You know what’s so great about this photo of lovely women above? Not only are they sexy and seemingly fun-loving people, but they’re friends… And they’re all lesbians. Having a group of female friends who adore and loathe women in the same way you do is pretty much a distant fantasy for me at the moment. That’s why I tend to search high and low for any type of media that depicts close knit lesbian friendships so I can get a small taste of what it might be like.
My lack of lesbian friends could possibly be blamed on the fact that I was born, raised, went to school, and still live in the midwest. The midwest being southwestern Ohio. Cincinnati isn’t the smallest city, but I do not reside in any of the “progressive” areas. Part of the blame could also be that I never really put any extra effort into making some lesbian friends. While I attended University I did participate in the campuses LGBTQ organization (Spectrum). But I never really found anyone I clicked with in the group. It wasn’t until senior year that I finally found a “secret” group of lesbians. I guess they weren’t exactly secret but I had never seen any of them doing things with Spectrum. Anyhow, I didn’t have enough time to get to really know any of them and thus I graduated with one lesbian friend. Luckily, my heterosexual friends are some of the greatest gifts that have ever been bestowed upon me.
All of my friends that I put into the “best friend” category all self identify (to my knowledge) as heterosexual. They have been the most supporting and uplifting bunch of people I could’ve asked for. From the moment I came out officially six years ago, to typing right here right now, not one of them has left me because of my sexuality. I know there are kids out there who cannot say the same and I am forever grateful. They listen to me complain about girls and cry over all the heterosexual girls I’ve fallen for (more on that later. I could write a saga). Even though they can’t specifically relate, they still do their best to console me and give me great bits of advice. While I am appreciative of this, there’s an odd lingering feeling when all your friends are talking about their boyfriends and you kind of feel like an outlier. Well technically I am an outlier I suppose. I am infinitely surrounded by heteronormative music, television, film, friends, and sometimes you just want a small sense of complete belonging.
So what do you do when you can’t find your community in person? You find that community elsewhere. The easiest way to go about this is obviously the online world. Tumblr is pretty much rainbows puking up rainbows and it’s fantastic because for a moment you feel like everyone finally understands you. They talk about LGBTQ issues, share images they find attractive and why, talk about lesbian sex without any awkwardness, and truly embrace their identities as women who love women. There are also websites like AfterEllen, which I lived and breathed on when I first came out. They eloquently share lesbian news, music, film, tv, etc, while providing a safe space for lesbians to discuss various topics. There’s also Cherry Grrl, which is “a little website with the goal of bringing more visibility to lesbian projects.” Autostraddle is another good one. These are just some of the main sites I wander to when I need some real lesbian content in my life. In addition to the online Universe, you can also go out into the real world and scope out some known lesbian hot spots in your city. I know there’s a stereotype in the lesbian community that every girl either has slept with or knows every other lesbian in a 100 mile radius. So far from what I’ve read of some cities, this seems true. From what I’ve experienced/seen of the seemingly smallish lesbian community in my city, it’s not really my cup of tea. I know I just haven’t found the right lesbian scene yet and I’m hopeful I’ll find it in the future preferably in a different zipcode. It takes patience to be gay if you haven’t figured that out already.
So if you’re like me in this situation, don’t fret! Remind your heterosexual friends that you’re appreciative of them while seeking out a community that will fit your needs. Also don’t feel pressured to befriend the first lesbian you meet just because you’ve never had a lesbian friend. You can’t force a close friendship. Just go with the flow baby. Although I know how that sense of urgency feels and how hard it can be to resist something you’re desperately seeking. But try to be patient.
-The Lyrical Lesbian