How To Avoid The Lesbian Drama That Will Ruin Your Youth

There’s a difference between “cute drama” and “toxic drama.”

Photo by shutterstock

I detest when people mutter stupid bullshit lies, like, “If I could do my 20’s over again, I wouldn’t change a THING.” Really? So if you had the chance to go back and time and decide to NOT clumsily hook up with your best friend’s ex that time you found yourself blackout drunk and could, in turn, preserve the most meaningful friendship of your life… you wouldn’t do it? 

Of course, you would.

Listen to your lesbian big sister (me!); everyone has regrets. Everyone. Sometimes old people might passionately claim to have “zero regrets” but that’s just a cheap way for them to attempt to quell the overwhelming guilt they feel about the shitty things they’ve done throughout their lives. I’ve accepted guilt as a part of life, so I’m not going to spew that lie unto you.

We can starve ourselves into tiny fawns, and we can expertly photoshop every picture we upload onto Instagram, but we can’t change our bone structure or body type. And all of this trying, all of this blood, sweat, tears, and wasted energy we haphazardly pour in changing ourselves — is doing far more damage to our self-esteem than I fear we even remotely grasp. Because at the end of the day our body is our home. It holds court to our minds, our heart, our spirits, and our souls. If we hate the place in which we live, we’re never going to feel settled or at peace. In many ways, our body serves as our foundation. Our grounding force. Think about it: When you live in an apartment where you don’t feel safe, you’re going to move through this world feeling forever ungrounded and on-edge. When you don’t feel safe in your body, you’re going to forever feel unrooted and anxious no matter how many brilliant, praise-worthy things you accomplish that day. But the question is: how do we actually get there? How do we actually get a place where we genuinely love the skin we’re in? (New article link in bio!)

A post shared by Zara Barrie (@zarabarrie) on

One thing I happen to majorly regret is all the soul-consuming lesbian drama I got myself involved with that tarnished some of most gorgeously golden years of my youth! As gays, we’re hardwired to enjoy a healthy dose of glittery drama from time to time, so I’m not telling you to avoid it completely– that’s unrealistic. Instead, the trick is to find the right kind of cute drama to get involved with while staying far away from the toxic, reputation-destroying drama that will haunt you for years to come. Since it takes “wisdom to know the difference” — wisdom that you, my sweet, clueless baby dyke haven’t garnered yet, I’m going to help you out.

Here goes. Here’s the first step in avoiding the toxic gay drama that could screw up the most physically attractive years of your life, if you’re not careful.

Don’t befriend the bitches with the bad vibes.

“Is she, like, even gay?” I overheard a girl with a massive head full of corkscrew curls bitchily murmur to another girl, as she eyed me up and down. I had just moved back to America from England so I was dressed very Kate Middleton prim; black tights, a cobalt blue midi-dress from Reiss; Ted Baker patent leather pumps; a f*cking Mulberry tote bag dangling from my pale wrist. In short: I didn’t look very lez. I know some of you think there is no way “to look lez” but stereotypically there is a lez look. And most queer women residing in the city don’t exactly rock the prudish English rose look. Especially not at The Woods bar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on a Wednesday night. It was all cool distressed leather jackets and oversized beanies and jeans so skinny they looked as if they’d been painted onto underfed thighs. Regardless of how un-lez I looked, I could tell that the girl with the impressively large head and the corkscrew curls was throwing shade. Her friend, who resembled a skinny blonde razor blade, rolled her eyes at me. She lit up a ciggie and purred: “Like, who even wears tights?”

These girls were bitches. Bitchiness oozed out their pores. It radiated out of their dead eyes. (Never trust a bitch with dead eyes). I made a mental note to stay far away from these girls, now that I was back in cold, cruel New York.

That is, until the hot girl I was crushing on came bounding over to the two of them, squealing like a pig in heat, wrapping her arms around their flannel-wrapped waists with an enthusiasm you seldom find in Brooklyn, home of the detached. Before I could bolt to the bar, my crush skipped over to me, her eyes glowing like a blood moon, and squeaked “Zara! Meet my friends!” She pointed to the mega-bitches. They exchanged a nasty glance and proceeded to stick their limp wrists out at me in an insulting handshake. A cold chill ran up my spine. But since my crush was clearly obsessed with them, I ignored my instincts that these girls were toxic, and decided to befriend them. What can I say? Sex is a powerful thing. It drives people to do stupid things, like exchange phone numbers and make coffee arrangements with horrendous bitches.

Which leads me to my next point.

Don’t hook up with the bitches with bad vibes. 

Before I knew it I was in deep with the bitches. That’s how it happens with bitches. You “innocently” exchange phone numbers with them in attempts to appease some girl you’re trying to hook up with, and the next thing you know they’ve lured you into their toxic underworld with their mean-girl prowess. They’ll recklessly feed you gossip and gossip is like a drug, darling. Once you get a mere taste of it, you’ll keep coming back for more.

