Star Tattoos: Lesbionic?

OK, so how many of you already knew that a tattoo of a nautical star used to be and may still be used as a sign for gays and lesbians to recognize one another on the street?

Is it just a nautical star or any star? Because that would explain a lot of star tats I’ve seen on some of my friends. Yet no one bothered to fill me in. I only came upon this little factoid of lesbian herstory listening to the lyrics of a song called butchfemme.

I’m curious as to what other secret codes do my fellow lesbian sistas use to wave the rainbow flag to one another in public without the whole (breeder) world realizing? Not that I care in the least about subtly. Shoot, I seriously wish we all walked around with a “Soooooo gay” button on our shirts just for the hell of it.

Well these are the sub rosa signs I’ve heard of:

All lesbians wear a silver ring on their middle finger. Check.

If a girl is a tatted up, she’s probably family. Not counting the California license plate that seems to be a requirement for every straight hoochie mama.

Extra body piercings. Check by proxy on this one, my girls got a few of those.

I remember a while back there was a little campaign that never seemed to really pick up steam where girls wanted to wear a purple yarn bracelet or something like that. I never got into that one, since I like my bling to be a little more blingy than something my grandma would knit with.

Short hair. But this only really works with butches and tombois and the occasional femme who’s usually dressed more eccentrically, like pin-up or rock-a-billy.

Other then that I can’t really think of any sure fire symbols we can adorn ourselves with to warn other women that we’re not just being friendly, we’re hitting on them.

So if you know of any other lesbian signals, or you do any of the ones mentioned let me know. I’m actually really dying to come to a consensus on this one.

This article has 107 comments

  1. Good4u

    Guess I’ve got this covered. I always wear a silver middle ring finger, I have several tattoos, several body piercings and short hair. But I’m not big on the purple string thing either.

  2. C Dog

    I don’t wear any jewelry EXCEPT for a silver middle finger ring that a friend gave me. But i didnt know it was a sign I was gay. I am, so cool I guess.

  3. FemmeLA

    I’m screwed. I’m a femme and I don’t have any of the things you mentioned but i’m going to start wearing a silver ring on my middle finger TODAY.

  4. Dude

    There’s this girl I work with and I really like her. But she wears a ring on her middle finger, has short hair, tattoos and her eye brow and tongue are pierced. Does this mean she’s gay? (I’m a guy). I want to ask her out, but not if it’s pointless.

    Any advice?

  5. Dude

    Me again. I just wanted to explain why I’m on your blog. The girl i’m into is always reading this at work and I got hooked on you and Remi and all the stuff you used to do when you were single.

  6. Sasha

    Dear Dude, when I read your first comment I was going to tell you that it’s a 80% chance your crush is crushin’ on another chick and not you.

    But THEN you go and say that she’s the one that turned you on to my blog? While I’m happy to have you as a reader, you’ve got to look at the situation. She’s reading a blog called CARD CARRYING LESBIAN and she LOOKS the part too??? Dude, I bet if you checked her wallet you’d find her Lesbian Card, laminated and all 🙂

    Sorry Dude. I think you’re barking up the wrong lesbian.

  7. Joe

    Since I’ve seen you naked in my pool, I know you don’t have ANY tatts or piercings. So all I can say is you BETTER wear your middle finger ring at all times or us butches will just think you’re another hot straight chick. LOL.

    I’m serious.

  8. Joe

    I almost forgot. Dude. She’s gay.

  9. Becca

    Yep.Dude. She is totally gay… I have 5 tattoo’s and I have a middle finger ring that is stainless steel with stars on it. The only thing I don’t have is weird peircings. I wanted to get my nose done really, really badly but they changed the policy at work for classification and now we can’t have those either. Totally sucks!

  10. MelanieTrini

    Well my wife and I both have star tattoos and didn’t even know it was a lesbian thing. so check!
    We both have piercings, she’s got short hair but neither of us wear middle finger rings or purple strings.

    oh and Dude – she’s so gay 🙂

  11. Sasha

    Wow Joe, thanks a lot. There’s nothing my girlfriend likes more then to read about other women who have seen me naked. Now I have to explain a bit rather then let my readers dirty imaginations go where they will ….

    You see ….. Joe is a friend of mine down in the desert and she saved me from a very boring weekend. I was at a party at her house, there was lots of drinking, lots of women, a pool and no swimsuits. Sooooooo ….. you can see how that went.

    NOTHING really happened. It was all innocent fun.

  12. Gigi

    Here’s the passage (with some pieces dropped) from “Boots
    of Leather, Slippers of Gold: The History of a Lesbian
    Community” by Elizabeth Lapovsky Kennedy and Madeilne D. Davis
    copyright 1993 p. 189.

