When I started hanging out with Mia in high school, we were so caught up in each other. We spent every moment together, watching Six Feet Under, studying together, having sleep overs, talking, making plans for our psych clinic/art house/café. I wanted to know everything about her, and we felt completely at home with each other. Mia and I were never in a romantic relationship, but her friendship has transformed my life.
There’s something magical about my queer friendships.
I’ve been in a monogamous relationship since I was 16, but that never stopped me from falling in love left and right.
Mia helped me to realize that I needed to be a whole person for myself before I could give myself to someone else. If it weren’t for her, my relationship with my partner wouldn’t be as healthful and amazing as it is.
Then there’s Genevieve. We fell absolutely in love. It was a whirlwind – we went on missions to buy bristol boards and energy drinks so we could fly giant paper airplanes at night, we blindly drew each others’ faces in my basement, we binge-watched every episode of True Blood, cuddling and eating popcorn. We went everywhere together, giggling so loud people had to ask us to cut it out. Genevieve and I were never romantic – but her friendship completely changed the way I express myself creatively. If it wasn’t for her, I would never have learned to push past the discomfort of imperfection.
Both these women are queer, like me. I have so many stories like this.
My most incredible friendships all started out almost as crushes, dates, small gestures of affection, by being overwhelmed by each other. If I had been single, many of these friendships would have become romantic – but they didn’t, and that’s okay. I don’t believe that romantic love is more or less important than friendship – both meet our needs in important ways. But I have something amazing and special with my queer friends that I can’t find anywhere else.
The love I feel for my queer friends is transcendental – it’s unbound by heteronormative ideas of where friendships ends and romantic love starts. Things that might be weird in a straight friendship are allowed. We can cuddle, go on dates, hold hands… with the mutual understanding that those acts aren’t sexual. We make space for each other to be fully ourselves. We don’t have to spend time educating each other about our identities and our culture, we already know what it is to be both/and, to be outside, to be a spectrum.
My queer friends have transformed me. They’ve helped me to become more fully myself, accepted all of my flaws while fostering my growth, supported me unconditionally, and kept me connected to my community. Queer friendships are radical, and I think they can change the world.