A heterosexual man in Germany has declared his sexual orientation as “lesbian” in a gushing new profile looking to raise awareness of the “rare phenomenon” of “lesbian men.”
Published today in General-Anzeiger, the article, titled “Finally, Everything Feels Right,” declares that at “age 50, Francois Etscheid realized he was a lesbian man. Until this realization, it was a rocky path full of questions and self doubt for him. Now he wants to encourage other with this story.”
The subject of the profile, Francois Etscheid, was born a male and identifies as a man attracted to women. He claims to have come to the realization he was a “lesbian” after carrying out a work assignment in a neighborhood where a lesbian couple was residing. He says the couple’s friendliness towards him, as well as their apparently peaceful lifestyle, prompted him to ask himself questions about his own sexuality.
Etscheid soon after began researching into whether or not men attracted to women could identify as lesbians. The artist claims he found a community of other men who felt similarly, and subsequently “came out” to his daughter. He says male lesbianism is “a minority within a minority.”
In the piece, Etscheid is said to have reflected on the early origins of his “lesbian” sexuality, noting that he “preferred to be with the girls even in primary school.” He says he forced himself to participate in sports as a boy, but as he aged, he began to reject more stereotypically masculine activities and interests in favor of art, fashion, and “sparkling wine instead of beer.” He also says he preferred to sit with women at dinner parties and functions, and now that he’s come to terms with his “lesbian sexuality,” he feels more comfortable doing so.
Etscheid claims to have determined that a fundamental component of “male lesbianism” is a longing for a relationship in which there are no power imbalances.
“I have often admired this in gay or lesbian couples… the great respect and tolerance for each other,” He says, continuing that he also admires strong women, and prefers women who are in high-powered careers over those more often associated with females, such as “doctors rather than nurses.”
Since “coming out” Etscheid says his self-confidence and relationship with his daughter has improved, and that he is now allowing himself to openly watch women’s television shows — an indulgence he once denied himself.
In the article, Etscheid also says he hopes the publicizing of his story will increase awareness about the existence of male lesbians, saying: “Maybe there’s another man out there who feels like me… I wish he didn’t have to turn 50 before he [heard] about it.”
General-Anzeiger ends the piece by educating readers about “guydykes,” which they say are defined as “men who may have been sorted into the category ‘male’ at birth and are even satisfied with this attribution most of the time,” but who “dream of being loved and desired by a woman, as a woman.” But they note that the Lesbian and Gay Association of Germany does not recognize this concept in their official glossary.
While there has been a surge of males encroaching on lesbian identity in recent years, Etscheid’s case stands out because he does not identify as a woman, non-binary, or any other transgender identity. He presents and identifies as a heterosexual man.
Jen Izaakson from UK-based campaign group Lesbian Labour calls the display “the most male thing ever,” dismissing Etscheid’s claims as “delusion.”
“It is a classic example of male behavior, actually, to think he entitled to everything — even that which explicitly excludes him.”
Izaakson says Etscheid’s encroachment on the lesbian identity acutely demonstrates a problem female homosexuals have been battling for years.
“Lesbians have been experiencing men increasingly entering in on our lives, spaces, and sexuality. Our dating apps are, unfortunately, full of men who claim to be lesbians but have zero respect for us and have no clue what lesbian culture is,” Izaakson says, continuing: “Lesbianism is being erased from so many different directions today, it’s hard to keep up.”
Izaakson believes Etscheid’s story bears little difference from males first identifying into womanhood prior to calling themselves lesbians, noting that Etscheid is “just more honest about being a man,” but that both represent a form of “rape culture” against lesbians.
“No matter how many long distance relationships he enters, or how far he rolls his jeans up… this dude isn’t a lesbian.”
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