”

melondelights

“Man this is hard to really answer. I left Dallas bc I didn’t quite feel like I could be myself but I was looking for who I was exactly at that time also. LA has been more than accommodating for me. SF and Portland is cool too. Basically anywhere with some great diversity would be cool for gays.”


I can’t wait to be a gay traveler in all of these places! Where would you like to travel next? 

Follow LEZ BACKPACK on Instagram to be apart of the next Insta Poll! 

Why we got gay married before our wedding

Why we got gay married before our wedding

On February 11th, 2017, my partner Constance and I decided to tie the knot. We have been engaged since last July and are in the midst of planning our wedding, so why did we get gay married early?

To friends and family who may be confused or concerned – yes we eloped and, yes, we’re still excited to celebrate with all of you at our giant family wedding in July.

Getting married early felt like something we needed to do. The current administration terrified us in the first few weeks. With executive orders being signed left and right, we wondered if our right to marriage would be next. All along we’ve heard liberal friends and family say that maybe nothing will happen. I’m here to say that is incredibly naive.

The platform which enabled our President to win was based on discrimination. With the election, those with internalized bigotry feel empowered to act out. In Texas, we’ve already passed a version of North Carolina’s bathroom bill, which forces Trans people to use the restroom of the gender on their birth certificate.

Constance and I are lucky that we are 1. gainfully employed, 2. have family and friends who love and support us, 3. are United States citizens.

This felt like a way to protect our relationship in the eyes of our government. I wouldn’t be surprised if other gay couples were doing this, too.

Are you apart of a gay couple who decided to get married in the face of our current president elect? Let me know in the comments below.

Lesbian Relationship Advice

Lesbian Relationship Advice

This is the twelfth installment of the blog series called “Insta Poll.” Included are follower’s ideas and comments in response to a weekly question! If you’d like to be involved, follow LEZ BACKPACK on Instagram!


How do lesbians keep their relationships going strong? After a year of ups and down with my partner, I waned to know how make sure we’re always going strong. Here’s the best lesbian relationship advice our followers had to suggest:

 

ninahjuberger

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“Be patient, hear her, make her smile and tell her she is your everything.”

wanderingwives


“Be on each other’s team”

grousewater

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“Especially in a long term relationship, have “checking in” type conversations every now and then about stuff within your relationship, not just when something is wrong. That way, issues don’t simmer and people don’t get resentful or feel like an issue is a sudden attack. Communication is key, y’all.”

mrs_abroscat

A photo posted by Mrs. Abroscat (@mrs_abroscat) on


“Be honest with yourself so you can be honest with your partner. A lot of strain in relationships is caused by mixed feelings and the resentment that builds from not meeting each other’s needs. Being honest about what you want and need from a partner and in a relationship will take you a long way.”

shiftingsun

A photo posted by Asjia Arvie (@shiftingsun) on


“Learn how to communicate with your partner. Love them the way they receive love, and don’t get comfortable in the relationship. Always show each other patience, respect, and kindness.”

melondelights


“”grass is greener where you water it”. Too often I’ve seen couples long for everything other than what’s in front of them. Every relationship is effort. The moment you stop trying its done. So continue to “date” and romance. if you fight, give each other your all to push through.”

doing_the_distance


“trust, friendship and talking, talking a lot about feelings and everything. Don’t keep it inside until you explode and fight”

tclay35

A photo posted by Teresa Clay (@tclay35) on


“We overlook the simple answer to being in a relationship… L❤VE!!!!… Simple and pure… You must be IN love.. Be IN love with… When you’re in love it’s just natural, it’s effortless, it’s breathtaking, it’s forgiving, it’s always IN the moment… Being IN love makes memories.. Simply being IN love…”

lesliehab

A photo posted by Leslie (@lesliehab) on


“I know Brené Brown is super trendy but I also think she’s right: be vulnerable! (Be open, honest, and willing to be uncomfortable.) That said… It’s easier said than done.”


Just loving this amazing advice from the people who know lesbian relationships the best. Have anything to add? Mention your lesbian relationship advice in the comments below!

Follow LEZ BACKPACK on Instagram to be apart of the next Insta Poll! 

Lesbian Quotes to Help Recover from Heartache

Lesbian Quotes to Help Recover from Heartache

This is year has been filled with so many incredible ups and downs. 

If you’ve been following me for awhile you know that last year, Constance I broke up after almost four years and international travel around the world. 

At 30, I thought I had my life figured out – and that scared the shit out of me. I really wanted to make SURE that I was exactly where I needed to be.

Through it all, I started creating little bits of inspiration for myself. I wanted to use these quotes as a way to mark the change I was going through.

Looking back, they were a great way to get creative and let out some sadness. (I used the app Word Swag to create the images below.) 

