illustration of a megaphone with coloured shapes coming out

Untitled

Illustration: Zoe Bilston

By the time I was in year 12, people referred to my high school as a ‘massive lesbian camp’ where supposedly every student, by the time they graduated would identify with at least one of the letters in the LGBTQIA* alphabet soup. Unfortunately, this was not true, as attested to by my best friend who was and still is straight. However, the queer* community grew big enough that by the time we graduated she was complaining of being the ‘token straight friend’.

Now, to some of my uni friends who were the only out students at their schools, this sounds like absolute bliss. However, it came with one big, classic lesbian issue. All the girls had dated each other.

You were crushing on a cute girl? Well at least you didn’t have to worry about her being straight, odds were she was questioning if not out. Now the question was who has she dated and how much more messy would the queer* community dynamics get?

There was a small group of us that would go to Newtown semi-occasionally to walk around and be gay. (This involved talking about horoscopes, discussing which teachers might be queer and eating vegan food). However, this would only be able to last six months before the dynamics became so awkward that we had to stop. Relationships formed and fell while eating hummus in Camperdown Park. Broken hearts and betrayed friendships whittled down the numbers until it was just my girlfriend and me, left alone to be gay in Newtown.

The community became even more fragmented when we broke up later that year, and she began to date a mutual friend of ours (who I had previously spent a ridiculously long time pining after and she’d also had a brief friends-with-benefits relationship with a close friend of mine). As you can imagine, things were awkward.

The drama was messy but underground. You had to be part of the community or at least good friends with someone who was to know that these weird dynamics weren’t just due to people drifting in and out of friendship.

At university, I’d assumed that it would be different, but alas, as I become more involved in the queer* community I realise that here too, all the girls have dated each other.