A heterosexual man, usually young, who admires or likes to hang out with dykes.(This comes from QueerByChoice.com, an interesting site in its own right).
Wikipedia suggests “Dutch boy” as a synonym for “dyke tyke,” I assume because of all of the dikes here in Holland. Again, though, the term emphasizes youth and therefore doesn’t seem to include me. Which is as it should be. I may “admire” lesbians and even “like to hang out” with them, but I no longer actually hang out with them very often now that most of my time outside of work is devoted to my wife and kids.
But there was a time when I probably was a dyke tyke, and it occurs to me that some folks might wonder what the appeal is. We all know what gay men stereotypically offer women: good taste in clothes and decor, sensitivity, sophistication, someone to bitch to about boyfriends who lack the foregoing qualities, and so on. But the stereotypical dyke is a hostile and aggressive man-hater who goes out of her way to be physically repulsive, even intimidating, to men (remember, I’m talking about stereotypes). And let’s not get started with girl-on-girl porn and related fantasies, as your proto-tyke would quickly discover that has nothing to do with hanging out with actual human lesbians. Besides, how many fag hags stick around to watch their male friends get it on? If the girl-on-girl thing has any relevance to a dyke tyke, it’s because of jealousy when a lesbian relationship is working right: you sense, correctly or incorrectly, a mutual understanding that, you suspect, might go beyond what is possible between you and a woman.
For me, the journey into tykehood was unplanned and came down to the fact that the lesbians I hung out with were the most sane people in the vicinity. Of course, the vicinity was law school, which isn’t noted for its sanity. In an institution that tends to dehumanize and alienate its inmates, I found an island of calm where I could be myself and feel comfortable. Part of it was what wasn’t there: the sexual tension I might have felt around straight women and the rate of raging assholism among my male classmates. But the appeal was more about the positive things: a group of people who were comfortable in their own skin, who formed an open, welcome, and mutually supportive community, whose personal travails put the transient annoyances of law school into perspective, and who were damned funny.
Maybe my experience reflects nothing more than the qualities of the particular individuals of both sexes and all orientations who happened to be my classmates. But I suspect it’s more than that and has to do with my taste in companionship. I also like the way that some artifacts of lesbian pop culture give you a chance to look at society through the eyes of an outsider, if that’s the right word. Hence my affinity for Dykes to Watch Out For (although I also like that because it’s downright funny and righteously indignant at just the right moments). It’s harder to justify The “L” Word on that basis, not so much because the characters aren’t outsiders as because the cast contains a disproportionate number of extremely hot chicks (it is TV, after all), so a straight guy can never be sure he isn’t watching just to get a look at Kate Moennig or Mia Kirschner. Then again, I suspect a lot of the show’s lesbian fans are tuning in at least in part for the eye candy.
In conclusion, I offer as a way to tie all these themes together a review of The “L” Word by a lesbian lawyer. Also, a note to parents along Jeff Foxworthy lines: if your son thinks Sally Kimball is way cooler than Encyclopedia Brown, he might be a dyke tyke