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T has a 5-year-old son; when the whole family is out together, M is sometimes assumed to be the nanny. “As a mixed black woman,” M says, “that plays into [other people’s] assumptions whenever [T] walks into the room.”M finds that when she does get prying age-related questions, they tend to be from straight men, who will openly question her and T’s compatibility.“I’ve been shocked at the audacity of that,” says M.One of the most-liked Facebook comments on the article reads: “This is really gross.Not because they are gay, but because Sarah Paulson is dating the crypt keeper.” Depictions of significant lesbian age differences were mostly the stuff of subculture before this year, when a number of films pushed the phenomenon into the mainstream spotlight.Or no one is around to judge you when eat an entire can of frosting or don’t wash dishes for a week. (Actually, I’m not sure it’s a true …but you get my point.) I now have the answer I can give to concerned people who like to ask why I’m not married: “I choose loneliness over annoyance.” To me, one’s not better (or worse) than the other, they’re just different.But sometimes you want someone to talk to, or make you tea when you’re sick, or have sex with you.” That’s it! I, a single woman, am much better at tolerating the occasional loneliness I feel than I would be at tolerating the frequent annoyances I feel I’d have to put up if I lived in the same house with my (non-existent) husband. They acknowledge the continual annoyances they must tolerate when sharing living quarters with their husbands, and also acknowledge that they’d choose those annoyances over living alone. Women who date significantly up or significantly down radically subvert heteronormative standards for what’s appropriate when it comes to sex and love.Misunderstandings with warped oedipal undertones often plague queer women in intergenerational relationships.
What you may not know is that this trend is happening all around the world.M, a 30-year-old living in Los Angeles with her partner, T, who’s 19 years older, says they also receive some scrutiny when they’re out in public.(Both women requested not to be named for this story, to protect the sensitive nature of T’s professional life.) Strangers are always trying to figure out how they’re related.This year, a whole lot of people have watched lesbians of varying age differences fall in love — and some witnesses have been nothing short of scandalized.That these age differences are oftentimes considered gross or salacious is pretty galling, since we’re all quite comfortable seeing older men date much younger women: Take all the James Bond films.