So why are these “lesbian quotes?” Because I’m a lesbian and sometimes I need inspiration, too. Writing these and having them here on this blog is a way to claim that my relationship is just as valid as anyone else’s.

These helped me to connect with myself on a more personal level. I hope that you find inspiration in these quotes or that you can at least find some comfort in them. 


 

Don’t forget it, you guys.

A photo posted by Melissa Langley (@lezbackpack) on

Until then, I’ll be grateful for each and every one of you. What are you thankful for today?

A photo posted by Melissa Langley (@lezbackpack) on

You don’t have to put yourself down to praise someone else. When we support each other & ourselves we all win. 💜

A photo posted by Melissa Langley (@lezbackpack) on

Good morning! 😘 Tag your better half!

A photo posted by Melissa Langley (@lezbackpack) on

Are Lesbians More Protective of their Relationships?

Are Lesbians More Protective of their Relationships?

This is the eleventh installment of the blog series called “Insta Poll.” Included are follower’s ideas and comments in response to a weekly question! If you’d like to be involved, follow LEZ BACKPACK on Instagram!


Do you think lesbian relationships are more protective than their heterosexual counterparts? Is it healthy, normal or irrational? Why or why not? Tell me your experiences, jealousies, confrontations… I want to hear it all!

 

kchrish85

A photo posted by @kchrish85 on

“As a queer single mother, I get to experience jealousy a bit differently. I get the feeling that because I had a kid the “old fashioned” way, that I an deemed untrustworthy (I do not identify as bi). My last relationship was skeptical of my friends of ANY gender, which I imagine must have been exhausting.”  

fifiaralia

A photo posted by Sofia Vee (@fifiaralia) on

“I think that in a lot of ways, yeah totally. Like we’ve fought hella hard to be seen, to be taken seriously, to be accepted, then to do this big scary thing where you allow yourself to be vulnerable with someone who has done the same. When you find and build that, the thought of that being taken away is pretty devastating. So yeah maybe dykes fight harder to hold on to those relationships because we’ve fought so damn hard to get there in the first place. I’m not only talking about romantic/sexual relationships either. Queer lady friendships are fucking revolutionary. I think the protectiveness can become irrational and unhealthy but it all comes form a place of deep hurt and fear and what can we do but do our damn best to sit with and honor that and work to move through it.”

katiejcullen

A photo posted by Katie Cullen (@katiejcullen) on

“Because the queer community is much smaller where I am than a typical heterosexual population, there tends to be a lot of hanging out in groups with my partner’s exes. In those situations, I would say I tend to be more protective. In general, though, I’ve found that there is a lot more trust between me and my partner and much less petty competition and judgement between myself and other women than what you often see among heterosexual girls.”

danni.turnip

A photo posted by Danni 🔮 (@danni.turnip) on

“Coming from a heterosexual marriage to coming out with children and falling in love with my beautiful partner, I can say i am extremely protective of my relationship in comparison. I feel queer relationships, for me anyways, require a lot more work since there as so many emotions there. I have never been a jealous person, yet now I get jealous of a lot of petty things. I have become extremely fragile and have shown more vulnerability with my lady than I have with anyone. And it comes naturally. I feel it’s healthy only if communication is frequent and honest. It’s obviously important to be able to share every insecurity and jealous part of you in order to work together towards a common goal. I am still learning to be able to be comfortable with myself during all of this, and comfortable opening up more than I ever have before. It’s been a whirlwind for sure, but I’ve never felt closer with anyone in my entire life.”

bean.like

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“I think every human is different. As much as we want to generalize everything – because that’s just how our brains work, we simplify as much as we can so we don’t get overwhelmed – it’s impossible. No relationship, whether it be through friendship or lovers or family, is secure. And every single brain interprets the world differently. For example, how I feel about my relationships, how secure I feel in them, can and probably is, interpreted and perceived differently from even those that I am in the relationship with. In other words, life is too complex to say any group of individuals sees relationships in a specific way, because it’s not a group dynamic. Your relationships are based solely on yourself and how you wish to interpret them. For example, a simple lack of communication for an extended period of time between me and someone I have a relationship with, causes me huge stresses, my mind goes to ‘this means they don’t love me’ or other things – there are things people fear that we aren’t aware of. Even if someone is straight doesn’t mean they don’t have the fear ‘because this person is a homosexual and I am not, they don’t like me’ . I say that only because I used to have that fear, felt I didn’t fit in with even my best friends’ other friends just because I was the only one in the group that didn’t identify with a title related to them. Though, I do not identify with anything, that in itself causes fear. I guess ultimately we let fear control how we feel about our relationships, and we shouldn’t. Love should never live in fear.”

