I’m a philosopher and I’m a lesbian. as soon as I started my PhD and I gathered enough confidence with my professors I came out. A significant percentage of the predominantly male department displayed sometimes quite sexist behaviour, and often downright macho outbursts, all cleverly placed in class jokes and convenient social occasions. But after I came out something very interesting happened. at the end of year party I found myself in the company of a professor who started making comments about an attractive girl, a master student at the party, clearly looking for my complicity as a lesbian. another one later did the same, with even heavier sexually charged comments, regarding one of his undergraduates.
What took me by surprise is that in their eyes my womanhood (and btw I’m also very feminine) eclipsed behind my lesbianism, as they assumed that explicit comments they would NEVER have shared with women in the dept (also they whispered secretively and giggling) were instead ok with me, as we both shared a sexual interest in women!