    (talking about the 1940’s and 1950’s):

    “…During this same time period, the cultural push to be
    identified as lesbians- or at least different- all the time
    was so powerful that it generated a new form of identification
    among the tough bar lesbians: a star tattoo on the top of the
    wrist, which was usually covered by a watch. This was the
    first symbol of community identity that did not rely on
    butch-fem imagery. We can trace this phenomenon back to an
    evening of revelry in the late 1950’s, when a few butches
    trooped over to “Dirty Dick’s” tattoo parlor on Chippewa
    Street and had the tiny blue five-pointed star put on their
    wrists. Later, some of the fems of this group also go the idea
    one night and did it…The community views the tattoo as a
    definite mark of identification…”the Buffalo police knew
    [that] the people that had the stars on their wrist were
    lesbians and they had their names and so forth. That it was an
    identity thing with the gay community, with the lesbian
    community”. The fact that the star tattoo was created by those
    who were firmly into roles, in fact by the group that was
    considered the butchy butches and their fems, suggest that the
    force to assert lesbian identity was strong enough to break
    through the existing traditions of boldness based in butch-fem
    roles. The stars presage the methods of identity created by
    gay liberation. In fact, the mark has become something of a
    tradition in local circles and has seen a revival since the

  13. criket

    i grew up knowing a pink triangle to be a symbol of lesbianrepresintation. when i was 17 i got one tatooed to the web of my left hand. i have 11 tatoo all together and when i was younger i had my tongue and belly button pierced but no ring on the middle finger.

  14. Joe

    Sorry to put you on blast like that babe. But it was a night to remember.

  15. J

    Was wondering if the girl who sat on front of me in class was gay… or just artistic until she wore her hair up today and revealed a blue nautical star. Now I have no doubts.

  16. Jul

    Okay, I’ve always had horrible gaydar…so I am actually learning something from this. Cool!

    The dating strategy of a woman with horrible gaydar is that I’d always just approach and ask out whoever I was into…which were usually kind of femme-like. .I figured the worst that could happen was a “no.” Turns out, I was with a lot of chicks who weren’t with women before….you’d be surprised how many women just haven’t had the opportunity. Anyway…

    I don’t have any body piercings, no tats, no rainbows and have a bit longer than shoulder-length dark hair….I feel like I should wear an “I am gay” t-shirt? I just hate that more obviously gay girls tend to be the only ones people “see.”

    They should know…we’re everywhere.

  17. shamrockgrrl

    i believe in the three second rule. generally, if someone of the same sex locks eyes with you for three seconds or more, they are family. doesn’t sound like a long time until you do it!

  18. pk

    my group of lez friends always take the piss out of me and my girl for being the ‘straightest looking’ gay couple in the world. im so thinking i need to dyke up my look a bit… tattoo, here i come!

  19. Deb

    It is my understanding that silver thumbs rings were originally a ‘lesbian’ signifier and gold pinkie rings were a ‘gay’ male signifier.

  20. Sasha

    Hey Deb, You’re right, I totally forgot about the thumb ring. I actually go between the middle finger and the thumb ring thing. Maybe I should just wear both to make sure!

  21. IrisH

    So the wife is a nursing student. She was in the nursery the other day with a OB doc. She told me that she wasn’t wearing anything (ring wise) execpt for a silver ring with something on it. She said that she thought she was hitting on her….as soon as she said the ring thing…my dyke bell went off!!! Any ideas?!

  22. CherishHellfire

    I lost my silver ring, but a sure sign I’m not just being friendly is amount my pierced nipples poke out of my top. Less than an inch = friendly, more than an inch = Let’s dance!

  23. Jackrabbit

    silver ring-check.
    middle finger-it’s gonna stay there now!

  24. Carmy

    I move we start wearing labryses. They’re cool, subtle, and pretty easy to find (at least, if you’re a geek/go to cons)

  25. Sasha

    I second that Carmy. I freakin’ LOVE labryses. and I already have 1! Not to mention it’s pretty hot when women wear tiny weapons dangling over their cleavage. 😉

  26. Jessica

    Middle finger?? Seriously!? Awww man!! I’ve worn a plain silver ring on my right hand’s ring finger since I was like in grade nine! I can’t just switch now! I like it there too much. Plus it doesn’t even fit on my middle finger…

  27. kelly

    my cousin and ex gf both got rainbow stars on their backs/ or back of their arms and now they both date guys, i despise those who advertise that they are when THEY ARE NOT!!
    you cannot just go by symbols.
    i have no tats or piercings.. my hair is brown and longer than shoulder length although i used to keep it short, guys seem to hit on you a lot more when your hair is long, so i’m thinking of getting it cut again.. mostly i just inform those lost boys that they have to find a substitute..
    it’s really sad when the horny boy says “what a waste”
    wasted vaginal tract? is that what he meant? sigh… like there aren’t 50 straight women dying for his stupid penis he has to say i’m wasting my vagina b/c i won’t let him into it?? i really have issues w/ these stupid guys.. or “you’re pretty, you could get a guy..”
    oops.. caps.. sry..
    it’s hard to be a lesbian in this world.. clubs are for the drunk ones who escape from their shitty reality, dating friends of friends will always end up screwing up your friendships, or having lesbian couples as friends will sometimes have you being their choice for a 3rd in their relationship.. and no.. it does not end well.. someone always leaves the room in tears b/c someone else got more attn.
    well from my 2 experiences/ mistakes.
    i guess i don’t have any suggestions for meeting other women aside from don’t go by the signs, they sometimes lie.
    just let people you care about know that you date women and they will introduce you to their friends.. or lead you into extremely challenging dramatic circumstances which you should have avoided, haha.
    i’m a hermit now, i avoid the lesbian drama this way.. it works for me..