nopeacefortheweary

A photo posted by Ling (@nopeacefortheweary) on

“I think a lot of our deeply rooted social behaviors as queer women tend to be more nurturing or protective, henceforth the stereotypical “U-Haul” tends to happen. It definitely can be extreme and unhealthy, however a lot of queer relationships make it as much as they don’t make it. In my own experiences I was with my ex for 3 years and she was extremely jealous of interactions I’d have with other people both female or male identified. So it was definitely hard and emotional at times because we were both clingy and needed each other for support because we came out of the closet during that time. There’s a lot of factors that had a lot of impact on why our relationship was the way it was (from cultural to me dating men before).”

travelnshit

“I think lesbians are more intense than their heterosexual counterparts. I have a habit of moving in with my girlfriend quite quickly. Lots of gay girls I know get married after a relatively short amount of time, or at the very least engaged. I don’t think it’s abnormal, not if a lot of us do it 😆 It’s not always healthy and it can make break ups last an age… my ex always used to say, “Gay men have sex and move on. Lesbians have sex and move in.” We moved in after 4 months.”


What do you think, readers? Are lesbian relationships validated in being more protective? Is just human nature in general?

Follow LEZ BACKPACK on Instagram to be apart of the next Insta Poll! 

5 Brands for Feminine Lesbians

5 Brands for Feminine Lesbians

Feminine lesbians of the world, I – like you – struggle with outing myself. Yes, yes… it can be amazing when I don’t want anyone to know I’m gay… but what about when I’m on the prowl!? 

What about when I want other queer women to recognize me for the gay lady lover that I really am? What’s a girl to do? 

Luckily because queer female fashion has been on the rise in recent years (at the exclusion of femmes, but that’s a different story), there are a plethora of brands we can choose to help us represent. Don this gay apparel and let your homo flag fly.

The BEST part? Because these clothing lines are only super well known in the community… people you don’t want knowing about your sexuality will not even have a clue!

1. Autostraddle Store

feminine lesbians

The holy grail of lesbian culture and entertainment online, Autostraddle is pretty much synonymous for queer lady. Their “Gal Pal” swag is so freaking cute and come in CROP TOP size… okay, plus t-shirts and sweatshirts. But imagine you’re at the gay lady bar and you’re wearing your ironicly vintage GP shirt… the eyes of knowing will be upon you. Or at least the eyes of those knowing and reading Autostraddle will be upon you… which, if you think about it gives you an intro into conversation too! A win-win!

Click the images below to see more amazingly unsuspecting and totally-obvious-to-the-right-person clothing from Autostraddle.

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2. TomboyX

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Now, TomboyX is not known for their femme clothes. In fact, their claim to fame are their cute boy briefs that are devoid of the poochy pouch on the front. I love women in men’s underwear… so having them fit appropriately is certainly something I’m interested in.

When TomboyX approached me to try out a pair of their undies for free in exchange for sharing a bit of love for them with my following… I was like wait a minute… me wearing these panties is not gonna produce a very honest post… cause girls, I do not wear boy shorts!

HOWEVER, I kindly asked the TomboyX  Digital Media Relations manager, cutie Mellina White Cusack, for a sporty softball jersey instead! She obliged and even threw in some underwear despite it all! I was able to femme up the shirt and use the brand that is “BY TOMBOYS, FOR TOMBOYS™” to out me to tomboys… omg heaven.    

TomboyX, Feminine lesbians

3. Wildfang 

1-wildfangsnapback_6

First off, the about section on the Wildfang website is more of a manifesto than a brand description. At the top, there’s a very nostalgic video featuring L Word heartthrob Kate Moennig.

But what’s most amazing about this site is the clothes, the shoes, the accessories! The style is high fashion urban and I’m all about it.

What I also like about Wildfang is that some pieces can be very feminine! Not just specifically for tomboys here… and I appreciate that. But for our purposes, the branding is important… so here are a few pieces to wear when you wanna get some studs looking. 

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4. FLAVNT Streetwear

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This brand has a special place in my heart since it’s based out of Austin, TX. You might have seen them recently featured on Refinery29 for their Skin Top – a flesh colored binder for gender non-conforming folks so they can be more comfortable swimming in the summer! I love the work that they do – and for that I am a huge supporter of the brand! 

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5. Refuse to Conform Clothing 

Instagram cuite Charlie Moss created a genderless label last year called Refuse to Conform Clothing. One thing I love about RTC is how much Charlie hypes it! Pretty much every order comes with a freebie and there is always a giveaway going on the Instagram. 

While the motto “refuse to conform” upholds tomboy aesthetics – they refuse to play into gender stereotypes – I think it’s an important message for gender conforming folks, too. Sometimes I wish looked a little more… well, gay. I think how we choose to present ourselves is so important. So I like the idea of being able to wear a t-shirt that let’s everyone know… that while I may appear to look like I conform… I actually don’t. 

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Alright, my femme ladies… go forth and purchase and wear the clothes that will let your prospective lover of choice know that you are indeed a gay. Have I missed any of your favorite brands? Please let me know in the comments below! 

 

 

 

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