The first time I called myself gay out loud I was alone in my room with no one to overhear and yet the word was still whispered as soft as falling snow, nearly drowned out by the beating of my heart
The first time I realized I was looking at my friend in a way that you could hardly call “platonic” I was disgusted with myself For weeks, I was ashamed I had betrayed her trust, and I damn near memorized every fiber in the carpet at my school from spending my days with my head bowed with the weight of my guilt
The first time I introduced myself as a lesbian, I recoiled at the ugly connotation the word had in my mind I hurriedly corrected myself to “gay” and blushed as I avoided my classmate’s eyes
The second time I called myself gay, i was still alone in my room, but I steeled myself for the words to come out and this time I didn’t let myself trail off into silence, I looked my reflection straight in the eyes and my voice doesn’t waver as I confessed the truth that had been eating away at me
The next time I caught myself looking at a pretty girl, I wondered if this was how the other girls felt when they looked at boys, If so, I thought I could almost excuse their silly little giggles and flirty remarks they made when they talked to their crushes.
The second time I introduced myself as a lesbian, the word came easier. In the back of my mind, dark thoughts still swirled, but in that moment the bright smiles of my supportive friends kept them at bay
Now, when I call myself gay, I feel proud
When I talk about pretty girls I feel happy
When I introduce myself as a lesbian, the word feels right
All this is not to say that I’m fixed now, that I’m Miraculously Cured of my internalized homophobia far from it in fact.
There are still days Where peoples words get to my head and I find myself doubting my love for girls, There are still days where I have to remind myself that it’s okay to like girls There are still days where the word lesbian makes me feel icky inside and I use the word gay instead
But the graph of your growth is rarely a perfect upwards diagonal, so there are going to be bad days, I can promise you that, but I can also promise you that they will get farther and farther apart, Until the good, outnumber the bad, and you can breath freely again
the crossroads have seen too many girls willing to sell their souls for a beauty that already belonged to them.
a liminal space where boundaries thin like wisps of smoke in early dawn light.
but there is beauty in this too, soft pastel colours, a quiet empty echo of laughter and then darkness, encompassing and heavy, pressing into lungs but still radiant somehow.
for now demons count souls like dollar bills held close to devil red chests, smiles curling because they think that they’ve won.
but one day those girls will see past black ringed promises bartered at an intersection of road, down to the skin that was already perfect and that quiet empty echo of a soul that had been perfect too.
hell will see. the four horsemen are nothing compared to an army of girls ready to reclaim what is theirs.
So here’s the problem. I may like you more than I ever intended to. To be honest, I may even love you and that’s not good. That’s not good because I’ve lived this story all too many times. The longer you stay, the more convinced ill be that you’ll stick around long enough to see where this goes. Though, that’s not the truth. You’ll leave. They all do.
I’m Just a Dramatic Girl Exaggerating My Nonexistent Love life #4
There’s this girl.
She’s by far the brightest spot in the world.
Her nose wrinkles when she laughs,
nothing is as pretty as it.
The way she flips her hair,
and takes off her shoes,
it all shouldn’t matter to me as this.
I think I see her everywhere;
in the colors of the school
and my mother’s flowers.
In the music I used to hate,
and the dreams I never had before.
I can see her,
smiling as she sleeps,
cradled at my side on the grass.
The sky has never been this jealous.
She’s by far the realest thing in the world.
i don’t want to disturb you, i don’t want to bother you. i don’t want to be in your way, i promise. i slam the brakes, i crash into walls, i walk past you without looking back. i’m so afraid of being noticed, i fade away – stars shine so much brighter than you and i.
Lesbian literature and culture is notoriously difficult to find throughout history. Even at points in time where love between men (spiritual and physical) was considered the highest form of love, love between women was still often scorned mostly due to misogyny, and then later a mix of that and homophobia/lesbophobia.
