L.N. Smythe


L.N. is a 40-year-old white lesbian who lives in Southeast Portland with her partner, Sharon.  L.N. is very “butch” in appearance, while Sharon, a nurse, “passes” more for straight.  L.N. has a master’s degree in English and works in a book store.


L.N. and Sharon have been together for seven years.  They have bought a house together and are in the process of remodeling it.  They have one dog and two cats, Henry, Lucy, and Alyce.


L.N. and Sharon are both “out” to their parents.  Sharon is not out at work.  L.N. is out at her work, but she still finds it difficult to talk about any aspects of her home life or relationship with her co-workers, though they seem to accept her as the “token dyke.”


L.N. drives a pickup truck, while Sharon drives a Toyota Tercel.  They usually carpool to work in one or the other’s car.  Both work in Northwest Portland.  After work, they like to go for a drink somewhere in Northwest, Old Town, or their own Southeast neighborhood.  They’’ll have a couple of beers and then go on home.  L.N. does most of the cooking, while Sharon generally cleans up after dinner.  On Friday evenings, if Sharon isn’t on call, the two like to go out to dinner and a movie.  Otherwise, they are mostly homebodies, renting movies and ordering pizzas whenever L.N. doesn’t feel like cooking. 


They are both avid gardeners and like to fish.  Sharon swims at the hospital for exericse.  L.N. hasn’t taken up regular exercise, but is considering joining a club where she could use weight-lifting equipment, although she is feeling hesitant about her attire and appearance at a co-ed health club—or even a women-only club.  In addition to looking “butch,” L.N. is 5’3” and weighs 215 pounds.  She is fairly self-conscious about her appearance, but Sharon has been encouraging her to start an exercise program.  Their relationship has even begun to show signs of stress because of the differences in their activity levels.