Once upon a time, two women wrote a Rookie article called “The Sex Crylebration” to address readers’ hairier questions about sex: “What if I smell bad?” “What if my mouth gets tired during oral?” “What if I fart/burp/bleed?”
The two friends talked and talked and talked about sex, and for a second, their answers held the tide. But, no sooner had they high-fived about a job well done, did readers begin to ask additional questions about non-hetero liaisons. One email had a subject line that read simply “Sex????” and requested “explanations, tips, and education [...] for the ladies playing the other field.”
The duo drew a sharp, shared breath: Were they ready to Crylebrate again? They were best friends, writers, and true opponents of society’s rampant prejudice against oversharing. And also: Huge. Fucking. Queers.
CUE THE MUSIC!!!! They were us, and they were as ready as they’d ever be!
*Lola descends from sky wearing a purple Adidas tracksuit, like a guardian hype-angel*
*Krista rips in on a seafoam-green Vespa in slo-mo, revving engine seductively in time to Ginuwine*
LET’S DO THIS THING.
The last Crylebration was kind of a compendium of worst-case-scenarios and embarrassing-moments, designed to address deep, lingering fears and rumors about sex. This Crylebration will be different: It’s more of beginner’s guide to queer sex, with juicy real-life embarrassing moments added into the mix, because the questions seemed to be of a different nature. Since queer sex is featured in movies less often/shrouded in secrecy, there were fewer of those middle school gossip nightmares floating around about it: The questions at hand boiled down to more of a generalized, “HOW???” We hope you like it.
“I’m a girl, and I kissed my friend who’s a girl. AM I GAY NOW?”
Lola: The short answer is “nope.” You can identify however you like, regardless of what physical action you’re getting—or not getting. The only determining factor is what you feel is true.
Krista: Nothing you do “makes you” gay. If you’re a girl and you kiss another girl, there is not some invisible gay-radiation-filled ink that suddenly sprays all over you and turns you into lesbians right then and there. You are not a different person after a non-hetero snuggling session, or a makeout, or even sex—you are still you, regardless of the gender of the other person, and only you get to decide whether or not you’re gay (or whatever other orientation feels right!), and only if/when you’re ready.
It just so happens that I also wrote an article on this exact subject! You are a growing, changing young person, and you are experimenting with lots of things, including your own sexuality. There is literally nothing you can do that will lock you into a label forever, my BBs.
Lola: This is not to say that there won’t be any rapids in the river. Claiming your identity can be a scary process because then it’s “real,” and what if it’s bad?
Krista: When I first suspected I *might* be bisexual, or even (gasp!) a lesbian, at age 18, I was terrified, because I had this vague idea that being a lesbian was really bad. I’d lay in bed and and whisper “lesbian” like, 10,000 times in the dark, or repeat it alone in my car. I was trying to get used to the word, and the idea that that word could be me. “I’m bi,” I practiced saying to no one. “I’m a lesbian.” What did it mean? Could I be me and belong to a huge-ass, scary-seeming label like that? (I could, and am.)
Lola: Between the ages of 13 and 20, I identified as bisexual, but partnered with only cis (this refers to a person whose gender identity matches the gender they were assigned at birth) dudes. However, that didn’t make me straight. No matter how much I had internalized the myth that there was such a thing as “fake bi”—all talk, no walk—and that she was me, I was, in fact, true-blue bisexual because I called it. Here are some other things that did not “make me queer”:
- age 13: making out with a girl whose house I was sleeping over
- age 14: a classmate accusing me of being a “lesbo slut with scary friends” on AIM
- age 16: having sex with a girl
- age 22: feeling my heterosexuality was a book I was bored of reading, but too far along in to put down before the end
- age 23: developing the distinct and unceasing urge to go down on a girl until I glowed in the dark
What did make me queer was the moment that I decided I was. You also have this cool power to self-identify however you like, and as many times as you like—your answer might change over time, and that’s fine! Like the poet Andrea Gibson says (and Angel Haze, quoting her, sings):
“No, I’m not gay. No, I’m not straight, and I’m sure as hell not bisexual, damn it! I am whatever I am when I am it, loving whoever you are when the stars shine and whoever you’ll be when the sun rises.”