Intense female friendships were at the core of my girlhood. I would have these euphoric, ephemeral best friendships; to feel wanted and appreciated by a woman lit this fire in my attention-depraved soul. I know, I know, ‘Mummy issues’ is so last season. So, let’s dive into the two greatest homoerotic best-friendships I have had, and I warn you- these do not paint me out to be a very good person.
Picture this: a skinny, mono-browed, anxiety-riddled brown girl walking into her first day of an all-white private secondary school, a.k.a literal hell on earth under the sickening euphemism- Berkhamsted. Everyone had friends already, and I was avoided, like being brown was contagious. That is when the heavens opened up and dropped off an angel.
Let’s call her Mandy. The air surrounding Mandy was undeniably cool, to me at least. She carried herself with this borderline narcissistic confidence, and I, of course, was in awe. I wanted to be her friend. And to my luck, she wasn’t a complete knob. Our friendship escalated quickly to best friendship, and soon enough, we were joined at the hip. She was part of the cool group, and I was saddled with the not-so-cool group; she played with makeup whilst I watched my friends play Minecraft. Eventually, I grew sick of this group of girls (who I’m sure were lovely, by the way), but I had a teenage dream to achieve, and these girls were not on the agenda. I sent them a breakup text on Snapchat, and the rest was history.
I was about to achieve the teenage dream…popularity.
Best-friendship with Mandy was intoxicating. She showered me with gifts; from Kylie Lip-Kits to Huda beauty palettes, invited me to eat lunch with the socially relevant girls and showed me how to do my eyebrows (notice the plural). She was more mature than me, she understood boys, and she understood the social strata much more proficiency than I did. We texted each other at all hours of the day, would miss each other deeply if one was to miss a day of school, and would be genuinely concerned if we hadn’t heard from each other within the day.
We were, undeniably, in a homoerotic relationship. And like most relationships, this would crash and burn. Multiple times.
Whilst I won’t bore you with the ins and outs of our petty beef (most of which involved me stabbing her in the back once I became a power-hungry sycophant), the final nail in the coffin was over a very average boy who granted us both the male gaze at the very same time! Whilst I wasn’t lucky enough to be chosen, she eventually did choose him. And boy, did I grieve….
They say that friendship breakups hurt the most, but what about homoerotic best-friendships? What about relationships that were absolutely romantic, we were just too heavily under the influence of the patriarchy to realise?
The ‘breakup’ didn’t just hurt, it felt like I’d lost a limb. But I would absolutely not change the course of our friendship, as navigating girlhood with a homoerotic best friend was exactly what I needed to survive. She offered me all of the comforts of a relationship (minus the sexual intimacy, of course), and I truly felt loved
Next up, we have a freshers–crush–turned–current best friend. Let’s call her Alice. It is important to note that when I moved into my flat in Frances Gardner Hall, I was entirely unhinged. Struggling with a raging eating disorder and attempting to have the wildest fresher’s experience, I admittedly did some questionable things. Alice was my neighbour, with simply a wall separating us- how very Romeo and Juliet. She had brilliant red hair at the time, and was northern, which obviously helped me develop a silly little freshers crush! Whilst I was enjoying being a club rat, granting gross boys (and a few lovely girls) a cheeky drunk snog, I was bored. This was simply not enough excitement.
Instead, the prospect of kissing my neighbour seemed much more my speed.
So, one fateful night we went clubbing, alone… As we were casually flirting with a group of average men, we decidedly got bored. They were so very freshers… and so was I. But even I (sometimes) had higher standards. We peeled off and began dancing with each other.
10 vodka shots in, I had the bravery to kiss her. Or maybe she kissed me.
The memory is obviously hazy, but I do remember the kiss ending in us drunkenly collapsing on stage whilst we were passionately sucking each other’s faces. Our little secret. It was exciting. Of course, nothing grew further as this fresher’s crush ended quickly when I realised that we were definitely friends only, but the prospect of another homoerotic best friendship was enticing, I must say. And now I am proud to call ‘Alice’ one of my very best friends. Alice is beautiful, extremely funny and has the kindest heart ever. I have so much love for her, I am full of it.
I think if you place two bisexual girls in a friendship, they will fill your life with the purest form of love.
Feminine love is completely irreplaceable and absolutely necessary to survive the patriarchy. The love I have for Alice, and still in some ways for Mandy, is real and raw, and sometimes, when you’re a confused, slightly unhinged teen, you will confuse this with romance. Or perhaps it is romance.
Either way, consider yourself blessed to experience the warmth and love of a female friend.
Especially if you’re a little bit gay.