  28. Pride

    There all pretty good signs, except mines the best, a rainbow on my hip! 🙂 its tight.

  29. Mariposa

    Ok so I have navel and tongue pierced! Star tattoos and a silver ring. So didnt know about the ring or stars! Something else I found out a few days ago a Lambda sign (heres a pic) —-> Is for gay and lesbian activists, so if she has that tattoo, SO GAY!!! LOL Something else I noticed and still not 100% sure is if u c a group of girls the most agressive one is prob a lezzy!

  30. logan

    im straight and i have a nautical star tattoo. hmm. missing link, eh?

  31. Kiki

    I have short hair a tongue piercing and two tattoos (I was researching getting a star tattoo and that’s how I ended up here)…my god I’m a lesbian and I didn’t even know it? This actually clears up allot for me. It explains all the strange looks I get from chicks, all this time I thought I just had one of those faces people mistook for someone they used to know.. So do hetro guys also recognise these signs? Am I only getting hit on by the freaks with a lesbian fantasy? It could explain a tragic long run of complete idiots.

  32. Bill

    This is a topic that should be made to be common knowledge outside the lesbian community. I get the feeling these are all intended as secret signals, but, as a straight man, I’m glad to have found this primer. It gives me the tools to nip inappropriate concupiscence in the bud and save time for everyone. I live in a small town, and I have never noticed any of the telltales. I don’t know if that’s because of the small population here or because I just haven’t been looking for them … but now that I’m armed with a list, you can be sure I’ll be looking from now on — and if I find them being displayed by someone I might have considered to be a likely candidate for the currently vacant position of Mrs. Bill, I’ll look elsewhere.

    Kiki, to answer your question, I’d have to say most hetero guys know nothing about these signals. I’m generally clueless, but I’m not grotesquely clueless — if these were commonly understood signs, I feel confident I’d know it. That doesn’t mean you’re not being hit on by freaks with a lesbian fantasy (that really *is* common among straight men), but if you are, it’s not because they recognize your piercings or tattoos as advertisements.

    Seriously, ladies. Let’s move all this to the front page, shall we? Imagine how much embarrassment it would save us all.

  33. Kim

    I wear a garnet gold ring on my pinky finger. It has a masculine design to it but just like the way it looks on my more than petite finger. I ocassionally get asked by other women if there is any significance to the style and the finger I wear it it on. As a straight women I did not know that Lesbian women used to wear pinky rings as a sign to other women.

  34. Web Surfer

    (I lost my silver ring, but a sure sign I’m not just being friendly is amount my pierced nipples poke out of my top. Less than an inch = friendly, more than an inch = Let’s dance!)


  35. Michelle

    I have a lot of gay friends and most of them wear thumb rings, have piercings and tattoos. And yes, i just got a star tattoo’d on me. Didn’t know. I’m so0o gay!

  36. Dijah

    I just found this blog today and I LOVE IT!!! From the stories on here to the comments. I think its just great. Keep it up!!!

  37. Ivy

    Well I have always wanted somone to point out the obvious signs because I have been missing them all these years. I try the 3 second eye contact thing but u never know if they are just being curtious & trying to look like they are paying attention. But my index is shorter, I wear a ring on my mid finger & I have a lebrae piercing. I think that piercing is a sure fire sign of ‘lesbo’ .Im glad I am half way there. I’d wear the rainbow crap but I don’t want people to mistake me for punky brewster. I think the star is next.

  38. Marie

    hi, i was wondering if you could help me figure out if this girl is gay. she has nautical star tattoos on her left wrist, other tattoos, a tongue piercing, and quite a few ear piercings. she wears a baseball cap sometimes, she makes eye contact and smiles at me a lot, has lightly touched my arm a few times, and seems flirty. but this doesnt necessarily mean she’s gay does it?

  39. Sasha

    Dear Marie, the only way she could look gayer, would be if she had the word “LESBIAN” tattooed on her forehead.

    I say go for it! And then let me know what happens!

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    lexapro and ultram 8-PPP purchasing viagra tablets zvo remeron dose sleep :((( sideffects of stoping lexapro xichpf famvir online prescriptions >:PPP

  41. Name (required)

    What do you think a butchy girl should wear as a swimsuit instead of the “norm”?

  42. r

    Rihanna has tattoos, chopped off her hair and has piercings. Hope springs eternal! And here I thought I was having a bad day: my faith in God is renewed.

  43. AmbiiJayy

    Okay, so Im 17, I have my tongue, belly, ears x 2, daith and tragus done, and I used to have my top lip, bottom lips, hand webbing, and nose done (Not all at once!)
    My hairs brown and a bit longer than my shoulders, but even though Ive just ogtten out of my relationship with my ex that was for 10 months, people still dont pick me as a lesbian. I wonder why this is? They pick me as bi, just not a lesbian. Im about to get a tattoo of entwined female symbols, with the nautical star and vines, reckon that’ll clear things up?? haha itll be on the back of my neck.

