I still remember that day too vividly. I remember being late to my homeroom and almost being sent to detention. But I managed to scrape my way through the class and sit on the only empty chair. Have you ever been in a situation where all eyes are on you and you feel like digging a hole and burying yourself just to escape the embarrassment? Yeah, that happened to me and I let my brown hair loose to mask the red on my cheeks. My eyes drifted around the room and fell on a brunette who introduced herself as Emily at the beginning of the class. She seemed a bit intriguing to me with those peculiar sunglasses, rainbow beanie and freckled face. I was immediately drawn to her. She noticed my stare and stared back for a minute and then suddenly smiled her goofiest smile. And that was one down.
This other girl Amanda who was the most gullible among us all was chirpy with this sunshine-y aura around her. I actually never saw her with a frown or any sort of distress. She brought happiness to our gang. Dana radiated authenticity with her inviting brown eyes but a tough resting face. And just like that my girls-who-like-girls gang was born.
After the class, we exchanged phone numbers and no longer than a week we were exchanging secrets like never before. Long phone calls, sleepovers, inside jokes were all the things we bonded upon. And as we began discovering our identities at our pace, it came off as not less than the fate that we confided in each other: “I’m gay.” As shocking as it was that four random friends identified with a minority of the population, we never failed to show our effortless support to each other.
Fast forward eight years, our WhatsApp group; “Bad Bitches” still blows up regardless of the fact that our colleges and careers have found their way in different countries. Call it coincidence or destiny but I feel truly blessed to have found my girl gang. Surrounded by best friends who have a firsthand understanding of my queer experiences have surely shaped my life for better.
My girls, after a date, would ask, “How did it feel to kiss her?” right off the bat instead of asking stereotypical questions like,” Who’s going to wear the pants?” or “Who paid?” like my straight friends. It feels nice to know that there are people in your life who you can deeply relate to, especially in a world that constantly makes you feel solitary.
Emily is the girl I go to when I need to rant about my girlfriend. She is kind of my emotional dumpster. Emily was the one I called with blurry eyes after my first heartbreak. She was the one I called when I was going through a tough phase, mentally. She always seems to understand.
Amanda’s brilliant sense of humor brings happiness and laughter to my life. Her ability to make me smile through my tears is what I admire the most. She makes sure to wish me luck for all the interviews, dates and other shenanigans. Her advice is one of a kind. Sometimes all I need is her to tell me to get my shit together and I’m all fine and preppy.
Dana is the one who stands up for me when I can’t. I can’t even recall the number of times she has had my back. She was there when I had nowhere to go in the new city. She was there when I was being bullied. She was there standing like a mountain. Steady and supportive.
It is not always easy to emotionally connect in the LGBTQ+ community or simply waving a rainbow flag. Not everyone is able to bond platonically with the other queer people. But I have been truly lucky to have these incredible gay women come into my life so organically.
Thanks to the lack of media representation the queer communities get, people tend to believe that the existence of a gay platonic squad is impossible. The shows these days, the movies tend to exhibit quite a demeaning representation of a group of girls-who-like-girls, perpetuating the notion that “gay women” can’t be just friends. It needs more than a few empowering moments in the shows to shake up the game. We need media to portray healthy relationships between gay women more than just sex and romance. This is significant not only for the gay community but also for the world in general.
Maybe it is the fact that we girls knew each other before we realized we were gay, but platonic friendship came naturally to us. We cannot think of each other in any other way. Of course, I can only speak about my girl gang but I think people believing that two queer girls falling for each other is inevitable, is mistakenly wrong.
In order to change this conventional perspective, we need to utilize this safe space within the LGBTQ+ community for people to have platonic relationships. Awareness is all that is needed. If you don’t have an extensive network of gay-friends and you want more, make sure that you make your best efforts. Join a queer book club, go to a pride event and follow people on social media. Let us all celebrate the friendships in our community to show them platonic relationships between queer girls do actually exist. Just because we share the same sexuality doesn’t mean “we must sleep together.” Let us break all the conventions and spread the novelty around.I have been blessed to have found treasured confidantes and emotional parallels in these amazing women I call my best friends. Even though our differences make us unique, the emotional experiences bridge connections we oh-so-desperately need. The support my girls have given me always is incomparable. I really hope you find your tribe and when you do, I really hope you hold them tight.