Of Always the Entertainer

“Let me entertain you, let me make you smile.” – Gypsy, Stephen Sondheim

Nicolas Cafe Valentine

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Valentine’s Day is the ultimate holiday of emotional abuse – at least, commercially. It’s the day that puts extreme pressure on those in a relationship whilst beating up the singletons with an emotional whip. No matter where you are in your love life – Valentine’s Day is gonna get you. It’s essentially the sniper of holidays.

As a single person, there are two types of advertisements that are geared in my direction:

  1. You are a strong independent female, you don’t need a man, not like those other weak girls with boyfriends. Pssh! Girl power!
  2. You are clearly desperate, lonely, and in need of some good lovin’. Here’s how to power through the day until your sad soul finds a man to make you complete.

The common thread here? Men are awful, BUT you kinda need one to be your best self. Not only do I not relate to these male focused ads because I’m a lesbian, but also because I disagree with HOW the men are supposed to function. They are either dooming the women, by making them be less than they are. Or they’ll rescuing the women, by pulling them out of their despair and into the light. Neither seems like a healthy start to a relationship, at least, not to me.

Here’s what I want in a partner: someone who will put on a show with me.
Silly, simple, and slightly nonsensical isn’t it?

I find that because I have a loud personality, a lot of the dates I go on feel like a performance. Which is not a fun feeling. I don’t enjoying having to interview someone in order to have a conversation.

In short, it often feels like this:

The women I’ve truly been smitten by have put on a show with me. The conversation flows easily and it’s clear that this person wouldn’t pull me down, nor life me up, they’d meet me in the middle.

Which, in my opinion, is how it should work. Of course people will have their ups and downs – that’s just common sense.¬†But if you’re gonna be with someone, they should be your equal. Not your savior or your baggage.

So to the currently yoked people.

  • Ignore the advertisements, you don’t need to spend a thousand dollars or whisk your partner away to paradise island. Just spend the evening together and dim the lights.

To the single people.

  • If you’re struggling, call your friends and celebrate yourselves. Bake something, play a game, build a fort, and just have fun.
  • If you’re not struggling, then you already know what to do. ūüôā

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Of the Second Cut

Alexz Johnson

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They say the first cut is the deepest, but I think we all know that’s bullshit. The cut can always get deeper. The more it slices, the more it stings, the worse it hurts, the harder you fall. Saying the first cut is the deepest is essentially romance version of Santa Clause: it can’t get any worse, someone better will come along, you’ll be fine. And while this may be fine and dandy, the blanket statement lessens the significance of the feelings at the time.

I absolutely believe things can always get better, someone else will come along and they’ll be fucking fantastic. And yes – you will be fine. But I also believe that the second cut is deeper. Way deeper.

I distract myself with noise: work, movies, television, writing, audiobooks, music. I focus on all that’s around me, for to focus on what’s inside me would be to acknowledge weakness. Once the noise goes away, as does my guard. Water creeps out the corners of my eyes as I attempt to stifle any audible sounds that may give my grievance away. My carefully compartmentalized emotions blending into one encompassing mass.

The worst thing is, I knew this would happen. I knew exactly how the conversation was going to go, Hell, I could’ve written the script. But it had to happen. I couldn’t go on pretending what wasn’t.

They say fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. I also call this bullshit. At least in my situation, I knew exactly what was happening. Being led on isn’t as simple as one person lies and the other dances happily in their palm. It’s the feeling of being desired and rejected simultaneously. Being led on is seeing the reality and choosing the fantasy. For at least in the fantasy you’re special. The laughs, the cuddles, the kisses, they all feel real – so why not let them be real. I’m just as guilty as she in that aspect.

However, I can’t pretend that nothing happened. Nor do I want to. What’s done is done, it’s complicated as our circles are intermixed.

Like I told her, “It’s some Ross and Rachel bullshit.”

Of Sitting, Waiting, Wishing

Girlfriends

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I’d love to be with you, but you don’t know that.

Or maybe you do, but you aren’t willing to talk about us.

So I sit.

I sit cause making a move is dangerous.

I sit cause I’m waiting for you to acknowledge or deny me.

I sit cause I’m a wimp.

I sit cause the timing is never right.

I sit cause I am a bystander in my own life.

You’ll never be mine. We could be a disaster. Hell, we could be great.

But we’ll never know.

———-

I guess it’s time for me to stand up.

Of Dating Life

Girls Kiss

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I’ve found that I’m an absolutely terrible dater. And hardly, if anyone, ever tries to argue this fact. If somehow I magically end up going on a date I usually end up ruining everything by date three – that is, if I reach date three. Typically I’ll just back out and suddenly stop responding to any form of communication. And by the third time I don’t respond, the girl usually stops trying to contact me. It’s over. The truth is I’m not scared of commitment, if I’m with someone I stick around, no matter how stupid or¬†incompatible¬†we may become. But starting something is scary, largely because of the whole being vulnerable business that I don’t particularly care for. So I figure, if we’ve only been on a¬†handful¬†of dates, do we really need the break up conversation?

Meeting people is weird. I don’t pay much attention to my surroundings, so I don’t generally notice if someone is actually interested in me. Unless you’re creepy. If you’re creepy I will notice, and I will do my very best to not be anywhere near you. I’ve been told¬†that I don’t give off a gay-vibe. Straight and gay people alike have told me this, and I can’t really do much to change that. I’ve always kept my emotions private – so I guess that makes me hard to read. I like to think that once people get to know me they see the reality of my situation. However, that doesn’t help me on the meeting people, phase of life.

If I wanted to meet men that’d be easy. Men hit on me all the time, and they are not shy about it. But women are more reserved, and I’m always surrounded by straight chicks. So since I don’t look to any extent dyky, girls assume I’m also straight until I say otherwise. It’s dreadfully annoying. I simply don’t know how to meet people.

So I tried online, and this is what I found:

  • With online conversations people edit everything, so nothing sounds genuine.¬†
  • You’ll talk to someone for a couple of days or weeks and then never meet.
  • Or you’ll meet up and it will be super awkward or boring.
  • 90% of those that reach out to me I’m not attracted to.

To put it shortly, I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing. The only thing I can figure is I need to change up my norm. Venture to places I don’t often go, introduce myself to strangers, make the first move. But I like my ways, I like my friends, and I don’t like making the first move. Ah, what a standstill I lead.

Of “Natural” Yearnings

Love Equality

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Sometimes I’ve found that when people don’t share someone’s sexuality they respond with, “It’s just not natural.” Oye! Why is this still a statement in our society? I’ve come to the realization that those that respond with claims of it’s unnatural simply lack the ability to think outside the binary that they’ve lodged themselves into. For society loves to define people with binaries, and in terms of sexuality there’s only two options: gay or straight. With straight being the “better” of the two boxes. Thus, how could a human even consider making the gay choice? As if a choice was there to be made. Honestly, why would anyone choose the route of¬†prejudice¬†and oppression – that’s just nonsense. However, they can choose to cave into the pressures of their surroundings and deny who they are.

We have gotten better as a human race. Tolerance, acceptance, and equality is where we’re headed – some of us faster than others. Someone’s¬†gaiety¬†is no longer the great scandal it used to be, course, that might¬†not be true depending on where you live. I’m fortunate to live in a liberal part of the country, where my gayness is accepted and not seen as a big ordeal to most people. I feel completely comfortable being who I am around my friends, a luxury that I’m aware not everyone has.

But there’s still people out there who would not be as accepting. Like the ignorant fellow who posted this picture to his blog with the caption declaring that nature demonstrates how homosexuality is not natural or fruitful (I’m paraphrasing):

Homophobic Cartoon

 

I saw this and immediately rolled my eyes. Seriously? You’re defining what’s natural with electronics? How are electronics natural? That makes about much sense as portraits of white Jesus, even though he lived in the Middle East, I guarantee he was not white. Or saying that peanut butter and chocolate are not compatible because they taste different. It’s silly.

For one, electronics are man-made. Two, going along with the plug-in example, I think it’s only fair to point out that there are other electronics that make EVERYTHING in that cartoon compatible – haven’t you ever ran out of outlets while setting up Christmas lights and had to find a way to make the ‘non-compatible’ plug ends work together? Hell, by this logic an extension cord is promoting¬†polygamy.¬† A sexuality that I’m assuming anyone who agrees with the comic also finds unnatural.