  44. Amanda

    I was wondering about the nautical star tattoo myself and what i have found is that it is actually a military symbol for finding ones path home safely. So sorry people to burst your bubble. Also the pink triangle was generally used for gay men. While the black triangle is for lesbians. Look it up.

  45. Amanda

    I am a lesbian as well and was hoping the star thing was a glbt symbol, but unfortunately not. I love stars, but now that I know the true meaning no thanks.

  46. Sasha

    Hi Amanda,

    While you’re not wrong it is traditionally a sailor’s symbol, lesbians and gays did come to adopt it for similar meaning.

    Especially during the days when it was illegal for women to appear in public in men’s clothing and their only safe haven was in a gay bar. But mostly not even then, since these clubs were usually harassed by the police.

    Lesbians started getting the nautical tattoo on the back of their wrist where it could be covered during the day by a watch or bracelet and then easily flashed to a fellow “traveler” when they wanted to make it known that they were “family.”

    So yes, the nautical star means different things to different groups. But that does not mean it doesn’t mean something to the lgbt community as well. And by the way, the symbology of finding ones way home is very appropriate for a lot of us.

  47. Madeira

    Well basically I’m a high femme, long hair, high heels, the whole nine yards, I do have my nose and belly button pierced, but basically no one ever figures out that my girlfriend and I are dykes, despite my being a loud angry feminist and our tendency to PDA (goddamn you Katy Perry) I do appreciate the list of signals, I think I’ll be getting the blue star tattoo along with my first (a keyhole between my shoulder blades) because frankly if we get asked to have a threesome by one more drunken lout someone’s going to get a stiletto in the eye.

  48. Raye

    Sasha your blog is becoming discussion material for my girlfriend and me. Sarah (a man-hating femme) says that Dude is yet another example of how men are so ridiculously in denial that women don’t want their dicks that they need confirmation of CLEARLY displayed clues that a woman DOES NOT WANT YOUR DICK. Men are so self absorbed… get a clue Dude. It’s true… you are a turn-off to some women simply because you are male. Hard to believe huh? *snark*

  49. Emmz

    These signs are great to kno! Im finding it harder and harder to tell whos gay and whos not! I have my nose pierced, right ear x 4, left ear x 2, medium lenght hair with short layers which i sometimes spike or mohawk 🙂 i always wear a silver ring on my middle fingure (even though i didnt know that was one of the signs) star tattoo is deffinately next, been wanting to get one for ages!
    Apparently alot of people knew I was a lesbian way before i knew myself. Guess i just hav dat gay look! 😛

  50. TK

    Hey guys I just found this site and Im loving and learning so such. Now I just want to know to make sure, is it the right or the left hand that we wear the ring on?

  51. Sasha

    Hi TK, I’m so glad you found us and that you’re enjoying your time on CCL…. as for which hand to wear the middle finger ring on? I don’t think it matters. I’ve seen it on both on lots of lesbians “) Personally I wear it on my left, but only because I wear the ring my girl gave me on my right hand. 🙂

  52. swede

    I was googling ‘lesbian tattoo’ to get some ideas for my first tattoo and found this great blog! I didn’t know about the star being at lesbian sign. In Sweden that kind of star is quite common among both sexes, I always thought it had something to do with rockabilly 😛

    anyways, I don’t have a tattoo yet, but my lip is pierced, I have short dark hair, I always wear a silver ring on my middle finger AND on the thumb of the other hand ^^ And yeah, I’m a lesbian 😉 I really don’t like looking that stereotypical, but I’ve tried other looks and they just weren’t right for me…

  53. Gangsta Tattoos

    I think they’re very bored tattoos!

  54. kat

    im gay n i have nautical star tattoo on the back of both arms black n red my partiner n i have a tattoo on the left side of our neck … u would like it all who r family love it . check out my facebook…

  55. boxeadora

    Tho I appreciate the link between nautical star wrist tattoos and queer history/contemporary visibility, it’s a bit too “star-bellied Sneetches” for me. I got a wrist tattoo with swirls (as in, not straight- -LOL) around an inverted black triangle. Might be too subtle, but if the right girl at the right time asks me what it symbolizes, i’ll let her know. Ha ha.

  56. Allyson

    Heyy, I’m a lesbian and a senior in high school and i have a horrible gaydar so i need advice on whether this one girl I’ve had a thing for since freshman year is gay. Okay, so half the time she dresses up girly and the other half of the time she wears deep v necks, skinny jeans, flannels, toms, converse and so on. She overall has 6 ear piercing, 1 nose piercing, and has said she is getting a nautical star tattoo under her left wrist. Oh, and she wears a gold ring on her middle finger, but it’s not a plain one, it has designs on it, and she goes to coffee shops a lot. Oh, and lastly I was over at her house once and she had an “I support lgbt” poster on her wall. Lastly, when she looks at me it’s longer than 3 seconds, and when she hugs me it’s a little longer than how she hugs other people. She also knows I’m gay.
    I need some help, I really think she might be but I’m not completely sure.