However, of course, not all lesbian culture has been lost or destroyed or otherwise unreachable. Some of the poems of Sappho (archaic Greek poet) are still around among other more obscure works. A couple of the works in a more obscure category are two love letters found written on a 12th century German manuscript.
There are no full names listed, only single letters to remain anonymous to everyone but the lover.
The first love letter is from “B” to “C”:
To C.–, who is sweeter than honey and the honeycomb, B.– sends all the love that one can send to love. O my unique and special one, Why are you delaying so long in that far-off land? Why do you want me to die, your one and only Who loves you, as you know, with all her body and soul, and who, like a hungry little bird, Sighs for you at every hour and every moment? For ever since I was cut off from your sweetest presence, I have not wanted to hear or see anyone else but you; Just as a turtledove, after she lost her husband, Remains forever sitting on its barren twig, So I lament without end Until I once more can enjoy your faithfulness. I look around and do not find my lover, Nor anyone to console me with a word. While I very happily Review in my mind the sweetness Of your conversations and your appearance, I am oppressed with terrible pain, For I find nothing like them now. What should I compare to your love? It is sweeter than honey or the honeycomb. And compared to it, the luster of gold and silver are worthless. What else can I say? In you are all sweetness and value. Thus my spirit always languishes in your absence. You have none of the poison of treachery; You are sweeter than milk and honey. You are singled out from the thousands; I love you more than all the others; You alone are my love and my desire; You are the sweet refreshment of my soul. There is no pleasure for me Without you. Everything that was pleasant with you Is wearisome now and dreary without you. And so, I wish to say that in all truth That if I could pay my life for you, I would not hesitate Because you are the only woman I have chosen with my heart. Therefore, I always pray to God That bitter death does not come to me Before I enjoy the sight of you, so long desired and so dear. Farewell. – Have all my faith and love; Accept what I have written and sent you And my ever faithful spirit.
And the second, from “A” to “G”:
To G, her one and only rose, A.– sends the bond of precious love. What strength have I that I may bear it, That I may endure your absence? Is my strength the strength of stones That can wait for your return? I never cease from aching, night and day, Like someone missing a hand and foot. Without you anything happy or delightful Seems like mud trod underfoot. Instead of rejoicing I weep; My spirit never seems joyful. When I remember the kisses you gave me, The way you refreshed my little breasts with sweet words, I would like to die Since I cannot see you. What should I, most wretched, do? Where should I, most poor, turn? O, if my body had been committed to earth Until your longed-for return, Or if I could go on a journey like Habakkuk, So that just once I could come to where I saw the face of my lover, Then I would not care if I died that very hour. For there is no one who has been born in the world Who is so lovable and dear, No one who without feigning Loves me with so deep a love. Therefore, I ache without end Until I am allowed to see you. According to one wise man, the worst misery Is to be far from someone one cannot live without. As long as the world endures, You will never be blotted out from my heart’s care. Why do I linger with so many words? Come back, my sweet love! Don’t put off your journey any longer. Know that I can no longer endure your absence. Farewell– Remember me.
(if you’re looking for sources, you can find many on your own; however, a specific text source is The Penguin Book of Homosexual Verse by Stephen Coote c.1983/86, which includes these poems as well as works from Sappho, Shakespeare, Michelangelo, and many more.)
Don’t tell me that I only care about myself.
Because you have no idea
how little I really do.
You don’t understand how hard I’m trying
to be as perfect
as you want me to be.
You don’t see how painful it is
to feel like everything I do is disappointing you.
There is blood in his footsteps;
There are ghosts in his breath.
His scars chart no constellations;
His voice speaks no prayers.
His fingers hold guns, not caresses;
His lips form screams, not kisses.
But I feel sunlight in the warmth of his skin
and trace mountains in the peaks of his spine.
His lungs breathe my name with his winter;
His bones carry my touch with his sins.
And I find peace in his war.
I find home in his exile.
This is not a sacred love.
keep your angels and your heaven; I love a damned boy, and he loves me (j.p.)