Post # 17
I think it was nice of you to offer a non-dress alternative. It’s not that all lesbians categorically hate dresses (obviously); but she may not be comfortable with a very feminine appearance. And you offered her an alternative.
It sounds to me like she’s uncomfortable with the role of a bridesmaid in general. It is a very gendered thing, and I wouldn’t blame her- but if that’s the case, she shouldn’t be one.
Is there some other special role you could give her? Could she do a reading or a speech, or is she musical at all, or would she like to be an usher or a personal assistant?
Post # 18
I have the opposite, one of my bridesmaids (best mate) is a fully blown lesbian with tattoos and short hair, she is very beautiful/stunning, but not too girly and she never wears dresses, when I asked her to be my bridesmaid, she literally screamed down the email saying I CANT WAIT TO WEAR A DRESS for your wedding! My Maid/Matron of Honor is Bi sexual, short hair and hardly wears dresses and she also said she can’t wait to get all prettied up….I told them the can choose their own dresses with my inspiration/colours/length suggestion, etc….They are both delighted and accepting of what I want and are making every effort, yet they are allowed to stamp their own flare and identity with the outfits.,
I think your Bridesmaid or Best Man sounds like a selfish brat! She is a lesbian, not a frigging man, what’s wrong with her carrying a bunch of bloody flowers for a few hours for the sake of your wedding, and walking with her flipping brother..! Does she have an identity crises?
I’d understand her bouqet issue and walking with a man issue, if she felt she was a man and was going through sexual alteration surgery, then yes, she would have a right to feel odd, but then she should have refused your offer of being a bridesmaid if she had all these ‘conditions’, why should you have to change every thing for ONE woman!…to me she just sounds like she is being difficult for the sake of it!
Post # 19
I think that she is just being un supportive of you deciding what YOU want your wedding to be like. Lesbian or not…. it’s your wedding that you are planning, she should be more receptive and willing to do things the way you want…. You sound like you have went above and beyond trying to make her feel comfortable. Being a bridemaid you should be pretty self-less… within reason.
BUT: I think now a days brides are becoming way too “engulfed” in the idea that your bridal party has to look perfect, matching, to the “t”. The focus should be on you and your future spouse. If this were me I would be okay with her not wearing a dress, but make sure that it still fits the theme of the dresses the other girls will be wearing. If she does not feel comfortable carrying a bouquet have her wear a flower ( or whatever the the guys are decorated with)… if that’s what she wants. Everyone wants awesome pictures.. but who is going to look at your bridal party pictures and think “OMG did you see that one of her bridesmaid wasn’t wearing a DRESS!?” … more likely they are going to say “OMG look how beautiful “XX and XX’ look” and who cares what people think of how your wedding looks. But walking done the aisle alone is just a silly request IMO…. especially if she is supposed to walk down the aisle with her brother…..
At my wedding the maids and groomsmen walked down alone … and only walked together at the end….
But at the end it is your wedding and I don’t think she has the right to be so demanding in changing your wedding. You seem quite understanding of what makes her uncomfortable… but I think she needs to compromise with you….
Post # 20
If I was in your situation I would probabily be feeling the same way. It seems to me that if she really is completely against all of these things that she should not have agreed to be a birdesmaid in the first place. She had to have known that she would be expected to wear a dress and carry a boquet. I don’t think it is completely out of line for you to ask her to do something else for the wedding.
Post # 21
@ProfessorGirl: Can you negotiate any of these? My LGBT friends all go through painful stages of figuring out what it means for them, and those stages often include rejecting all socially determined gender-constructions: flowers, dresses, being escorted, etc.
Exactly to what ProfessorGirl has said. BUT, it’s still your wedding, and agreeing to be a bridesmaid doesn’t mean that she can dictate the decorative scheme of your wedding (the comment about “any of the girls” carrying bouquets was especially controlling). In a perfect world, you’d both be able to compromise on these issues. From your post it seems like you are…and she’s not. So, as others have suggested, maybe she is making these demands because she doesn’t want to be a bridesmaid. If that’s the case, you won’t know unless you ask her point-blank (but gently).
Post # 22
I would send her something polite and say “I’ve tried really hard to respect your wishes and personal boundaries, but I have a vision in mind for my wedding day and if you want to be a Bridesmaid or Best Man, you’ll need to do ______. If you are unable to do those things, would you rather be an usher or do a reading?”
Post # 23
@bookworm88: If you are unable to do those things, would you rather be an usher or do a reading?”
Now why didn’t anyone else think of that? Very good idea….
Post # 24
@ProfessorGirl: this exactly. i really hope that you can work this out and she can be a part of your wedding since you care about her.
the bouquet thing is a bit over the top, but as far as clothes go, i have a very good friend who is a lesbian and is not ever going to wear a dress. unfortunately her new sister in law wasnt understanding at all and refused to let her be in her only brother’s wedding because of it. i think you were really awesome to give her the choice to wear a coordinating non-dress option.