  57. Femmelover

    @Allyson – The one thing that you must remember is that people these days are very diverse in their thinking. However, it seems that this young lady might be family. Why not ask her out to one of the coffee shops she frequents. You can get to know one another outside of school. Sometimes it’s easier to talk about stuff. I mean, the LGBT poster on her wall is a great starting point. You could say something like…So, I noticed the LGBT poster on your wall and I really like it. How did you come by that and where can I get one?…etc…
    Take your time and don’t be nervous because it seems she already likes you for you. And as far as I’m concerned, the worst that could come out of this is that you have an advocate for your sexuality and a good friend.

    Good luck little one!

  58. Jazmenha

    @ Allyson Only time can give you the answer on that one. Take it from me it is best to be sure that she actually is before you get involved though to avoid heartbreak- but don’t listen to me lol I am a little bitter on that subject-Smile- anyhow good luck to you. Side note- are you the Allyson who asked for “gay friendly college suggestions” awhile back because I sent you tons of links-hope that helped out. I wish you lots of happiness.

  59. SexyBiChick

    That’s so funny. I’m bi and some of these things apply to me. I wear a sterling silver ring on my left middle finger (didn’t know it was a sign tho. lol.), I have a tattoo (and want lots more. Maybe even a sleeve.), I just recently cut my hair (shoulder length). I might just be completely lesbian tho. haha.

  60. Victoria

    hey my question about the star is does they have to be a specific color? cause i been thinkin of getting em done but been unsure if color was specific

  61. Katherine

    As a femme who hates tattoos and has long hair, I wear rainbows or upside down black triangle earrings when I am going to events where I want to be id’d. I have had a silver middle finger ring for so many years that it predates my dating women, so now that I know this one, I will start wearing it, and maybe get one for my thumb. I often wear gold, though, and silver won’t go. If you want to know when I’m not wearing that stuff, just ask me. I’ll be happy to know you are gay. My old dyke friend says you can “drop hairpins” too, which is to say, drop hints that you are gay, such as, “I really like KD Lang” or something. The other thing I do is go to all- lesbian events like women’s dances and meetups for our community and such, and I’ve gotten known in the community. At those events, I need not worry as much about people thinking I’m straight, especially once they’ve seen me at more than one.

  62. Britt

    This blog has helped me a lot! I have recently got out of a 4 year relationship with my first and only girlfriend! Im not really ready to move on just yet but I dont look the part at all. I am a femme with long blonde hair and dress extreamly girly hAve no visable tattoos and the only piercing I have is my nose. I want to look a little more obvious but I love to dress girly and I think tattoos and piercings are hot on the girls I date but they really arent me! I am super shy so I have a hard time approaching girls I know are gay. I also live in a small town in TEXAS which is about the worst place to meet girls. anyway I am hoping that some of these signs will help me be identified as a lez and maybe help me meet some girls! If anyone knows any other ideas let me know!

  63. KC

    Why can’t we have one definite symbol!! It’s driving me crazy! I’m lesbian but I’m not really fem or butch. I’m just me I dress however I feel and I act however I want. I really want to get a tattoo to show my pride but with all the different choices it’s almost impossible. Plus other girls my age probably wouldn’t already know about the history of most of the symbols. I was thinking about getting a blue star surrounded by a black triangle, but I’m unsure if anyone in the 17-20 age group would understand it if they saw it.

  64. Jazmenha

    Sasha – “Dumb” question but just wondering this star tatoo is symbolic for gay men as well as/verses just for lesbians right? I’m just wondering because I saw a guy with several of these on his arms the other day. I was so excited lol to see them that I made a cheesy happy comment lol and he knew we were on the “same” page. Now if only I would meet a hot butch with these star tats I know I could actually talk with her verses be my usual shy self. 🙂

  65. Rachel

    Hey everyone, i just found this site today and it is awesome. I have been reading everyones responses and they have helped me alot. I have always been told i dont look gay and i hate it. I have long brown hair (it is about boob length and would not look good short) and 8 piercings total (nose, belly button and ears). I just got a natical star tattoo about 2 weeks ago on my leg…any other suggestions to look more gay 😛 lol

  66. Sasha

    Hey Jaz, you know what? I have no idea what the boys are doing. I wouldn’t assume it means the same thing for men because a lot sailors and motorcycle guys have those and I don’t think they’re all gay! But it’s always a good conversation starter, asking what someone’s tattoo means to them …. Not asking if they’re gay … At least not right away 😉

    Hi Rachel, inhale found, being a straight looking femme, that nothing makes me look gayer more then holding hands with my wife in public. 😉

  67. Jess

    I have short hair (unique style/colors), 10 piercings, 7 1/2 tats…..AND EVERYONE THINKS IM STRAIGHT. It’s sooooo annoying. So I mostly hang out at gay bars and in the gay areas of town where it isn’t as much of a problem. BUT….last week I was at a gay club and a GAY BOY tried to MAKE OUT with me! wtf. seriously?! He was very shocked when I started screaming “NOOOOO STOP! IM GAY! IM GAY!” hahahaha.

