Fallen leaves, pumpkins, and rainy nights. There’s nothing inherently gay about Autumn, so why is it loved by lesbians and queer women so much?
By Gemma Murphy (She/her)
Here are 6 reasons why I, a lesbian, believe queer women are Autumn’s biggest fans.
Number 1 – We all want to fall in love in October
American singer Girl in Red is a massive figure in lesbian culture, with the phrase “Do you listen to Girl in Red” being used to ask women if they were queer on TikTok back in 2020. Her influence amongst queer culture is huge, so when she released her single ‘We Fell in Love in October’ in 2018, it had the same effect. Her lyrics, “We fell in love in October, that’s why I love fall”, have inspired many queer women to have an autumn romance so we can sing the words and really mean it. How else are we supposed to get all in our feels about it?
Number 2 – Orange (and green) is the new black
Autumnal colours are inherently queer. Ever met a girl with a forest-green couch? She’s probably a little fruity. So, when the grass gets a little darker, and the leaves start to look a little burnt, you know queer women are thriving. This one I can’t really explain anymore; maybe it comes from our love of plants? But I guess that’s another thing…
Number 3 – Cats
Now, this stereotype is strong, buttttttt it’s kind of deserved. It’s true, lesbians really do love cats; a study by Autostraddle even proved so by showing lesbians are more likely to parent a cat than their hetero counterparts. And what’s a key part of the spooky season? Cats, especially black cats.
Black cats are often a symbol of Halloween or witchcraft in themselves. In most Western cultures, black cats are superstitious and viewed as evil or bringers of bad luck. Some people even believe that black cats were simply witches shape-shifting themselves. As a result, black cats were neglected and mistreated simply for being misunderstood. Making them kindred spirits to lesbians.
Rachel Corbman, a specialist in queer studies, said: “Cats are connected with deviant forms of femininity like witches, spinsters, and lesbians. So when you see cats come up, the pejorative assumptions are kind of reclaimed in a way.”
Number 4 – Must be the season of the Witch
In the wise words of Lana Del Ray, it must be the season of the witch. This means all my crystal, rose quartz loving girlies are in their element. Continuing from my previous point, queer women have always been kindred spirits with deviant forms of femininity, such as witches. Witches didn’t adhere to societal norms; they were powerful single women who opposed a threat to masculinity, similar to queer women. I think it also stems from our love of nature and connecting with it, which is a huge part of witchcraft and spirituality.
Number 5 – Flannels
Queer women love a flannel, and layering season calls for them. But why? Jeans were some of the first trousers it was socially acceptable for women to wear in public, which paired well with flannels. So, it was one of the first more masculine outfits women could get away with wearing.
When Queer women first come out, we often feel the need to appear more masculine in a desperate attempt to let others know we’re gay. As a result, many a “baby gay” will grab a flannel and hope it works as some sort of bat signal to other queer women. Ultimately, there is no dress code to look gay, just wear whatever you’re most comfortable in, but for many queer women, a good ol’ flannel does this.
Note to reader: I am wearing a green flannel as I write this.
Number 6 – Sweater Weather
This one is specifically for the bi ladies. Similar to Girl In Red, Sweater Weather is part of the new language surrounding the LGBTQ+ community. A conversation that once went “Are you a friend of Dorothy’s?” has now become “Do you listen to Girl in Red, or do you prefer Sweater Weather?”
But what is Sweater Weather? It is a song released by The Neighbourhood that has recently been dubbed a bi anthem by pop culture.
It’s not as clear or obvious why this song was chosen as a bisexual identifier. None of the bands is openly part of the queer community, but the song itself does not refer much to gender, so it seems as though this could play a role. Additionally, oversized sweaters are a staple in a bisexual wardrobe, but not just any sweaters. See a sweater with the most headache-inducing pattern or the words “World’s Best Grampa” on it, well, you’re in bisexual heaven.
Either way, Autumn provides the perfect chance for queer couples to buy matching sweaters, be cosy and get ready to U-Haul for the rest of Winter.
Pitch by Gemma Murphy
Edited by Theerada Moonsiri