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Lesbian Jock

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"And not all basketball players are lesbians — just the ladies."
Michael Buckley, What The Buck?

Much like the Navy, women's sports are really, really gay.

The Lesbian Jock, as her name would suggest, loves sports and also loves the ladies. Usually, this trope either takes the form of lesbian characters playing sports, or other people assuming (correctly or incorrectly) that a female character is a lesbian because she enjoys sports. There seems to be a sliding scale of which sports are acceptable for girls without questioning their femininity and which are not. Performance-based sports like gymnastics, figure skating, diving, and cheerleading are all "okay"; most competitive sports like softball, volleyball, track, soccer, tennis, and basketball are 50/50; but "masculine" sports like wrestling, American football, rugby and, strangely enough, golf are almost a sure bet. One common subtrope is the Butch Lesbian P.E. teacher.


Her rough Spear Counterpart could be considered the Gym Bunny. However, the lesbian jock is usually into sports because she's a tomboy while the Gym Bunny is usually into physical fitness because he's a narcissist. The counterpart of this trope is Lipstick Lesbian.

From this standpoint, the Spear Counterpart would be Performance Artist, where certain performance arts are 'reserved' for women and that any man who choose to partake in them are automatically more 'feminine' (and thus in turn inclined to homosexuality) than those who don't. The same logical fallacy applies.

A variant, with many of the same stereotypes, is the Lesbian Cop.



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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Monique Swetlik, one of the supporting characters from Cherry Comics. She is essentially a lesbian version of the Gym Bunny.
  • Upper-class variant from Y: The Last Man when up until then nerdy Dr. Mann grabbed a sword after being confronted by a Ninja.
    i'm an Ivy League Lesbian, bitch! [sword flourish] You honestly don't think that I've ever fenced before?

    Films — Live-Action 
  • But I'm a Cheerleader has Jan, a softball player who says "I like balls" when asked for the root of her homosexuality, although she later turns out to be straight. She's just a really, really butch straight girl.
    • And then there's Megan, who uses the fact that she's a cheerleader as proof of her heterosexuality. Subverted once again, as she's actually a lesbian in denial.
  • Used as a running joke in DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story, where Patches O'Houlihan assumes that Kate is a lesbian because she's good at sports. Turns out that he's half right.
  • The assumption is made in Bend It Like Beckham by Jules' mother. The character was originally intended to be gay, but this was subject to Executive Meddling, specifically to avoid seeming to endorse the stereotype that all girls who like sports are gay, though Jules and Jess have so much Les Yay between them that it seems like the change was only made after half the shooting had been concluded.
  • THE trendsetter: Personal Best.
  • The Butch Lesbian P.E. Teacher subtrope turned up in Scary Movie, in the form of Miss Mann. Subverted in that she has a huge and visible pair of balls.
  • The "same-sex-oriented" gym teacher in Clueless.
  • According to Word of God, Betty Buckley played Miss Collins as this in the 1976 version of Carrie. However, instead of being a Butch Lesbian like many versions of this trope, she has a very feminine appearance, and the bulk of her interaction with Carrie is complimenting her looks and giving her beauty tips. She also mentions having taken the captain of the basketball team to her own prom, although this doesn't rule out her being closeted what with her prom taking place in the 60's.
  • In the short film Size 'Em Up, the teenage soccer player Sam (played by Lindsay Felton) is heavily implied to be a lesbian.
  • In Stardom, main character Tina Menzhal (Jessica Pare) mentions that she had been with girls before. Her friend is surprised, but Tina says that it's not really unusual because she played softball in school, and uses the phrase "dykes on spikes" to describe the phenomenon.

  • In Girls FC, it isn't stated outright, but it's pretty heavily implied near the end of book 8, when Tabinda asks her coach Hannah if she ever gets afraid of anything. Hannah replies that she wanted to tell her parents something about herself, but was afraid to. When she finally did, they told her, "Oh, we've known that for ages".

    Live-Action TV 
  • Dana Fairbanks from The L Word is a professional tennis player, and season four introduces the character Papi, who plays basketball and admits that she likes to go to games to pick up girls.
  • Lesley Tangaroa, the P.E. teacher in Seven Periods With Mr Gormsby, was a lesbian.
  • In Boston Public, there was a short controversy inside the school when the rumour got out that the girls PE teacher was lesbian, and had choreographed the cheerleading routine for her personal entertainment (and, admittedly, the entertainment of any male viewers.)
  • The Golden Girls had several references to lesbians and tennis. Rose also mentioned a "very confused female PE teacher" being a customer at her kissing booth.
  • In a flashback on Friends, Ross gushes that his girlfriend Carol, later his lesbian ex-wife, plays on both the lacrosse team and the golf team.
    Ross: [enthusiastically] She plays for both teams!
  • Hilarious bit in the 2002 best of part of The Glass House:
    Wendy: What exactly are you saying?
    Dave: Look... well, we know that all female cricketers are lesbians.
    (Crowd goes wild).
    Corinne: Every single one of them, Dave. The whole lot of them. You know, I touched a cricket bat once and I had lesbianitis for three weeks. The whole lot of them.
    Dave: Uh... well... could we just move on?
  • In an episode of The West Wing C.J. has to contend with rumours that she's gay. The "evidence": She played basketball in high school. Yes. So what if she's incredibly tall?
  • Glee: Coach Beiste references this trope, explaining specifically that she is NOT a lesbian. Doesn't help she looks like a Butch Lesbian.
  • Law & Order: Criminal Intent: There are several hints that an African-American female lacrosse player has a crush on her friend and later the detectives ask her father which would be worse for him, her being a lesbian or a murderer (he doesn't respond and she's not a murderer. A little overzealous in defending her friend's honor, but not a murderer).
  • Harry's Law: An athletic high school student is Driven to Suicide after another student, a popular blogger, gets the entire school to harass her out of the closet. The blogger's justification is that A) there are gay students who are comfortably out and B) she just didn't think about her victim's feelings or that her family/friends outside school/church might not be as accepting as the school it works, she's found not guilty of murder.
  • Jane of Degrassi was accused of being a budding lesbian because she was changing in the girls' locker room for football.
  • Pretty Little Liars:
    • Emily definitely fits the lesbian part. She's a swimmer, but her girlfriend Maya has called her a lesbian jock on occasion.
    • Paige is a lesbian and a swimmer and a field hockey player. She even has a penalty named after her. She doesn't actually qualify as a Butch Lesbian though.
    • Shana is a swimmer who had a fling with Paige and is in love with Jenna.
    • Sydney who is Ambiguously Gay and also swims. Are there any straight members on that swim team?
  • On The Drew Carey Show, Drew recalls the time his dad made him go to golf camp for the summer, claiming he'd meet girls there. "Thanks a lot, Dad. My first kiss was with a 14 year old lesbian!"
  • On One Big Happy, Lizzy's friends play "Gay or Nay" to determine if her crush Kate is a lesbian. She tells them that she played soccer in highschool ("Yay!") but she wasn't very good ("Nay."), and she prefers tennis (which throws the others for a loop).
  • On Beverly Hills, 90210, several of Donna's sorority sisters makes snide comments along this line about a female basketball player that Donna has nominated to join the group. Donna blasts them for their ignorant assumption and homophobia.
  • Schitt's Creek: Ronnie, the town lesbian, gets into a fierce baseball rivalry with the town's resident Straight Gay, Patrick.

  • Reiko Ishida, of Survival of the Fittest, is a rare example of one of these that does ice skating. Despite the fact that, as noted above, it tends to be seen as "girly", she is masculine enough (and, well, the obvious) to count as being played straight.

    Web Comics 
  • Lisa from Venus Envy. Later on, it's revealed that the rest of the girls' soccer team is gay as well, except for one girl who nervously admits that she might be straight.
  • Subverted in Red String. Maya gives off all the right clues: awesome athlete, tall, tan, has a close friendship with both Fuuko and Karen. Then it turns out (after a scandal, a friendship split, and a lot of soul-searching) that feminine and frilly Fuuko is gay, but sporty jock Maya is straight.
  • Sun Jing from Their Story is a lesbian and an extremely gifted basketball player.

    Western Animation 
  • The Simpsons:
    • During the episode where Homer became a gay-marriage minister, Marge's sister's lesbian fiance was a pro-golfer. Then it turns out that "she" is really a "he".
    • When Lisa is tempted by a full-ride scholarship to any one of the "Seven Sisters" womens' colleges, she has a dream sequence where an avatar of each of them speaks to her. Smith College is represented by a Butch Lesbian in a Lacrosse uniform that tells her "Come to Smith... and experiment."
  • This was used as a throwaway gag on The Critic - Jay had a Dream Sequence where he imagined the first girl who kissed him - who later became a lesbian on the women's golf tour.
  • Family Guy:
    • Meg's gym teacher instructed her students to get in the shower and bounce around, like it was a normal thing. She is officially confirmed to be lesbian in a later episode, where she is seen at the sperm bank with her partner.
    • Peter and the guys are playing softball, and a woman steps up to bat from the other team. Peter orders his teammates to move in, then a woman in the stands calls out to the batter and calls her "babe", and the catchers move back out.
  • Korra of The Legend of Korra is bisexual, not a lesbian, but otherwise fits the trope: she is tough, strong and a former professional athlete.

    Real Life 
  • As an example of an actual Lesbian Jock politician, the current leader of the Scottish Conservative Party (yes, their Conservative party. Scotland is an interesting place), Ruth Davidson, is a lesbian, and one of her hobbies is kickboxing.
  • Also see the Wikipedia category for prominent sportswomen who are lesbian.


Example of: