Hello, everyone! I briefly considered writing an intro post for today, this first day of Pride, but ultimately decided against it. Instead, I’m going to jump right in! I made a big list of possible post ideas and basically I’m just going to work my way down that list, trying to vary the types of posts as I go so that there won’t be too many book reviews or personal posts (or whatever) in a row.
Today I want to write a FRIENDSHIP LETTER. What is a friendship letter, you ask? Well, the short answer is that it’s a term I just now made up, and the longer answer is that it’s like a love letter, but to my friends. I’ve met and become friends with so many LGBTQ+ people since heading off to college, and I’d like to let them know just how much I appreciate them. A sort of gay best friends letter, if you will. (My jokes are terrible. I’m sorry.) So let’s get started – here it is!
I love having IRL friends who are LGBTQ+.
I love how quickly I found friends like that.
I love – and am amused by – how well my gaydar works when it comes to finding friends. (It doesn’t work so well when it comes to figuring out my crushes’ sexual orientation, though. Unfortunately.) I met my very best friend from school on one of my first days here, and although I guessed that she might be LGBTQ+, I kept quiet about that part of my identity until I figured out she was bi. I’m so happy that we started talking!
I love that I took a course titled Intro to Gender, Women’s, & Sexuality Studies because even though that class ended up disappointing me – it was very simplistic and not as intersectional as I would have liked – I made some great LGBTQ+ friends through it. And then we complained about the class together. MUTUAL BITTERNESS = BONDING.
I love that there were multiple lesbians and bi girls on the floor I used to live on in this dorm (before I transferred to summer housing). They’re super nice and one of them always made sure to compliment me on how gay I looked whenever I wore one of my flannel shirts.
I love that I joined Spectrum, my school’s LGBTQ+ student organization and, through that group, was able to participate in events such as alternative prom and MBLGTAAC. I’d never even heard of MBLGTAAC until last year, but it’s this huge Midwestern LGBTQ+ student conference held every year and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to attend, because I made so many more friends there.
I love meeting older lesbians and listening to them talk about their wives. “It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside” is a clichéd thing to say, but it’s true: It really does make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I could listen to them talk about this all day.
I love having the opportunity to get to know older LGBTQ+ people in general. Prior to attending college, I didn’t know any except for two of my uncles, and it’s very reassuring to look up to these older people and know that if they’ve made it this far, then so can I.
I love having friends to watch LGBTQ+ movies with. We sat in the back row of the theater for Carol and whispered and giggled and consumed prodigious amounts of popcorn. It was a wonderful afternoon.
I love having friends who are just as indignant as I am about matters of representation. Some of my friends and I started watching LGBTQ+ movies with happy endings since we were tired of the Bury Your Gays trope, and I can’t wait to resume that in the fall – we’ve put that activity on hold for the time being since only two of us are in Iowa City for the summer.
I love making friends who can give me advice about LGBTQ+ stuff such as relationships and figuring out if my crushes are gay.
I love hearing stories such as how three of my friends, who I didn’t even realize knew each other, got into a friendly argument about who was the gayest.
I love knowing a few gay and bi guys. I feel much more comfortable around them than I do around straight men since they understand my identity better, and are more likely to respect it as well. The last time I had a guy friend, I was in second grade.
I love that the majority of my friends are LGBTQ+ because I always felt pressured to censor myself and be someone else around my cis straight friends.
I love being able to be myself around my friends for the first time ever. I didn’t have many (any?) friends in middle school and high school, and I certainly didn’t feel comfortable coming out to them, but now I have friends with whom I can be open about my identity. I can tell them about my crushes, and talk about LGBTQ+ books and headcanons, and not feel worried or scared about it. My best friend always points out cute girls with undercuts in the dining hall and laughs at how unsubtle I am when I try to subtly glance in their direction.
I love that, due to having such amazing friends, within the span of less than a year I’ve begun to be more comfortable in my own skin and, finally, to make some substantial progress in terms of growing into my own identity. I used to be so uncomfortable about and afraid of being myself, because I grew up pretending to be someone else and never talking about who I really was, and it’s so, so hard to unlearn those feelings and habits once you’ve grown accustomed to them – even once you’re safe and don’t have to worry any longer.
I LOVE MY LGBTQ+ FRIENDS FROM COLLEGE. YOU’RE THE BEST. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALWAYS BEING THERE TO HELP ME.