Admittedly, I don’t have many straight female friends. I’m not sure if it’s because my social life has naturally evolved to include like-minded liberal lesbian activists and night owls, or if it’s because my lady loving tendencies tend to scare the straight ones away. But I’ve never really bonded with straight girls. A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of flying out to Miami for a work-related excursion of sorts. My colleagues and I set out on a mission to soak up as much fun in the sun as we could. I was nervous. It was my first time hanging out with straight girls in a long time—and I loved it.
It’s been quite a while since I stepped foot into a “straight” bar. I had forgotten just how easy it was for any woman to become the center of man’s attention. My friend had these men in the palm of her hand. From the moment we walked in, her long legs, short skirt, and high heels were no match for hungry eyes. Within 15 minutes of being at the bar, she had every guy within a three-foot radius at her disposal, offering her drinks and dances. Being the good friend that she is, she let me share in the spoils, ensuring that all of her possible suitors provided a beverage for her “sister” as well.
The next night, she returned the favor and ventured to a gay bar. Although she only made it through an hour and half before begging to go where men will hit on her, she tried. And I respected that. She was willing to compromise and find common ground, two very important qualities I look for in a friend.
After we were denied entrance into the club because my flip-flops were not up to par with the dress code, she didn’t make me buy high heels; instead, she laughed it off and away we went. Respect, compromise, and support are at the core of every strong friendship.
It’s not so hard to venture into a nightclub and have a great time. What struck me more about my trip was the heart to hearts and the deep levels on which my friend and I could relate. We have both loved, and we have both lost. We have both experienced life and have similar goals and dreams. When you strip away sexuality, you’re left with an inner layer to which, deep down, all girls can relate. On Sunday Funday we laid out on South Beach, talking about boys, girls, falling in love and losing the game. We bonded over family, sharing stories about younger sisters and possible future prospects.
For the first time in a long time, I bonded with a straight girl. And that’s when it hit me. Just as we have been marginalized by mainstream society, I too have reacted by marginalizing those who marginalize me. I was labeling her as a “straight” girl, and thereby operating under presuppositions that barred me from seeing past sexuality and into the soul of a person. As much as our sexuality defines us, it truly doesn’t have to. Before we are straight, or gay, or queer, or however we identify, we are people—and people are awesome.