But I still don’t feel the need to insult you.¬†If the blogger who posted that happens to read this, I’m not trying to Internet bully you, your photo was simply the perfect illustration for something I’ve been meaning to write for several months. I think that you’re allowed to believe what you want to believe – I just wish that didn’t have to include insulting people who are different from you, I wish homophobia was a ghost story told around a campfire. I understand the mindset of those that find homosexuality unnatural, for I was raised to believe the same thing. It’s simple – you don’t understand it, and you were taught it was wrong – thus it must be so. If only life were that straightforward.

Here’s what I think about the word natural. Almost everyone is using it wrong. Take for instance polygamous relationships. I’m not polygamous, and I was talking to another non-polygamous friend about multiple partner relationships.

She stated, “It doesn’t seem natural, I can’t imagine being willing to share my boyfriend with someone else.”

I responded, “It’s not natural for¬†you, that doesn’t make it an unnatural act. It’s just not meant for you. But for someone else, it’s completely natural and makes them happy. So natural in fact, that they can’t imagine living any other way. Just like any other sexuality. It’s not about what is and isn’t natural – it’s what natural for you.”

In my opinion, that’s where the heart of all these debates about what’s right and wrong, natural and unnatural, come from. People have a hard time understanding that unnatural for them does not mean unnatural for everyone. The world isn’t that black and white. There’s not two boxes. With one box being superior, and the other a bunch of lost souls,¬†doomed to live a life of darkness and sorrow.

There’s actually no boxes at all – there are people – a wonderful and diverse crowd of fellow humans. We should embrace our differences. After all, God made us all in His image right? Maybe there’s more to God than what’s just in the Bible. Or maybe, we got His message confused. After all, the word of God was penned by man.

To quote The L Word, “If God hates us, then why are we all so sexy?”

Love is Love

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Of a Single Lady Lover

Santana and Britney Dancing Gif

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Normally I’m the type that avoids romance like it was a steaming cup of gasoline¬†being poured down my throat. I’ve dated a bit, been in one actual relationship, and several of those we-act-like-we’re-dating-but-we’re-not-together situations. I don’t come from a family that prizes emotions. We praise wit, humor, apathy, and intelligence – emotional needs (and heaven forbid crying) are considered weakness.

But I’m just gonna say it, I want a girlfriend. It’s true. I’m not a detached zombie, I’m a human being damn it, and humans tend to long for all that cheesy bullshit they see in romantic comedies. I’m no different in that aspect, my issue is that I’m so accustomed to pushing away feelings that I don’t have the slightest idea how to begin a relationship.

I spend most my time with my co-workers or dancing buddies, all of whom I love dearly, all of whom are straight, and all of whom do not attract me in the ‘romantic’ sort of way. I don’t have very many gay friends anymore, considering that they are all spread out across the country, coast to coast … literally.

But my biggest problem is that I have a faulty gaydar, and secondly that no one thinks I’m gay. Even when I talk about women, wear rainbows, or make jokes, they are still surprised when at some point in a conversation I actually say the word. I’ve accepted that coming out will be a never-ending process.¬†I need to learn how to actually meet someone, a dancer if possible, but a sense of humor is a must – I have no interest in dating anymore incredibly serious people.

So yeah, I want a girlfriend, but meeting someone and then having the guts to actually go for it – are two events that probably won’t occur in my near future.

If anyone has awesome tips, I’m listening.

Of the Jackass in the Red Shirt

Jerk

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Social rules exist. Everyone knows this, or rather, I hope they do. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that there are some things that are just not okay in certain social situations. Swearing at the Pastor’s house. Outing someone. Wearing a long white dress to a wedding that’s not yours. Staring up a girls dress as she climbs a tree. Crashing a baby shower. Talking loudly throughout a movie. These are just things that you should really rethink attempting.

I deal with jerks who don’t understand the basis of social etiquette on a daily basis, but I rarely let it truly bother me. Most the time I throw those people into the column of stupidity and move on. Like the man who insisted on showing me his Yankee tattoo (on his calf). Or the woman who stormed out of Ice Age 4 because she was under the impression that she had bought tickets to a documentary about the ice age and not a children’s cartoon. To these people I think,¬†really?,¬†laugh to myself, and move on.

