Star of iconic ‘lost woman surrounded by gays in harnesses’ meme is actually a ‘serious’ lawyer

·3-min read

You’ve already seen the meme: A young woman, seemingly alone and adrift, surrounded by countless towering, half-naked and leather-clad men.

It’s a meme that, to many, captures that all-too-familiar sense of being an outsider, aggressively single or how you are the one truly unique gay person in this world because you don’t watch Eurovision.

Finally, the icon pictured in the image has come forward for the first time – and she really doesn’t mind being a meme.

On Saturday (22 May), Amruta Godbole, a San Fransico-based lawyer, revealed on Twitter that she’s the person in the meme.

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“I’m in this photo and I don’t like it,” she wrote. “[Just kidding]. I mean, that is actually me in the photo. But I like it every time.”

Godbole finally revealed her true identity after sharing the latest example of her getting the meme treatment. “Olivia Rodrigo and her new fans,” a user wrote, referring to the singer who has drawn a new queer following for her new album Sour.

Speaking to Buzzfeed News, Godbole, 35, said that she and a friend swung by San Francisco’s Folsom Street Fair, a BDSM and leather event, in 2017.

Seeing her from above on a balcony, her friend clicked a photo of Godbole feeling like, she recalled, a “fish out of water”.

“In that moment people were looking at the photo and saying: ‘You’re going to be famous’,” she said.

Godbole uploaded the pic to her personal Instagram, but it quickly ascended to queer meme status after a friend with a thumping following shared it onto their own page the following year.

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“One of my main groups of friends in San Francisco is a group of gay men, so I have often found myself in situations where I’m the one woman amid all of these gay men,” Godbole said.

“I’m also 5’1″, and they’re all very tall and muscular, so I was just so clearly standing out.”

Godbole, who is a corporate attorney, added that she decided to come clean about her life as a meme after her colleagues and even old high school friends started messaging her about it.

“People send it to me and say: ‘Is this you? What is happening here?’,” Godbole said.

“When I was previously working at a big corporate law firm, that was very stodgy and old school, a colleague sent me a text exchange between him and a colleague asking if it was me.

“So it’s a funny thing for people who know me in the context of being a serious lawyer.”

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