Last weekend, I spent some time seeing a close friend in the city. Going out with my friends is usually a great time, the music blasting loud, the laughs shared, the photos taken. Stress from the school week slides off my shoulders like the burning alcohol down my throat. After a few drinks, I started to people watch in the crowded club, when my friend entered my view with a drunken nudge.
Her slurred question, “Should I make out with this girl?” snapped my Fireball-glazed lips open in shock. I didn’t have to think too hard — my mind knew straight women who make out with one another in hopes of enchanting fellow bar goers is reckless behavior.
She said it again, more firmly, but really her words fell flat with ignorance. ”I don’t have a response to that,” is all I could say, but it was too late: they were going at it for all to see like a sideshow at a circus. I couldn’t help but take a moment to get up and move away, the pang of sheer embarrassment and anger hitting my stomach.
I came out as a lesbian to my family five years ago this September. The time leading up to the fateful moment the words “I’m gay” poured out of my sobbing, slobbery lips were confusing and exhausting. My heart felt a constant pain that I couldn’t put my finger on, until a friend suggested I might be gay. The world changed for me in that moment, and most things seemed to fit together in the most bittersweet way. When I finally mustered the courage to tell my father, his response was simple and comforting, “I love you no matter what.” It’s these moments of terror, waiting to see a loved one’s reaction that will live with me for the rest of my life.
The morning after, this bar would be empty and only left with a lingering blur of the two women, their mouths clasped together, eliciting giggles and whistles from the men around. Their lives haven’t changed, they simply got the chance to be ogled in the spotlight, but no one went home to have that painful conversation.
No one went home to tell their parents that they are gay or play that sick lottery of whether they will be accepted or not. It isn’t cute or sexy to kiss your girlfriends for attention it is a mockery of the LGBT community and everything we work so hard to build. Because of this overall acceptance of “fake lesbians,” everytime I tell an ignorant person I like women, it usually is followed with a “that’s hot” or the awful, “can I watch?” You can watch me kick you straight in the crotch, sir.
My challenge to those women who decide to adapt a “fake lesbian” persona is to take it a step further and do the hard part. Start by asking yourself, what are you going to get out of a drunken kiss with your best friend besides a man’s attention for five minutes? Is it really worth tarnishing the image of lesbians in the public eye? Would you be willing to go home to your parents and tell them about the things you have done — not out of love, but for other’s enjoyment?