But when a man insulted my most favorite hobby, the teacher, and the overall Blues culture – that’s where I draw the line.

A man in red. I don’t know his name, I don’t care to, he pissed me off. When I walked into the venue I could sense that he was going to awkwardly hit on me. And I was right. He had that look that men on the prowl get where their eyes squint (as if women are some mysterious object), widen (ah ha! they spy a female), and then attempt a casual smile (target¬†acquired, no way she¬†can say no to this sexy manliness). I proceeded to put on my dance shoes, fill my water bottle, and sit down against the wall. The dance floor was respectably full. Sometimes it’s fun just to watch people twirl around.

He walked up to me and started talking, but I found it challenging to follow his pointless chatter. Here’s the basics: “I’m not really much of a Blues dancer I just like to do my own thing, you know what I mean, more of a freestyle dancer, you know what I mean, like Chris Brown or Kanye West, everyone here is so into pair dancing, I’m more of a solo act, you know what I mean, I like choreography, you know, so I’m trying to figure out what the girls like for choreography, I’m here to challenge myself, I like a challenge, I’m not here just to talk and meet girls, it’s kind of like a school dance, you know?” Ugh, never have I want to wave my rainbow bracelets in a man’s face so badly and yell, “LESBIAN!!” at the top of my lungs.

He asked me to dance, and like any good social dancer, I accepted. I wouldn’t call it a dance, unless I was at a wedding, it was more like me walking back and forth while he attempted to do fancy footwork. It was lame. It was awkward. I was laughing – but he probably just thought I was smitten. For the rest of the night I did my best to avoid him (I suddenly went to go get water more often than normal).

An hour or so later I came down from the bathroom to see the man in red attacking the teacher. He was loud, angry, and contradicting himself about every twenty seconds. I couldn’t believe it! I blatantly sat down and sipped my water as I eavesdropped – not that he noticed. He proceeded to bash the group lesson format, he got mad at her for not asking for a detailed account of his dancing experience, whined that they only taught Blues (at a Blues venue … *rolls eyes*),¬†that he couldn’t dance with any of the girls here, blah, blah, blah.¬†Everything that he said, all of his complaints, came down to him not understanding, or even attempting to grasp the culture.

From what I understood of his conversation, which was so emotionally heated and scattered that I can barely remember what he said, he felt insecure about his dancing and thought that people should pay him a lot more attention because he’s new.¬†Shocking as it might be¬†to understand – we encourage new dancers to dance. Crazy right. I don’t know a single follow who will bitch to her friends that she had to dance with a beginner. She’ll bitch because she had to dance with a weirdo.

Based off his body language I determined that he ultimately he wanted to feel like a star, to have everyone ooo and ahh over his impressive skills, and ideally take a lady back to his apartment. When that clearly wasn’t going to happen, he freaked out. If he wanted special treatment he should have paid for a private lesson. He crossed the line, simple as that, in what situation is it ever okay to yell at someone who was trying to help you? I must say, I applaud the teacher, she spoke gracefully and tolerated his attack much nicer than I would have.

Social dance has rules just like any other scene:

  • If you attend the lesson do what they teach the group, don’t try to move to far ahead – remember that there’s most likely a wide variety of skill levels in attendance, sometimes you’ll have to learn the same dip/twirl/concept multiple times, consider it practice.
  • If you¬†receive¬†a correction don’t get offended, learn from it – I promise you’ll be a better dancer if you do.
  • If you have a question, ask – don’t expect the teacher to know that you’re struggling (like the jackass in red did).
  • If someone asks you to dance, say yes – unless you have a really good reason to say no – like a hurt joint, you’ve already promised this dance to someone else, you’re a lead who needs to change your shirt, or you already danced with him/her and they got really creepy.
  • AND DON’T DISRUPT THE EVENT AND PROCEED TO YELL AT THE TEACHER ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY’VE BEEN TRYING TO BE POLITE AND HELP YOU.

Aka – use common sense.

