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What Does WLW Mean On TikTok? And No, It's Not Just Internet Slang

I get it, there are a lot of acronyms out there these days — there’s MMF, MFF, AFAB, AMAB, MLM… and funnily enough they typically fall under the umbrella of LGBTQ+. One thing about the queer community? They love a good acronym. And since we should all be on a journey to better understand the girls, the gays, and the gay girls, it’s time to add another acronym to your queer glossary: wlw.

If you’re not part of the LGBTQ+ community, odds are you’ve still seen “wlw” somewhere on your FYP and probably wondered, “What does wlw mean on TikTok?” I’m here to tell you it has nothing to do with TikTok, and a whole lot to do with queer women.

What does “wlw” mean?

A wlw relationship, or “women-loving-women” (sometimes “women who like women”) is pretty much self-explanatory. It’s an umbrella term for people in the queer community who identify as women and are interested in — either romantically or sexually — other people who also identify as women. But the thing to remember is that wlw relationships or wlw identities aren’t strictly for lesbian women. They also include bisexual, pansexual, and omnisexual people — as long as you’re a woman who’s into other women (you can still be attracted to people with other identities outside of that), you can describe your relationship or even your identity as wlw.

glee santana brittany
Image Credit: Fox

Some people who don’t feel as though a “wlw relationship” is a totally-inclusive title prefer to use the word “sapphic” instead. And sapphic is pretty much the same thing — a female-identifying person who is into other female-identifying or even non-binary people. When it comes to labeling your sexuality, you have every right to choose what feels right for you and your relationship.

“Sexuality, like gender and other aspects of identity, is diverse and can be so unique to each individual,” Michelle Forcier, MD, FOLX Health clinician, told Betches for a previous article. “Sexuality can evolve and change over time, and that’s valid, too!”

The great thing is that there’s a lot more wlw representation out there than you think, and I’m not even talking about pop culture (though I will forever be a fan of Santana and Brittany). Some of your fave celebs identify as WLW — even the ones you might not have known about (hello, Drew Barrymore). Just remember that title doesn’t have to do so much with what kind of relationship they’re in – it’s more about how they feel and where their romantic or sexual attraction lies.

Syeda Khaula Saad
Syeda Khaula Saad
Syeda Khaula Saad is a sex & dating writer at Betches despite not remembering the last time she was in a relationship. Just take her word for it.