Lindsay Tauscher is in that post-college period where she’s still figuring out how her education will parlay into a career.
The 22-year-old Moorestown, N.J., native majored in art history and French and just finished a fall internship at the D.C. Center. She lives in Bethesda and also works at Mustard Seed, a used clothing shop there. She’s also spent time in Paris and Philadelphia and feels the West Coast — especially San Francisco — beckoning.
“I’m not really an artist,” she says. “I’m intrigued by the idea of taking art, which is traditionally considered elite, and doing something with it that serves a function. That’s what brought me to the D.C. Center.”
Tauscher, who identifies as both queer and bi, has had relationships with both men and women but says it’s important to her not to just let herself assimilate into straight society even if she is dating a guy at any given time.
“It’s easy if you’re queer or bi to just kind of default to heterosexuality,” she says. “You’re not repulsed by the idea of being with a man, in fact most of my long-term relationships have been with men. And another tough thing is that I’m very femme presenting, so people just don’t know that part about me unless I tell them. They just assume I’m straight. But as I started to wrap up college, I realized how important my sexual identity was to me and my interest in women. I also had a growing sense of urgency for activism particularly from some of the feminist issues I studies in college.”
Tauscher says her relationship status is “complicated — but I’m available if anyone’s asking.”
She enjoys rock climbing, yoga, art museums, farmers markets and reading in her spare time. She lives in Bethesda but spends a lot of time on U Street, N.W.
How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?
Coming out is a process, not an event, which is to say that I’m still working on it and most of us probably always will be as we meet new people throughout our lives. I’ve started coming out to my friends throughout the past year, which has been fairly easy since many of them are queer individuals I met through my obviously gay work at the D.C. Center. I panicked when I told my sister but it turns out she couldn’t care less. However, telling my mom was pretty challenging and she’s definitely been in denial since. It will be hardest to come out to the rest of my tight-knit, not-all-that-progressive family. It’s on my to do list, though.
Who’s your LGBT hero?
Every individual who is working to make a difference in the LGBT community (I am fortunate to be surrounded by a lot of them). Also, every one of my friends who is living their life openly and without apologizing is a role model and hero to me.
What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present?
I’m still trying to figure that out myself, but Busboys and Poets (14 and V) often has fantastic, socially conscious events going on. Phase 1 is a lot of fun for the queer lady scene but I wish there were more establishments that catered to that crowd.
Describe your dream wedding.
I’m not sure I’m on board with the whole marriage thing, but if I had to do it, I’d probably want to elope to somewhere quiet and beautiful. My family would be devastated that I didn’t invite them, though, so that will probably never happen.
What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?
There isn’t a single issue, but top contenders include women’s rights (local and global), as well as social equality across the intersections of gender, race, orientation and class. I am also extremely passionate about art, including issues surrounding community access and representation of minority/marginalized artists.
What historical outcome would you change?
A whole lot of them, but “Back to the Future” and “Family Guy” taught me that you cause more problems than you solve when you mess with time travel.
What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?
I’m really bad with pop culture, probably because I don’t have a TV and never know what’s going on in that arena. So if I can include alternative lifestyle sports in that category, the most memorable moment for me was attending the UBC Bouldering Competition at Earth Treks last year. I got to watch the world’s most talented rock climbers compete up close and everyone partied together afterwards.
On what do you insist?
I insist on being treated with respect and on treating others the same way.
What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?
“Guys it’s snowing.”
If your life were a book, what would the title be?
I’ve got no good answer. Maybe in a few decades I’ll have enough perspective to look back on my life and sum it up in a few words.
If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do?
I would be really concerned for the LGBT community. Our individuality and difference are what make us beautiful and I think such a discovery would have terrifying implications for our social and political progress.
What do you believe in beyond the physical world?
I believe that the world is more magnificent and complex than humans could ever comprehend. I think we would all benefit from being more humble about our ignorance and recognizing that no belief system, not even science, can explain all the mysteries of the universe.
What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?
I’m probably too young to be offering anyone advice but I can’t emphasize enough how necessary it is to listen to the community and work with grassroots activists from all corners of the movement in order to appreciate diverse perspectives and voices. The homogenization of the LGBT movement is a problem in part because we devalue our queerness and diversity when normalization becomes the top priority.
What would you walk across hot coals for?
For the people I love, naturally, and for world peace and equality. Though I doubt my walking across hot coals would contribute to social progress much.
What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?
Probably that you have to look, act, dress and fuck a certain way to be a queer woman. In reality, there’s unlimited ways to be queer and a woman.
What’s your favorite LGBT movie?
My cultural knowledge of film, gay and straight, is pretty pathetic. Given what I have seen, I have to say “La Cage aux Folles.” Both the French original and the American remake are fabulous.
What’s the most overrated social custom?
Probably weddings. Not because people shouldn’t get married if they want to, but because weddings and the engagement process seem to so often be constrained by patriarchal religious traditions. I feel like there’s room for more creativity and progress in the way people approach relationships generally.
What trophy or prize do you most covet?
The Nobel Peace Prize — but only if I did something to deserve it.
What do you wish you’d known at 18?
That it’s my life and no one can dictate my decisions or my dreams. I still have to remind myself of this fact every day.
I moved here for a partner but I’m attracted to the beautiful, historic architecture, the free access to some of the world’s best art museums and the city’s endless cultural events.