Of the Female Friendship Ladder

Friends

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In the female world, whether you happen to be gay or straight, there is a ladder of friendship. I’ve chosen the 10 most frequent (at least in my life experience) types of friend to encounter. We lesbians just happen to have the extra “girlfriend” or in my case “love interest who ended up being either straight or taken” that gets¬†tacked on the top of the chart in the same place where “boyfriend” would be for the straight community.With men there’s only three levels (Can’t stand you, you’re okay, or we’re buds), that’s it! Of course with females we’ve made it more complex and challenging with layers and rules.

  1. “Absolute Bitch.” This is the girl that makes your skin crawl. When she enters a room you sigh in disgust and immediately start whining to your friends. Should she so dare as chew gum or eat a banana in your presence you shiver in annoyance,¬†how dare she eat like that? Didn’t she ever learn how to chew?¬†This hatred is not without reason, maybe she insulted someone you care about or slept with your partner. Maybe she’s just mean to everyone and has no regard for humanity. The point is, you can’t stand even the sound of her name being called.
  2. “Resident Annoyance.” You don’t particularly like this girl but you can’t seem to get rid of her. Typically these people latch onto you in the work environment or during a class. She’s like the lice you got in third grade – you can’t get rid of her until you isolate yourself and go through an uncomfortable treatment (or get a new job).
  3. “Friend of a Friend.” If there’s going to be jealousy or awkwardness within a friendship, this girl is the reason. She’ll show up for a weekend to visit your friend. If she’s awesome and you all click – consider yourself lucky. Most the time there are lots of uncomfortable conversations. The natural cadence of your social circle treading water as this new person has a different¬†rhythm. Still you smile politely, carry on conversation, and probably actually like the girl. But seeing as she’ll be gone in a matter of days there’s no point in developing a deep bond.
  4. ¬†“Acquaintance.” You met this girl once, you got along great, and you friended her on Facebook. The catch is that you know nothing about her and you see her, on average, every other month at a party.
  5. “Class/Work Friend.” You love this girl (in a strictly platonic way), the laughs shared between the two of you seem to be endless. Only you’ve never seen her outside of the classroom or work place. Regardless, you know the details of her weekend, life, and opinions. In theory you two would get along great chatting over a cup of coffee, odds are you’ll never find out.
  6. “Distant Friend.” You two have known each other since you were wee tots, but as you developed into women you grew apart. Even so, there’s still a connection and¬†catching up often turns in a “Hey, remember when?” session.
  7. “Instant Friend.” These are rare, but spectacular. Remember in elementary school how you would meet a classmate during recess and within five minutes you were best friends? This is the adult version of that. Somehow you and this girl cross paths maybe at a party, bar, work, club, school, dance, etc. And something clicks, for a moment you’re back in kindergarten and this girl is officially one of your favorite people. You just know you’ll be friends with her till your both gray haired and wrinkly. Instant friends quickly jump ahead to a deeper level of friendship.
  8. “Dear Friend.” Over the years you two have become incredibly close. This is the level of friendship where frequent phone calls and impromptu visits (or adventures) begin. For some reason amongst women there’s unwritten rules about who you can call, ask to hang out, and how often. Should you break these laws you will be considered a creeper or rudely invading their space. With a Dear Friend you don’t have to worry about such nonsense.
  9. “Best Friend.” Back in kindergarten you were only allowed one, as a teenager you struggled defining the term and balancing multiple friends while deciding who was truly your best. Now that you’re an adult you’ve learned the secret – you can have more than one best friend. I’d say you can have up to 5 before you come across as greedy or delusional. This is the girl you can count on to answer your phone calls at 3am, drive to pick you up no matter where you are, let you cry on their shoulder, and still love you after you’ve drunkenly thrown up (even if the puke got in their hair).
  10. “Sister.” This girl surpasses the ladder of friendship – you have known her literally since you were able to remember. She is immersed in your life so deeply that the family even considers her an adopted member. My Sister has gone to family functions when I was unable to attend, is included in family portraits, and is beloved by everyone (except my grandmother, but that’s a different story). Think back to the episode of Boy Meets World when Mr. Matthews is in the hospital. I don’t remember why he’s in the¬†hospital, only that it was sad and everyone was worried. But I do remember that the family waited for hours and when the doctor came up to them he wouldn’t let Shawn in to visit. “Sorry, family only.” The doctor said. Mr. Matthew’s walked up behind the doctor and said, “He is family.” And the doctor let him through the doors.¬†That’s what a Sister is – she’s not a just a friend, she’s your personal Shawn Hunter.