    Anyways, I don’t think there is always a surefire symbol, or way to tell that someone is gay. For example: HIPSTERS. The girls always look like lezzies….but they’re usually STRAIGHT. Ugh. I think just talking and getting to know someone is always a good idea, usually it will come out if they are gay. And if not, it doesn’t hurt to gain a new friend 🙂

  68. Tori

    I always thought it was a ring on your right thumb that meant your a lesbian, never really heard about the ring being on the middle finger.

    I actually look straight (long blonde hair, no wierd piercings, no tattoos, normal-ish cloths) but thats really because i’m still in school and haven’t come out yet, which i’m only planning on doing after school (considering i go to a all-girls convent school in south africa :P. i’d be murdered if came out now), but anyway, can’t wait to go to university in england or america! Much easier getting a girlfriend or just being gay when im around more mature people.

  69. Paige

    I never realized how many of these things I do that are such lesbo things! I love it! 🙂

    I’ve just recently come out & trying to figure all the lesbian sub-culture/how to act/how to meet people type things are a bit overwhelming. Your blog has definitely been crazy helpful, as well as pretty inspiring (yours and Remi’s love story) and I’m so glad I found it!

    and BRITT, I totally understand where you’re coming from! I’m from South Texas and it’s just insanely difficult to meet other members of the gay girl community here!

  70. Moni

    @Paige sorry to be so forward but I’m just a veeerry curious person im bi and live in South Texas 😀 Edinburg to be exact in the spirit of discovering who’s who of our community some girls just come out and say hey I’m gay and in your neighborhood ;)wanna be friends. my fb is

  71. Jazmenha

    And just saw a girl w a ponytale exposing 2 cherry tatoos on both sides of her neck behind her ears. That has to be like the star I’d think.

  72. Briana

    wow didn’t know a sign of being gay was the middle ring finger. I’ve been wearing a silver ring for about a year on my middle finger cause I got tired of always wearing one on my ring finger and people thinking I’m married. I am gay but I just came out so it’s kinda like an early sign or something. Both my best friends have the same ring I think on the same finger but they are not gay. They are a straight couple married to each other. We got the rings as a best friend group thing. But I love knowing it also shows another side of me.

  73. Emma

    I can just lol at some people’s comments… but ye To get to mine… I never actually thought there were ‘lesbian trademarks’ untill I read this er… post? and well I checked a couple of the things… I do not wear a purple thing around my arm though…

  74. Morgan

    I can’t believe how helpful this blog has been. It’s crazy to think I used to do the ring thing way before I knew that I was a lesbian. I’m in high school & have slowly but surely started coming out to other people. I literally sat here and read every comment, and everything started to make so much more sense. (:

  75. Michelle

    Okay, so now I totally get the whole tatoo thing. My wife has several. I, who lean more femme, have none. She’s recently talked me into us both getting the same one but we haven’t found anything we agree on yet. She said no to stars as too femme but now, I dunno… Maybe I should try harder to convince her that stars are the way to go. We don’t need to advertise or anything since we have each other but she’s so into tats that I want to do this with her.

  76. Jazmenha

    Michelle I know it sounds cheesy but what about getting the date of your marriage?

  77. Tori Raye

    stereotypes are a funny thing… I just recently came out- and i’m super femme, medium length blonde hair, girls clothes, heels, make up, i’m a mother of 2. My partner wears guys clothes because they are more comfy, has super short hair, rarely wears makeup. Though- I keep short stubby nails, she has acrylics put on (no polish though). She is more sensitive, i’m the aggressive one that can be emotionally a MAN at times. I have 7 tattoos, one incredible large one on my side, I do have star tattoos- but mine are bcs I like them, and bcs it was my son’s first word, i used to have my tongue and belly pierced. She has no tattoos, and her belly pierced. I love it when people say, I know who the man is in this relationship and little do they know it’s actually me.
    I haven’t tattooed myself to identify with anything or advertise that i’m lesbian. I have because I like it. But hey- whatever works! We do both wear a silver ring- on our wedding ring fingers though.

  78. valerie

    I love this post, I just did one similar on my blog. Seems the star tat is not even a regional thing… it’s sweeping the nation. Love the “extra piercings” 🙂 great site! just found it today.

  79. Jenne Lezbfriends

    hey guys just from looking around in the community n outside i’ve seen nati stars on all kinds of peoples wrists.. navy men and women, soccer moms, etc. etc. but a dead dead give away besides lefty wrist on gals/butches are upside down pink/black/ rainbow triangles, rainbow girl O-+ symbles, hammers, sissors, naked ladies or mustaches tattoo, ext.
    I however give off friend vibes alot but u can usually tell by three second glances from across the room, belts buckles.. (yeah they aren’t jus for cowboys)body movements, hairstyle (no longer manditory to wear the mullet its 2011 people),rainbows, hankies are an ancient tradition, middle silver ring is of course a give away n pink n both pointer and middle on right hand… (i mean a girls bestfriend is her right hand right ladies?? lol. n oh yeah muffin and cupcake tats are like a new give away to ladies.
    okay i live like 60miles from NOLA new oleans baby! n i loved mardigras i saw alot of the “family” in the french quarter sporting there signs 😉
    If ya’ll wanna take a gaycation netime soon i recommend going to NOLA!!! its very historical and the community is friendly..

