In order to try yet another new thing, this week’s FOUR-nication will be written by Catwoman. For those who haven’t been reading, she’s a lesbian.
Spring is arriving in Ithaca. For many people, spring is a magical time of year, a time of year that makes them hornier than the brass section of a marching band. A time of year, let us say, when a college student’s thoughts turn to gettin it on. It is a time of year when people start to kiss other people deeply. Outdoors.
I don’t know why this is. But from the Arts Quad to Collegetown, it’s happening. On Monday, when it was sunny and 60 degrees outside, I witnessed a truly spectacular amount of public kissage. Because I am a nerd, I have done the calculations, and it turns out that for every 7.5 minutes I was outside on Monday, I saw a different couple kissing. This is amazing! For the last six months, I have been walking around Cornell, and not a single couple has smooched while in my line of sight. I think we all realize that just because your spit might freeze instantly to your partner’s spit is no reason to refrain from displaying your mutual love during wintertime in upstate New York. If you’re going to live in Ithaca, you’re going to have to do a certain amount of smooching with chapped lips, runny noses, and dry facial skin. It’s just a fact of life. But all the couples that were sooooo loath to kiss each other in February have leapt out of the woodwork now that it’s mid-April. And I’m glad for them, fair-weather kissers, though they are, because it means that people are being affectionate, and possibly also that they are getting some booty.
Well, it means that certain people are affectionate and possibly getting booty: I have yet to see a male/male or female/female couple taking part in our campus’s veritable festival of kisses. I see mixed-sex couples kissing wherever I turn, though: on the Arts Quad, at bars, in advertisements for chewing gum and diamonds, and even in the title bar to this column. An impartial observer might think that only straight people even exist.
Silly impartial observer! Queer people are out there, either wearing rainbows or dressing dykey, counteracting the implication that we don’t exist; we’re low-flying, stealth queer, on purpose; or we’re not concerned about how visibly queer we are one way or the other.
Personally, I fall somewhere between the first and third category. I want people to know I’m a lesbian, for a variety of reasons. First, it helps when getting dates. Period. Nothing sucks more than thinking you’re a smooth Mack Daddy, then discovering later that the recipient of your attentions thinks you’re straight. Also, I want the image of my sweet, angelic face to haunt the minds of people I know when they hear or see something homophobic and they don’t speak up. Well, perhaps a combination of the sweet angelic face and the “you bastard, you are in such deep shit with me” face.
Being a lesbian has meant a lot of things to me, in many areas of my life. My relationship with my family changed after I came out, and is still evolving around that issue. I worry about state and federal laws that most straight people have never heard of. I don’t feel welcome in overly straight spaces, and I want people to know that. And it is so annoying when people assume that everyone is straight! I used to have this conversation with my ex-girlfriend’s mother about why gay people want other people to know that they are gay.
She’d be all like, “But I don’t tell everyone I’m straight!” And I’d be all like, “You don’t have to, because everyone assumes you’re straight!” And then we’d have a brawl. Just kidding. So, that’s just me, but other queer people might agree. Hence, some of us put rainbow stickers on our cars, or wear black triangle earrings, or — if we’re really to the point — wear t-shirts that say “Dyke.”
Whatever the hell it is that we’re doing, we’re not kissing in Collegetown like the straight people are. I know that getting it on in public isn’t the solution to the problem of gay and lesbian invisibility. And I know that getting it on in public doesn’t even address the problem of bisexual or pansexual invisibility — people are assumed to be either gay or straight, no matter who they’re kissing.
But it’s spring. And I’m sick of all these flagrantly straight spaces, with straight people talking about their straight boyfriends and holding hands and kissing and generally flaunting their straightness all over the place. Who needs all that? Queer people, start kissin’! On the Arts Quad! On the Ag Quad! In C-town! On West! And if you’ve got no one to kiss