Of Them Lipsticks

Hello, my name is Sarah, I'm a human.

I always hear lipstick lesbians whine about people’s¬†idiocy in assuming they are straight. They¬†receive¬†comments such as:

  • ¬†“You’re gay? But you’re so pretty!”

And the ever classic.

  • “You could get a man if you wanted to.”

And of course the always appreciated.

  • “You just haven’t met the right man yet.”

And lastly (said by men).

  • “Sleep with me I’ll make you straight.”

Personally I’ve never encountered such remarks. Course, I also don’t walk around broadcasting my¬†gaiety, plus I’m truthful with most that if a man happened to sweep me off my feet all Disney Princess style, then I would happily be with him (I guess that makes me pansexual – yes, that is a thing).¬†Granted I do have rainbow earrings and a necklace, I also have a pin on my backpack, but honestly that’s about it. I figure,¬†ah hell,¬†if I were straight I wouldn’t have to say: “Hello, my name is Sarah, I’m a heterosexual.” I figure the opposite should really be true and thus I abide by the clich√© live and let be.

Not long ago I did get my first “wait what?” remark. Honestly part of me was¬†immensely¬†thrilled in the same way I was when I got my first troll comment on this here blog. She didn’t mean anything by it, clearly she was delusional enough to think that lesbians only have short hair, dress like Ellen DeGeneres, and play rugby. To think that the girl with long crazy hair, rocking a floral dress, and saltwater sandals had something in common with the “ugly” dykes she saw holding hands and making out in the corner was unthinkable.

Apparently one of her friends occasionally¬†makes out with their – not her’s – les friend (the story was ¬†longer than that, but honestly it was a boring typical drunken college heteroflexible charade).

“I just don’t understand lesbians,” she said.

“I’m a lesbian,” I said. I wasn’t offended, I just found the whole conversation funny. That sparked a severe case of what I refer of Triple S – Silly Sorry Syndrome – basically¬†unnecessary¬†apologizes that go on repeatedly for far too long. And the guys would try to get me to make out with other chicks – that I do find annoying – I don’t want people to experiment on me for the sake of attracting men.

Ultimately her last comment was, “At least you’re a cute lesbian.”

Haha, good to know.

Of Homosexuality and Media

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Lately I’ve been watching more gay/lesbian media than I usually do, and I’ve stumbled upon a semi-annoying discovery. In both movies and TV it’s a lot easier to find gay (likable) men than women. The token¬†gay best friend is always a guy.¬†There’s a crazy difference in the amount of movies about gay men versus gay women – when looking at titles it’s like a sea of gays with the¬†occasional¬†lesbian thrown in for kicks. In said movies, they typically function like the hetero couples, just a bit more¬†flamboyant. An easy tangent would be to talk about the clear stereotype for how a gay man functions in society, but I think we all know what that would be. For instance: shopping, superficiality, hair with frosted tips, and “Hey girl , heeeeyy.” Even so, the media seems to be far more comfortable with the idea of two men than two ladies – unless they are behaving as a sex symbol.

Lesbians are portrayed as either super butch, anti-men feminists, or high¬†maintenance lipsticks. This is not to say that butch lesbians aren’t walking about or that women are always easy to be around, but they get placed on an extreme binary scale.¬†When I do find the rare lesbian movie that sounds interesting, the woman almost always ends up with a guy in the end. And if by some miracle she doesn’t, she still messed around with one. Of course, clearly if she sees a penis she’s going to stick around – at least in the media. This is not to say that these aren’t good movies, The Kids Are Alright is wonderful, I own it, but it does fall into that mindset of needs a man. The films that don’t have the switching teams factor are typically low-budget indies with acting that’s either¬†superb¬†or painfully bad, there’s no middle ground. I’m sick of watching these romantic or dramatic movies just to have the couple you’re rooting for suddenly break up and retreat into a hetero normative world. I want to cheer on a lesbian couple and have them stick it out with that Hollywood romantic comedy¬†happily ever after¬†ending. ¬†Straight couples and gay men get that all the time, it’s the ladies turn.

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