Hayley Kiyoko Can’t Get Me Outta This Funk

I don’t mean to speak for every queer girl when I speak for every queer girl when I say that the queer girl’s reality is all wonder and sharp pricks. It is also ironic. Poetically so, however. Which makes for excellent writing material but too much in therapy fees. But I digress.

The queer girl’s reality is almost never having your love and adoration for women be fully reciprocated when you’re young. Except when tipsy. Except when drunk. Except when high. Except as an experiment. A constant exception.

The queer girl’s reality is all expectation and inevitable let-down. Like a bad rollercoaster. Or someone telling you something is “super spicy” and it isn’t.
But it’s the small thrill and pleasure of the benign masochism. You still want it all the time.

When she tells you she’s “into girls” the first time you talk about queerness, she will look into your eyes and smile. Her upper and lower eyelashes will meet and separate and you will feel the universe revolve within you – swooning, I’ve been told this feeling is. A divine sapphic bond will unite you. But you will not see the forest for the trees. A queer impulse surrounded by the never-ending bark of heterosexuality.

She will bat her eyelashes again; slowly, weighed down by alcohol. She will lean in, smelling sweet and sour and precious. Or maybe she won’t – but it’ll be happening.

But then the alcohol will wear off. And when she is sober and you are sober and everyone can see, she will shrink away from your lips. Like a joke taken too seriously. Like a cold wind – a breeze she does not know. Or want to know. She will swerve her attention in the direction of affliction. And no matter how much you wish it; the sting will stay. Deep down you knew what to expect and it will embarrass you in solitude. Silly you, silly me.

The queer girl’s reality is worrying that there are no other queer girls left. Somehow, they all seem to have walked far away from you the day you came out. But shadows of them lurk in the occasional touch, in the meeting of eyes. The glimpse of short nails. A lip piercing. A conversation about Hayley Kiyoko.

The queer girl’s reality is watching all your straight friends hold hands with people who have reciprocated their desire and attraction – sober. Purposefully. Happily. Not as an exception.

When you tell people you are queer, most people will think you’re joking. And they will joke about it. Some will argue that you don’t really know what you’re attracted to.

But the truth is you’re struggling to determine who you’re attractive to. Where is she? And what is she doing? Why is she taking so long? I hope she’s happy. And I hope she knows how much I love her already.

I hope she knows about the garden I want to grow with her; about the animals I want to raise with her; the breakfasts I want to make for her; the stories I have to share with her; the Pride parades I want to march with her in. Fingers laced as tightly together as the shoelaces on my beat-up Converse. Openly. Purposefully. Proudly.

The queer girl’s reality is 90% pipe-dream. Living in the sweet sanctuary of imagined domestic bliss. Washing dishes together. Grocery shopping together. Watching repeats of Broad City together. Kept out of so much of the world but so completely included – invited – expected – in her love that you almost want to keep it a secret.

The queer girl’s reality is projecting your hope so far into the darkness that you can almost see the rainbow lighthouse glowing good-naturedly on the island of Lesbos. A reciprocated sapphic signal – a reflection and not, for the first time, a deflection.

The queer girl’s reality is 90% pipe-dream until it isn’t.

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Alita is 22 and doesn't know who she is yet but it's all good because the rains are here and she's reading a really good book.
Alita Dharmaraj

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