For the last handful of years, on Lesbian Day of Visibility, I’d open Twitter, tweet “It’s lesbian visibility day. Can you see me?” and call it a day. While I’m sure all of my friends continue to find this joke hilarious year after year, this year, I began to dig deeper into what being a lesbian means to me. Being that this is Pride Month, I wanted to reflect on my experience thus far.
I’m about to finish high school, so if we’re being honest I don’t really know much about anything, and yet somehow I know so much more than I did when I first came out to all my friends as a little sixth grader. I realized I was queer in a very specific way, but one that I’ve come to realize is incredibly common for people my age. I spent a lot of time on Instagram, and I was being recommended all of these text posts about being queer; little jokes, Tumblr posts that made fun of stereotypes, posts about how beautiful it was to be queer, you know, the works. At first, I was like “yeah, I’m getting these because I’m just a really good ally”, but after a month or so I had the epiphany: I, too, was queer.
Over the years that followed I learned a lot about myself and what lesbianism meant in relation to my life. I was quick to notice that sapphic relationships held a stigma like no other, and that, somehow, despite not having anything to do with men, they were often the center of lesbian issues. This frequently came in the form of the over-sexualization of lesbians.
While queer spaces work hard to tune that out and make sure that a healthy, welcoming, and safe environment is present both online and off, I realized that the over-sexualization was affecting lesbians on a deeper level than was immediately obvious; it was affecting us psychologically.
I spoke to many other lesbians and was hearing the same thing over and over again. People are afraid to be openly in love for fear of seeming clingy and weird, or even worse, predatory. Combine that with the odd societal normalization of wanting to date someone who is uninterested in you, and it makes it hard to grow and love people in the way that we should be able to with ease.
Whether you’re younger than me or older, if you’re a lesbian this is what I want you to hear: Never be afraid to love. Love outwardly and openly with your whole heart.
Talk about your crush or your partner, and don’t feel weird about it. You are allowed to want to be with them and talk about them and let other people know how happy they make you. It doesn’t make you strange, and it absolutely does not make you predatory. Surround yourself with other lesbians, they will be the best friends you could ever have. Be gentle with yourself as you learn new things about being queer, you’re going to be growing for the rest of your life.
Love yourself and others with your whole heart, you deserve it.
– Kat Ritual, known more casually online as Morgue, is going to school for creative writing and hopes to one day publish queer fiction novels. Most of their written work is centered around different aspects of their life experience, including being a musician, growing up queer, and balancing life in the digital age. You can find them on Instagram.