By Emma Simpson
The Gay Agenda
It’s Monday morning of finals week at Keene State College and my girlfriend and I have just barely dragged ourselves out of bed.
After using virtually all the same hair products, we stand groggy eyed in front of the mirror passing makeup back and forth, taking turns with the bronzer palette, matte powder, and baked highlighter – I never used to use highlighter, but Tori is a makeup wizard and has shown me the light.
Our morning routine together is one of the best parts of my day, from the time we open our eyes together in the morning to when we leave the comfort of the living room, usually with Tori sporting one of my sweaters.
We both speak and write a lot about struggles we face in regards to our queerness, and those struggles are definitely present, but although we often find ourselves feelings upset or frustrated because of others’ reactions to us, I’ve come to the realization that I hardly ever publicly acknowledge one of the most prominent feelings that I personally have about this part of my life: I love being gay.
And I don’t just love being gay in the “I’m here, I’m queer!” kind of way that is meant as an act of rebellion or a political statement meant to alert other people to the existence of people who are LGBTQ, though those feelings can be really important as well.
I love being gay largely because of my incredible, wonderful, talented, beautiful girlfriend and the dynamic of our relationship, which would not be the same if we weren’t both women.
As two women who enjoy the art of makeup, we have built up a pretty decent collection of cosmetic products that we both love, most of which we share. Our favorite lipstick was something we pulled out of a clearance bin at Target and our rainbow cheek highlighter was a prize we found lurking in the cosmetics section of Forever21. