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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?
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Much like the Navy, as well as all other military branches in general where women are involved, women's sports are really, really gay.

The Lesbian Jock—as her name would suggestloves 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, swimming, soccer, tennis, basketball, and in some cases, combat sports such as boxing, kickboxing, wrestling, and mixed martial arts are roughly 50/50 in that they can swing either way; but "masculine" sports like hockey, American football, rugby and, strangely enough, golf are almost a sure bet.

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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 that trope is Lipstick Lesbian.

From the standpoint of interest in said sport indicates "gender nonconformity," 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.

One common Sub-Trope in works with a school setting is the Butch Lesbian girls' P.E. teacher.


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Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet zigzags it like crazy with the Pirate Queen Lukkage. While she certainly shows regard for her crew, she personally takes raiding like a sport. She actually keeps lesbian cohorts on chain leashes (who fight just as hard as she does when not at play), but seems to show true affection to a male expatriate of Gargantia.
  • Bakemonogatari gives us Kanbaru Suruga, a bike-shorts-wearing, very out basketball player with a mean left hook.
  • Chisato from the Higurashi: When They Cry manga-only chapter Onisarashi-hen.
  • Haruka Tenou/Sailor Uranus from Sailor Moon is Michiru Kaiou's girlfriend, a Bifauxnen, a Sailor Senshi (as well as one half of a Battle Couple with Michiru/Sailor Neptune) and a gifted athlete.
  • Subverted in Nyan Koi!. Nagi Ichinose is the captain of the school track team, a Bifauxnen who induces Viewer Gender Confusion and plays the part of a Chivalrous Pervert around the other girls. However, she comes to develop a crush on the male main character... While still ogling every other girl in sight.
  • Nagisa of Futari wa Pretty Cure tends to get a bunch of love letters from female classmates and underclassmen; it's at least implied that they like her because she's one of the school's star athletes. She wishes she could get letters from boys instead, but there are a lot of instances in which her relationship with Honoka is implied to be a Romantic Two-Girl Friendship, likely to please the Yuri Fan Periphery Demographic.
  • Hibari from Stop Hibari Kun is straight, but Jun Ōtori, the volleyball club's captain, is tsundere for her.
  • Yukka from Kanojo ni Naritai Kimi to Boku was one of the best runners on her track team. She quit track because she fell for another runner. After Yukka's Love Confession, the other girl told the entire team and it caused Yukka trouble, resulting in her quitting track.

    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?
  • Kate Kane played soccer in middle school, was an international-level gymnast in high school, and boxed as a West Point cadet (as did her girlfriend at the Academy, Sophie Moore), where she's implied to have won a school championship. She's also been implied or outright stated to like baseball, basketball, and football.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • But I'm a Cheerleader:
    • The film 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.
    • Conversely, 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.
  • G.I. Jane: Jordan O'Neal isn't but she's suspected of being one because she's the first woman to subject herself to the US Navy's Combined Reconnaissance Team. In this case her detractors are trying to discredit her for apparent fraternization.note 
  • When Evil Calls: Molly and Kirsty, the same-sex couple, both play on the girls' basketball team (though Molly's really bisexual, but Kirsty's likely unaware of that).
  • Princess Cyd: Cyd is shown to like sports early on in the film. She's later seen to be bisexual.
  • Alena: Alena likes lacrosse and is quite good at it, joining the school team over Filippa's vehement opposition. One girl in Filippa's gang (composed of other lacrosse players) is also a possible example as Felippa says she "likes pussy" (however it isn't clear if that's true).

    Literature 
  • 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 rumor 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 bi or straight 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 rumors 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.
  • While Robin from How I Met Your Mother is straight, Lily jokingly questions her sexuality by bringing up her time on her high school field hockey team, after Robin kisses her to fulfill Lily's desire to experiment with lesbianism before getting married.
  • 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 is Ambiguously Gay and also on the swim team. 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.
  • Lip Service: Fin, who's on a whole football team with many more examples.
  • Almost Family: Edie meets an entire kickball team made up of lesbians, and joins it.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Downplayed with Sonya Deville, who plays up her MMA background and has a much tougher and tomboyish image than most of her contemporaries (who although a lot of them are tomboyish, they usually have a girly streak too). She's also the first female performer to be open about being a lesbian while working for WWE.

    Roleplay 
  • 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.

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