The next thing you know, you’re a gossip addict, who gets high off speaking poorly about well-meaning people. And since you’re hanging out incessantly with the bitches because they feed your shit-talking cravings better than anyone else, you inevitably end up hooking up with one (even if you only started hanging out with them to impress someone else!).

When you finally come to your senses and decide you no longer want to hook up with this mean-spirited entity because it doesn’t feel right in your heart, that mean-spirited entity will lose her mind. I hooked up with the tall razor blade blonde bitch of the two, and she showed people nudes I had sent her after I ended our courtship. She threatened to put them on the internet. She turned her army of minions against me. I was rendered friendless, lonely, and wracked with the grief of betrayal. I lived swaddled in the cold cloak of fear; fear of my job firing me after she leaked my nudes on social media, fear of trusting another woman again, fear of going to any gay party in the tri-state area for fear of running into her. It was no way to live. I almost moved.

If I could do it all over again, I would’ve never pursued those bitches with their hella bad vibes as friends. Vibes, energy, intuition, all of that stuff, doesn’t lie. When your internal alarms violently sound off the moment you lay eyes on a human being, stay away from them. Spending your time with people you don’t trust will eat away at your energy and will leave you with no emotional shell to shield you from the bad energy in the world. Being in their negative orbit will change your ethos and turn you into a person you no longer recognize in the mirror. You will be freaked and haunted by your past behavior, which could drive you to drink and do drugs in order to blur out the bad memories. Which leads me to my next point. Seamlessly.

Don’t get too wasted.

Where there is heavy drinking and where there are drugs, there is d-r-a-m-a. And not fun “let’s hop up on stage and sing our hearts out to Joan Jett!” kind of drama. I’m talking about getting rushed to the hospital drama.

Shortly after I cut the cord with the bad-vibed bitch I should’ve avoided, I got so wasted I blacked out on the streets of New York City and woke up in a hospital bed on 137th street. It was, for lack of a better word, a “dramatic” scene, so to speak. A dramatic scene I desperately wish I could delete from my life. My super-sweet friends didn’t deserve to be scared like that. My younger self who fiercely valued her life didn’t deserve to watch her adult self play Russian roulette with her own mortality.

I know me calling things like binge drinking and blacking-out “drama” might seem like I’m being reductive to their seriousness. I’m not. My point is this: Falling in with bad people, refusing to listen to your blazingly loud instincts, being deeply betrayed by people you’re intimate with, and drinking/drugging yourself into a blank amnesia, that kind of “youthful drama” can turn quickly into real drama. Real drama with real consequences.

I also understand that all young crowds, not *just* queer crowds are teeming with bad vibe bitches and betrayal and drugs and booze.  Here’s the difference: Some older LGBTQ entities have a tendency to keep quiet about the darkness lingering in the underbelly of our sacred community. When you’ve been so persecuted as a culture, it’s easy to want to present your people in a flattering light to the outer-world. I get it. However, I don’t think it’s fair to shield the young people in our community from our regrets, the unpleasant parts of our realities — because knowledge is *always* power.

When I was a scrawny little teen first coming up in the queer scene, I thought I was safe because I was gay. I thought that everyone in the gay bar was trust-worthy and that getting wasted in the warm nest of the LGBTQ community would never lead to traumatizing or scary experiences. I thought that kind of “dark drama” was reserved for frat-bros and helpless sorority girls drowning in the mainstream bars of Murray Hill. But in reality, bad people are bad people are bad people, regardless of their sexual identity. Toxic hookups are toxic hookups are toxic hookups, regardless of their gender. Drugs are drugs are drugs, regardless of whether you choose to drink, swallow, snort, or smoke them.

That being said, being gay is so great. Seriously, there is so much magic in our community that I don’t want you to miss out because you were too green to notice the red flags tucked into the folds of our rainbow.

Here are the last gems of party-girl advice I’m going to bestow on you (in this piece, at least): Hang out with good people. Hook up with good people. Drink to celebrate and drink to dance, but don’t drink distract yourself from the fact that the people you hang out with make you feel like garbage.

If you need help navigating this complex new world, message me. Your lesbian big sister. I might not have the answer, but I’m always here to listen to your drama, babe. The toxic drama and the cute drama.

My intention in writing endlessly on the internet for so many years now has never been to be the perfect expert advice lifestyle lecture lecture lecture writer. It’s been to share. Share my failures and bad dates and dark experiences in hopes that my stories will help you feel less alone, which makes me feel less alone, and then together we can learn to forgive ourselves and become empowered by our beautiful life mishaps. I only really learn and feel stronger and more connected to the world at large by content that is personal, raw, embarrassing and most of all; honest. There’s nothing more compelling than brutal honesty. There’s nothing more interesting than a person who has the courage to discuss their issues, before they’ve resolved them. There’s nothing sexier than a person wholly unafraid to NOT present themselves as the hero in their narrative. There’s nothing more engaging than the truth. There’s nothing more attractive than a deep dive into how you really felt when you did the thing you did. 💕💕

A post shared by Zara Barrie (@zarabarrie) on