Kayley Tucker, 29, developed the perfect response to people telling her she doesn’t ‘look gay’.
As a feminine lesbian, Kayley said people are always taken aback by the revelation she’s gay. So she’s thought of the best response to the inevitable disbelief.
She replies: ‘What’s not lesbian about a female who finds another female attractive?’
Kayley’s from Burton-on-Trent in England’s Midlands and works as a marketing channel manager for British electricity and gas company npower.
She tells Gay Star News why this always frustrates her: ‘If I identify as someone who is attracted to someone who’s all woman, in my opinion – which of course doesn’t discard anybody who isn’t more feminine – then that’s the way it is.’
She also despises when people tell her: ‘You’re too pretty to be gay.’
Kayley said when she first came out onto the lesbian scene, she forced herself to be more visibly gay.
She said: ‘I’d often “butch up” my style to fit in, which resulted in some questionable fashion choices!’
She’s now comfortable in herself to be able to mix it up: ‘I’m the kind of femme who’ll wear a pair of hightop trainers with a dress. I’ve known femme lesbian friends and partners to shave their hair to appear more “obviously gay.”
‘I guess online dating helps with this, but I think conventional dating will always pose these challenges,’ she said.
Kayley said both herself and her girlfriend get the same reaction to their sexuality.
She said: ‘She’s very feminine and we’re both girly girls. People don’t necessarily expect it.’
‘It completely drew me to her’
Kayley Tucker came out when she was 19 years old. She told her dad first when she brought home a female partner for him to meet: ‘He was an absolute dreamboat and he was brilliant about it.’
But she wasn’t shy about having crushes on female teachers in school. One PE teacher in particular caught her eye.
‘God bless her,’ Kayley reminisces fondly. ‘There was something about her that I was attracted to. I think because she had that sporty side to her.
She added: ‘And it was the confidence!’
When she met her first girlfriend, it was the same feeling: ‘I was just completely obsessed with the thought of a strong confident woman. It completely drew me to her.’
Kayley came out as lesbian a few years ago, after dating both men and women.
And then she met her current girlfriend about three years ago via Tinder. Kayley joked: ‘It was a bit of a Tinderella story.
‘Apparently I had vanilla banter over text, which absolutely destroys my soul. I thought I was quite a hoot!
‘Three years later, we have a nice flat, traveled the world and we live together,’ she said.
‘Can you just shut up for two seconds?’
When they got engaged 18 months ago, they were in picturesque Cornwall.
As Kayley, her girlfriend Nichola and her friend Adam were walking along the beach, she joked: ‘Oh hell – the amount of people who must get engaged on this beach and I’m never gonna get proposed to.’
So they get to the top of the cliff and Nichola interrupts Kayley’s joking complaints about the seagulls and says: ‘Can you just shut up for two seconds?’
That’s when she got down on one knee and proposed to Kayley.
They’re getting married in June at a place called Polhawn Fort – a military fort with a private beach and a cliff.
‘I am out to everyone at work’
Kayley said everyone at work knows she’s a lesbian and they don’t treat her any differently because of it.
She started out at npower on the frontline of a call centre selling central heating cover. Within about six months, she was promoted to supervisor and then eight months later, promoted to team manager.
She worked in this role for three or four years, then decided she needed a more creative outlet.
Kayley explains: ‘What I noticed in my area at npower was we were doing a really good thing. And I know central heating sounds really boring but we were literally going out to help little old ladies fix their boiler in the midst of winter.’
So she contacted the PR team at npower and invited them along for the day to see how the team works. As a result of that, she got asked if she wanted to move into a marketing role.
And now she’s a marketing channel manager, running campaigns and social media for npower. She works in an area of npower which helps vulnerable customers improve the energy efficiency in their homes.
She said: ‘npower is a great place to work as an LGBTI person.
‘The company has a very agile approach to work’ and there is no uniform, she said. They encourage agile working and everyone is free to be themselves.
Kayley said: ‘It’s less about how you look and more about what comes out of your mouth and what value you can add to the business.’
npower is a sponsor of Gay Star News.