    oh yeah n i have a black triangle tat since age 13, 2 more tats tounge, left lip, ears, and i’m a regular at my local gaybar so i’m purty sure its known that i’m a fem altho i bring my str8 friend so most the lezzies often think i’m bi until i by them beers n play a lil pool ohhhhh n i also find that alot of lesbians wear weither butch or fem where tanktops/wife beaters. usually black. yeah i love this life lol

  80. Tinker

    You might want to pick something other than the star, if you or sweetie are from Texas. (The star is PROMINENT on the state seal, on rodeo belt buckles and all the brass all over the state capital, the Texas Navy Flag, State and Texas National flag, and most anything decorative pertaining to the State) Hey, I just picked up a CHROME Belt buckle in the shape of a star in a circle, sold HERE as a Texas Ranger badge look alike. Be Careful…Texas is not LGBT friendly at all.

    The lambda symbol is the symbol for wavelength, so be sure she’s lesbian before you make a run on her and find out she’s a MICROWAVE/Radio engineer, though that seems almost like a lesbian signifier, too, or maybe just wishful thinking.

    I’d say the triangle, in black, is the best bet, but I’m sure it will be co-opted by Goth girls, too.

  81. TheCoyoteDreams

    This helps me out a bit…I’ve been a lesbian at heart all my life and been trying to figure it out and how to make myself more silently visible to family. I’m a recent immigrant to the lesbian world since I transitioned 4yrs ago and self-created the beautiful woman/female I am today. I am amazed every time at how many ‘flavors’ the female orgasms experiences are. I’m sometimes ‘read’ and many in the community automatically think that because I’m trans, I’m into boys/men…but they are so off base. I’m into the female energy and experience in all it’s forms…it is with the female form, be it butch/femme/boi/queer. With these road markers now I can more assuredly travel this road and feel a little safer asking for directions. And…I’ll be looking to apply some of these ‘road markers’ to myself as well. Catch me as TheCoyoteDreams most anywhere…FB/OKC/FL/TW…except LJ.

  82. Elegy

    Good luck, TheCoyoteDreams! I bet there are tons of lesbians, bisexual, queer, etc. women who are completely fine if not totally into MTF trans- I know personally that I just love women in all their forms as well! 😀

  83. Esmeralda

    I have the tattoos,and short hair. Never had the purple string thing, because from what I know purple in the rainbow flag represents bisexuals, which I am not.

  84. Jul

    Wow…I’ve got like…none of these. No tats, long hair, no piercings…I don’t necessarily get identified as gay, but hey, I think that’s all the more fun when you are.

    Guess there’s no sure-fire way to tell…well, at least on the street.

  85. Femmelover

    Wow, CoyoteDreams…I don’t presume to understand your dilemma. I’m confused to say the least and a bit challenged to understand. I guess you are far and in-between a lot in our community. Um, I guess what I am trying to understand is the trans person and what their partner preferences are. If someone is transitioning from man to woman and vice versa who do want to be with? Man or woman? It’s really perplexing to me but I am not biased at all…just wanting to understand more about this part of our community.

  86. Femmelover

    …I should say, what is the main-stream relationship that transgender folks are looking for? I mean, a person transgendering from a man to a woman and vice versa are looking for which gender to form a relationship with? Do most men that change want to be with a straight or gay man? Or, does it not matter? And, do most women who change to a man, want to be with a straight woman or lesbian…or it doesn’t matter?

    Signed: Femmelover, very confused.

  87. Jazmenha

    FL – Jolie is an excellent resource for your ?s – her husband is trans-gender. Her blog has her email. And looks like you can email CoyoteDreams directly through FB ant Twitter (if u don’t hear back on CCL). Take good care.

  88. natasia

    Maybe I should get a nautical star so other lesbians can pick me out of a crowded bar. Or maybe I should just get a huge searchlight and make it into a lesbian bat signal on my roof? 🙂

  89. Heather

    I have a star tattoo like that and didnt even realise and i wear a ring on both my middle fingers. GAY XD

  90. Femmelover

    Thanks Jazmenha. I will do what you suggest. And, take care yourself!

  91. sam

    I have all of these things but I still look straight! I wear a thumb ring, have piercings (25 in total) and 9 tattoos including 2 nautical stars and short hair but everyone thinks me and my girlfriend are just friends unless we’re holding hands! So frustrating!

  92. TheCoyoteDreams

    Thanks Natasia…I think I’ll go for the Lesbian ‘bat signal’ on my roof…I’ll start w/ a nautical star…simple enough. Now to just find a search light cheap on craigslist.

    Thanks Elgy, Femmelover & Jazmenha for your replies.

