My friend Danielle is hosting a Superbowl party this year. I’ve been looking forward to this party for months. I’ve thought in great detail about my outfit. I’ve thought about what color I’m going to paint my goddamn nails for the event (lilac). I’ve thought which chic beverage of choice I’ll sip on at the party. I’ve deeply pondered whether I should clip hair-extensions into my head or simply let my scalp breathe?
I haven’t thought about the game once.
Because I’m addicted to sharing useless and menial information about myself (narcissism), I felt the need to post that I had no idea what teams were competing in this year’s Superbowl on the event’s Facebook page. My friend Hollybeth instantly informed me that two teams called the Patriots and the Rams were playing, and also added (with a passion I could intrinsically feel through the static screen of my laptop) that the Patriots would *surely* win.
I wonder what places those teams represent? I thought to myself as I applied a fresh coat of mascara to my lashes. Suddenly it dawned on me. Oh yeah, I’m supposed to be rooting for a team. That’s kind of the point of this party, huh? I quickly googled where the teams were from. New England (Patriots) and Los Angeles (Rams).
Well I grew up in Connecticut which is technically in New England, but I came of age in West Hollywood, so surely I should root for LA? Then again, I’ve always felt safe and at ease when immersed in that preppy New England aesthetic. All that L.L. Bean is so classic. So understated. So chic, in a refined way. But on the other hand, Los Angeles is so over-the-top, so glittery, it’s all fake tits and spray tans…and I ADORE fake tits and spray tans almost as much as I adore my mother.
I suddenly found myself hit with an identity crisis of epic proportions. How do I identify? Am I a sophisticated, hyper-literate New Englander who leads with my intellect; or am I a flashy Los Angelino who leads with my store-bought sparkle and extra-virgin weave? Can I be both? Is it possible to be accepted by the noble North Easterns and the wild, unhinged West Coasters? Why are identity politics so….intense? Sigh.
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I decided to do what all women who have far too much time on their hands do: Pose this complex, nuanced question into the Superbowl party Facebook group.
And then I was struck like a lightning bold with an even more harrowing identity crisis. The page was teeming with posts from my fellow dykes — but none of them had *anything* to do with fashion. There were seemingly endless rants about which team will win and why the opposing team royally sucks. No talk of spray tans or boob jobs or L.L. Bean.
Shit. I thought to myself, as I nervously twirled a freshly-bleached lock of fake hair around my fingers. People are actually excited about WATCHING the game. I don’t even understand football. To me football is just a lot of men with extreme shoulder pads (which is super high fashion) and tiny waists tackling each other on a well-manicured field. Yes, I weep during the game but that’s only when Gaga performs and makes some powerful statement about the sad state of the world through her art! I don’t disrespect the sport, I just don’t…get it.
A feeling of deep alienation slowly wrapped itself around my body like a python. It was akin to the feeling I used to get at the end of summer; when I knew I had to back to school and pretend to fit in for another nine months.
I am not a good lesbian. I didn’t even know what teams are goddamn competing in the Superbowl! I had to google whether or not Superbowl is two words or one word, before penning this dull-witted essay! I plan on wearing a strapless silver Valentino party dress in lieu of a jersey and I intend on spending the entirety of the game gossiping with my friends about the L Word reboot. Yet none of them will want to chatter with me, because they’ll be entrenched in the game, because they’re fully-realized lesbians. And fully-realized lesbians attain a genetic passion for televised football. They look good in baseball caps. They were the girls who played basketball in high school. I wore bright red lipstick to gym class and did drugs at raves in high school. I never touched a ball in high school. Pun intended.
Something clearly went wrong in the lab. I’m a bad, bad gay, just like the internet trolls have been incessantly telling me for years.
And then my friend Johanne piped up in the group. “I have no idea who is playing either!” She commented on my post. I thought about Johanne with her gorgeous, shiny, red-wine colored hair and instantly felt seen. Johanne will gladly chat with me about fashion and life and France during the Superbowl. She’ll appreciate my wildly-inappropriate Valentino strapless dress. And she’s one of the fiercest lesbians I know. And she’s athletic too.
And just like that: My identity crisis disappeared into the thin air. I was reminded (yet again), that we dykes come in all different kinds of packaging and harbor a multitude of diverse interests but we have one very powerful thing in common: We’re completely and utterly attracted to women. And our shared lust for the same marginalized gender unites us in a way that a sports team never could.
In fact, my favorite part about being gay is that it has exposed me to so many kinds of fabulous women. If I was straight (gag) I would probably *only* have female friends that were exactly like me: Fashion crazed and obsessed with Lana Del Rey.
But because god herself, chose to bless me with the dyke life, I get to befriend sporty women, wild women, stylish women, complicated women, hilarious women, women in politics, women in hospitality, women in business, women with swag, and women in nightlife. And together we make a very colorful collective that I cherish in the deepest pit of my gay as f*ck gut.
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