Welcome to #TBT, our new weekly trip down memory lane, highlighting throwback lesbian events every Thursday.
I’m in the seventh grade and I’m at “sleepover party.” The kind where you braid each other’s hair and paint each other’s toenails and talk about boys and then practice “kissing” on each other. I usually instigated the kissing thing, but I swear it was totally not creepy. I had a boyfriend and I just wanted to be known as a good kisser. That’s all, kids. It wasn’t because I was a like lesbian perv or anything. How dare you.
Anyway, after we “practice” kissing we make this massive batch of Kraft macaroni and cheese and devour it in the private “kid’s playroom” of the mansion that is hosting the sleepover party. (I live in Westport, Connecticut home to the Colonial Suburban Mansion. Also home to Axl Rose.) The “playroom” has a massive wide-screen TV and big plush velvet couches. I am brushing my “friend” Kylie’s* hair with a shiny black Mason Pearson hairbrush. I am fascinated with how smooth and straight her hair is. My hair is many things, but it isn’t straight. At all. Even when I straighten it with the most potent flat-iron in all of Rite Aide, it just Never Stays Straight.
Cindy* is flipping through the channels because it’s her house and she’s bossy as hell anyway, when she finally lands on a movie worthy of her round hazel colored eyes.
“What movie is this?” I ask innocently gazing into the mysterious straightness of Kylie’s luxurious hair.
“I don’t know. It looks interesting” Cindy says.
And suddenly I’m watching this very sexy woman deliver a very dramatic monologue about the mob or something, to another very sexy woman. The sexy woman who lecturing the other sexy woman is sexy in a way I’ve never ever seen before.
She’s got this masculine energy and I’m very confused by it. She’s clearly a woman, but she’s wearing boyish-looking clothes and is an openly gay ex-con and her name is Corky. What is this creature? I think to myself. And why am I suddenly out of breath? Why do I suddenly feel this frightening pang in my stomach and why does it feel like someone has lit my insides on fire?
I look around at my peers. They all look sort of bored. They look they don’t like they have a raging fire inside of them. I take a sip of Cindy’s orange juice to cool down.
“Hey don’t take my orange juice without asking,” she says.
“Sorry,” I reply.
“It’s fine. Just don’t let it happen again. I don’t like germs.”
And then Corky is like, having sex, with this hot femme woman (even though I don’t know the term “femme” exists, I instantly understand the dynamic) and I start freaking out. I am officially turned on for the first time in my little life. I want to be the hot femme woman and I want to have sex with Corky. This much I’m sure of.
“Look at these lesbos!” Lisa* the only girl town that is a better horse rider than I am, sort of yells. The girls all start gabbing about how they could never be like, “a lesbian—gross.”
I’m silent. I have to close my eyes it’s all so intense. And then a huge epiphany washes over my body. I’m a lesbo. That explains why I’m repulsed every time my allegedly “hot” 13-year-old boyfriend sticks his graceless tongue into my braces-clad mouth. I’m comforted by this as I feared maybe I just was a freak who hates tongue kissing and I know I don’t want to exist in the world as someone who hates tongue kissing. And then I realize I never mind tongue kissing when I’m practicing with my girlfriends. I’m not just a lesbo, I think to myself. I’m a giant, huge, massive lesbian.
I swallow this secret for the next eight years.