    The following is based on my experiences and what I’ve learned on my path in this ‘so called life’ thus far:

    The confusion we have, that I see, is the 2-sided gender coin our society/culture says we have to choose from based on our 2-sided sex coin (also false…male, female AND inter-sexed). Once you learn to separate sex & gender it is easier to understand. What I’ve leaned is that sex is what is between our legs (ah, but not always, and is compounded by our genetics and any modifications we may make to our physical bodies after we are born) though it is primarily what society judges our sex on (i.e. male/female). Now gender, that is a rainbow of expressions, definitions, colors, feelings, emotions, words, clothes etc. Gender is how we present ourselves to the world and how the world sees us an how we want the world to see us. Gender is fluid like water or air, but more so, it something we control…yet sometimes it controls us…we try to master it, use it to present our current gender state to those around us depending on our mood, situation, peers, desires, dreams etc. We use it to strengthen the mold we’ve cast for ourselves, and sometimes the mold society has cast for us…then there are those of us that use it fold, spindle and mutilate that mold…break it and create a new one…temporarily…or permanently. Let the guilt, shame & fear go…FEAR: False Evidence About Reality. Regardless…have fun, relax, enjoy the ride, love and respect yourself and it will flow out from you.

    Regard, TheCoyoteDreams

  93. Chichi - The Liddo (almost 18 y.o.) Stud

    I have my left eyebrow pierced already but i want rainbow nautical stars on both wrists and a rainbow Eternity symbol on my neck.

    How much more gayer can i get? lol

  94. BeBiBoBum

    So what’s the symbol you use to communicate that you’re Bi? Not Bi-curious, not Straight, not Lesbian, but Bisexual all the way?

  95. Bev

    Just found your blog today…..way cool! Luv it. Yes, I do wear a man’s pinky ring…..a pretty ruby and gold. It was my gay uncle’s ring, and now it’s been mine for a couple decades. I’m sure there’s mucho gay mojo in it, not that it matters. Yes I wear a silver ring on my middle finger …..hey! Should my silver ring be on my right or left finger? It seemed at home on my left. Yup short curly hair. The purple yarn around my wrist? Not on THIS grandma…no. But I do wear a loose bead bracelet of deep purple stones on my wrist. No piercings or tats, thouigh I’d love to get a tattoo. My wife gets pegged as my straight sister often, but not me. I don’t know why, cause when I look in the mirror, I just look like my mom when she was……well, when she was my age. Always wondered about her gay girlfriends when I was growing up *L*

  96. Jai

    How do I get a lesbian card…. Please let me know mwah

  97. Problematyk

    It seems like people these days are also getting the equality symbol tattooed on themselves. Thanks to the HRC it is definitely linked to the gay community. I was thinking of getting it done on the middle finger of my hand not sure which one. It looks good and you can get whatever color you like. Be on the lookout for me if you’re ever in Sacramento,ca! I’ll buy you a beer 🙂

  98. Nicole

    Hi, my name is Nicole, and this site popped up when I searched piercings, tattoos & there meanings. So I have a question ; “Does getting a piercing on my middle finger mean anything concerning my sexuality?” I’ve read here that wearing a silver ring on the middle finger means your lesbian. But does that apply to a piercing? I just happen to like it.

    -PLZ WRITE BACK. Thanks!

  99. K_S


    I have reading everyones comments…
    The nordical star thing… not a gay symbol anymore.
    I am a lesbian tattoo artist and have tattoo hundreds of nordical stars on hundreds of staight people. Only a handful of gay people have gotten nordical stars.


  100. Lisa

    I don’t have any of this but I may go buy a silver ring now that I know. I personally was beginning to think I would have to start making my wardrobe consist of more gay pride stuff just so I can get a forward answer on if someone is gay, bi, whatever.


    @Swede : yo ii was lookin for lesbian tatts nd stumbled on this blog. Personally ii loooovvvvee it. It explains alot about me… I STAY with a ring on my “Fuqq U” finger &&’ I was at the tattoo shop at the moment ii googled this…. So yu all are the inspiration to my radical nautical. 😉

    -Keiisha, GA

  102. Sasha

    Ok so in response to this I finally made an actual LESBIAN ring that can be worn as a middle finger ring or, my favorite lesbianic way, as a thumb ring

    Also made a few others and will be doing more. Any ideas?

  103. Sasha

    Oh and this one, Gay any way you look at it!

    Made this after Remi and I couldn’t decide which way to wear our rings, facing in or out. Now it’s legible from all angles!

  104. evaT

    i don’t have a star, i got the barcode (rainbowed) w/”certified” underneath it, tattooed on the back of my neck, plus my hair is cut “manly”, but no rings, & only my nose & ears r pierced.

  105. Mel

    LOVE this blog, and LOVE the comments. Have to say Dude’s comments (even though they’re a few years old by now) totally made me snort my wine.

    P.S. I discovered you through etsy (you’re totally in my circle), followed by pinterest, and THEN I made my way to your blog. Love love love it all.

  106. Sasha

    Hey Mel!! Wow, it’s cool to know social networking actually works!!! 🙂

    I saw your blog 🙂 …. I shall be adding you to our blogroll 🙂

  107. Sport young butch

    Hey, I realize this is an older blog but I just have to comment. Like Tori I’m also from South Africa and waiting till university to come out. I found this hole blog very helpfull and I’m strongly considering getting a few of these stuff althought I may be easy to identify as a gay coz I’m quit the tomboy, I grew up on a farm 🙂 I also recently cut my hair shorter*

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