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The slang terms lesbian until graduation (LUG),[1] gay until graduation (GUG), or bisexual until graduation (BUG), are terms used to describe women primarily of high-school or college age, who are assumed to be experimenting with or adopting a temporary lesbian or bisexual identity. The term suggests that the woman to whom it is applied will ultimately adopt a strictly heterosexual identity.

The term is largely considered pejorative in the LGBT community.[citation needed]

Additionally some members of the lesbian community use this term to discredit bisexual women who marry men.[2]


To describe closeted women

At one time, the terms LUG/BUG were associated with lesbian and bisexual women at same-sex high-schools, colleges or universities, who were closeted from parents or guardians. The term suggested that the individual was openly lesbian or bisexual while on campus, but that they would ultimately conform to social and familial expectations of heterosexuality.

A similar usage typically described a form of situational sexual behavior, suggesting that they would ultimately revert to heterosexual behavior, whether out of interpersonal pressure or actual preference.


In recent usage, the term is generally used to suggest that a woman's same-sex sexual activity is somehow illegitimate.[2] One negative suggestion is that the relations are consciously elective or temporary, or that they are primarily based on convenience. This usage suggests that the participants are:

  • concentrating on studies without the distraction of "genuine" romantic relationships
  • avoiding unwanted male attention
  • avoiding the risk of unwanted pregnancy while remaining sexually active

Another negative suggestion is that the behavior stems from a desire for attention, sometimes described with a new usage of the older term "bisexual chic". This usage suggests that the participants are:

  • trying to increase their sexual desirability among heterosexual men
  • surprising parents or relatives with news that is presumed to be undesirable
  • surprising friends and acquaintances with news that is presumed to be shocking
  • attempting to cultivate a progressive, radical, or countercultural image
  • developing solidarity with an oppressed community
  • resorting to women out of a lack of male attention
  • have trouble or have had trouble relating to the opposite sex romantically in a healthy manner

Other reactions

Members of the Bisexual community and their allies state that these terms are evidence of biphobia or bisexual erasure, and that many women described as LUGs may actually identify as bisexual.[2] They suggest that the appearance of the term is evidence that human sexuality is more flexible (as in the case of sexual preference) than it is fixed (as in the case of sexual orientation).

They argue that the term is often used to disparage bi-curious and questioning youth who are exploring their sexual identity.[3]

People suggest that of women who engage in same-sex activity for a limited time period, some may be lesbians who become fully closeted due to societal disapprobation; some may be bisexual who subsequently either go on to find other partners who happen to be of the opposite gender or who like closeted lesbians suppress part of their identity again due to societal disapprobation and that some may actually just be experimenting.[3]

It is argued that these distinctions are irrelevant, and that the label is harmful regardless of to whom it is applied. Societal acceptance and affirmation of same-sex attraction as legitimate would mitigate the pressure on women to abandon a lesbian or bisexual orientation for heterosexuality after graduation from college.

Advocates state further that such acceptance would create an atmosphere where questioning one's sexual identity would be a legitimate experience, where the pressure to choose a definitive label would be relieved, and where questioning individuals would not be ridiculed or vilified for exploring, regardless of the outcome.

See also


  1. See for instance "Campus Lesbians Step Into Unfamiliar Light" New York Times, June 5, 1993
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Bi For Now", by Amy Sohn, February 10, 2003 issue of New York Magazine, New York Metro section
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Confessions of a college lesbian", September 15, 1999 issue of the Seattle Weekly

External links

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