Chapstick Lesbian - What is it? What does it mean?

Last Updated: 12/16/2022
3 min read
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Chapstick lesbian typically refers to a woman who has a gender expression that lies somewhere in between ultra-feminine and ultra-masculine. She's also much more practical and sporty with very soft lips - they do use lip balm after all. Chapstick lesbian will usually be okay with dressing up but prefers to wear jeans and a jacket. 

Chapstick lesbians often wear sensible, comfortable clothing. Many gay women tend to support the expression in their lives  since it truly has versatile traits. 

Table of contents


This is a slang term that describes women who love women who are not hyper-feminine but more of low maintenance in terms of their femininity. The Wordsense dictionary describes chapstick lesbian meaning as a woman who exhibits some butch traits like short hair, manly clothing without wholly fitting into the butch stereotype. She may also have a keen interest in sports and have an athletic body shape and like to use chapsticks.


The terminology that was used to refer to lesbians was first noted in the 1920s. Most of these terms were derogatory towards gay women. The terms often described a combination of masculinity, strength, and aggression.

The terminology slowly started to shift. Femme and lipstick lesbian became common slang for those who identify as gay, but the actual term chapstick lesbian did not appear until the 1990s. A famous LGBTQ+ television host is responsible for making it popular.

Chapstick is the trademark name of a lip balm made by the famous American pharmaceutical company Pfizer. In 1997 on a popular sitcom Ellen which starred Ellen DeGeneres a character asked β€œshe was a lipstick-lesbian or what?” to which another one replied, β€œ rather she was a chapstick lesbian”. Hence, the term with the lip balm reference was born.

Flag and Symbols

Currently, there are at least sixty-four different flag design proposals for gay women. Since 1999 there have been a lot of changes to the design of the flag. There is no official flag at the present moment. 

The majority of lesbians including chapstick lesbians tend to use the orange and pink flag. It symbolizes the following: dark orange for gender nonconformity, orange for independence, light orange for the community, white for relationships to womanhood, pink for serenity and peace, dusty pink for love and sex, dark pink for femininity.

Lesbian flagLesbian flag

The Venus symbol doubles and interlocks to symbolize the wlw community. It became popular in the 1970s and continues to be used to this day by many gay women. 

Double venusDouble venus


Chapstick lesbians tend to use she/her pronouns, but some may use they/them. It is best to ask what pronouns a person prefers before assuming that in conversation. 

Am I a Chapstick Lesbian?

If during the search for the right terminology you found the term lipstick lesbian far too feminine since you are not femme, and butch kind of manly, you may identify as a chapstick lesbian.

Chapstick lesbians may be kind of similar to soft butches but they are not as masculine learning. If you are a strong woman who can fix things around the house but likes to take care of her soft lips and rock a great jacket - you may be a chapstick lesbian.

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Julia Sotska is a former Senior PR Manager at Taimi. She hails from Toronto, Canada where she studied Communications and Journalism Broadcasting. Julia is an experienced journalist, TV producer, editor and communications manager. Her work has been featured in prominent publications in Canada, the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, and more. Julia is passionate about LGBTQ+ and disability rights, mental health, wellness, and parenthood.

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