Maria Thattil and girlfriend told they’re ‘too pretty’ to be lesbians


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Miss Universe Australia Maria Thattil has recalled the mortifying moment a drunk stranger interrupted her and her female partner’s date to suggest they were “too pretty” to be a lesbian couple.

The bisexual beauty queen recalled the “offensive and rude interrogation” with a “middle-aged woman” who approached the two women after they kissed each other at a bar in Melbourne.

“She apologised for interrupting and asked if we were together,” Maria explained to 9Honey.

“After answering that we were on a date, she gushed about how beautiful she thought we both were.”

Maria said they both thanked her for the compliment. But then she recalled the encounter taking a turn.

“In her inebriated state, she expressed her shock at how we both presented,” she said.

The woman told Maria’s girlfriend, “The thing is, you’re stunning,” before pointing to her and saying, “But you are also so pretty?”

“She followed with an explanation that she wasn’t used to seeing ‘two beautiful women together’ before continuing to describe her own cousin, ‘She’s, you know…’

“My date politely interjected, letting her know she could say the word ‘gay’.

“The woman responded, ‘Yes, she is – and she’s a lovely person, but not very attractive … although her partner is.’

“She then explained she was used to seeing lesbian relationships consisting of one ‘beautiful, feminine’ partner and a ‘less attractive, butch’ one.

“Addressing my date, she resumed, ‘So you must be the guy here? You’re the boyfriend? You must take care of her.’

“‘No,’ my date patiently responded, ‘we take care of each other.’ ‘Are you in love?’ the stranger persisted.

“‘Look, we’re like five weeks into dating and just trying to enjoy the day.'”

Maria said the woman continued, asking, “But are you in love?”

Encounter wasn’t a new experience for Maria Thattil or her date

Maria Thattil, who came out as bi earlier this year, recalled that the cringeworthy encounter went on for 10 to 20 minutes. Then the stranger asked the two women for a photo.

“Not with us – of us,” she said.

The couple politely declined before one of the woman’s friend “finally picked up on our discomfort and lead her away.”

Thattil explained the encounter “wasn’t new for my date or myself.”

“We’ve seen inappropriate projections of stereotypes onto other queer folk in our lives or experienced it firsthand,” she said.

“Beyond just being fetishised through the male gaze, the typecasts suck too.

“Your sexuality, the gender you identify with, or how you present, serve as cues for others to project limiting beliefs about you. Or in our case, the dynamic of our relationship.

“Expecting all relationships to fit the ‘boyfriend and girlfriend’ dynamic is an outdated and inaccurate gendered standard. The kind that has kept marriage cordoned off from queer people because it’s reserved for ‘man and wife.'”

Don’t treat queer people like ‘zoo animals on display’

Maria Thattil said she was “in awe” of her female date’s patience with the intoxicated stranger.

“After laughing that awkward encounter off, I looked at my date with awe and respect for the patience and understanding she showed that stranger,” she said.

“Especially because I know that it won’t be the last time something like that happens.”

She urged strangers to not treat same-sex relationships “like zoo animals on display”.

“Nor are they an anomaly when they don’t fit society’s limiting stereotypes,” she said.

“For those who are curious, just be polite and considered. Don’t fetishise, stereotype or hyper-sexualise queer folk.

“Because no matter how you identify, these stereotypes don’t just limit us, they affect everyone.”

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