Post # 25
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
She’s being unreasonable. She should wear a pantsuit that matches what you requested and she should carry the darn bouquet. The guys usually wear flowers, too. It’s not like flowers scream girly girl. Plus, she is a woman, even if she likes other women. I also fail to see why being escorted by a man is such a problem. There’s no implication of those people being in any way intersted in each other. I could understand if you were making the bridal party have a bridal party dance and she had to dance with the groomsman, but that is not the case. I’m sure she is going through some issues with her identity and trying to find her comfort zone, but I think you have been respectful of that and she needs to meet you in the middle. If this continues to be a problem, maybe she can stand up for the groom instead on his side and one fo the men who is closer to you can come over to your side.
Post # 26
i agree with the pp on this issue. Being a lesbian does not make any of the other statements that she has made true. All of the things that “make her uncomfortable” are personal issues and have nothing to do with her sexual orietation. She is being picky and difficult. If it were my wedding, I would simply pull her aside and have a conversation with her about her supporting you and your choices.
Post # 27
Yeah, kuddos on trying to be flexible. I think it was a great gesture to offer the pantsuit solution and one that she should definitely take you up on. The bouquet thing is a little much, you could suggest a boutonniere? And what if she and her brother walk side by side, not arm in arm?
If she keeps making comments, I would sensitively suggest that perhaps your requests are making her too umcomfortable and that (as PPs said) she might prefer to do a reading, etc. While she’s being particularly demanding, I would take care to be nice about it (even though you’ve already been super understanding – and I would say this regardless of sexual orientation with difficult people).
Additionally, as a PP said, I would avoid the word ‘lifestyle.’ It’s not ideal.
And one other thing, I have to be honest, I know many straight women that would not be comfortable in a male strip club, so I can kinda see eye to eye with her there (though I would probably grin and bear it).
Post # 28
OP, I’m not a lesbian but I know and am close to quite a few. I was going to ask you how old your friend was and when she came out because it sounds like she’s going through what ProfessorGirl is talking about with a side of “if you REALLY accept me, then you’ll accept me as ME!!” I’m understanding of your BM’s requests in the same way that I’d be understanding if a Muslim or orthodox Jewish Bridesmaid or Best Man would ask to wear a head covering of some kind–in other words, the response might be far more personal than just “not wanting to be a girl.” (and by the way, the rejection of femininity is NOT a “lesbian thing” considering the number of gay women I know who are all about frilliness).
Buuuuttt….There’s a point at which adherence to one’s personal beliefs becomes a feature of narcissism and I think that’s what this is turning into. I get that walking down the aisle (with her brother? but whatever) simulates a heterosexual tradition and a heteronormative institution which she may or may not be on board with and that bouquets are feminine and blah blah blah, but in the end, I feel that you have every right to insist that YOUR identity as a heterosexual (feminine?) woman and bride should be respected as well. Especially since this is YOUR wedding. And in the end, there are millions of people who participate in rituals that are culturally not “their own” and don’t take it as an affront to who they are. It’s a shame if she’s not there yet, but I don’t think that the expectation is unreasonable.
I would confront her about all this and ask her if she is uncomfortable participating in the wedding full-stop because it IS a heteronormative institution. And then it should be that if that’s the issue, then she shouldn’t have to participate and you can relieve her of her duties. But if it’s not the issue–if it’s a million little things that she doesn’t like because they’re “not her” well, um, this isn’t for or about her anyway. Perhaps a good compromise is for both of you to cut your losses. Tell her that you would like her to have an honorary place in the wedding but you want her to be comfortable–if a Bridesmaid or Best Man isn’t in the cards, then would she be willing to give a reading or a speech? Neither of those require specific attire 🙂
Post # 29
thank you all for your kind words. After posting I called her gf and asked if I was being offensive. She told me I was anyhting but that. She also informed me that considering that she is 35 and just came out to her family and had much rejection she feels the need to show everyone she is comfortable with who she is. Not only do I understand that but I am also willing to support her. I asked why she has a problem with a coodinating pantsuit and she told me that it her wanting to be center of attention and I was also informed that they will be getting married and she will be wearing a dress and hold flowers. So her girlfriend said she will talk to her about the dress and bouquet. Shortly after the Bridesmaid or Best Man called me and apologized for the hard time she gave me and agreed to the dress and bouquet. I explained that I will always support her and if she really want to wear pants I have no problem. We came to a great compromise she is going to get a khaki pants suit and have the top of the dress made into a cami to wear under the jacket. I think it will be beautiful on her. Now as far her brother walking with her she told me that he has not spoke to her since she came out. So I told her that she will walk with my brother and she said “NOT ARM AND ARM” lol.!!!!!! And for the bachlorette party IMO she is as important as anyone else and I stand firm we will do something everyone can enjoy. She has sugessted LIPS a drag show and I think that will be a blast. Thanks again
Post # 30
@amandabones: AWESOME. Love it when these things work out.
Post # 31
You sound like a very courteous and loving bride who has, and deserves, lovely friends.
I love hearing it has a happy ending!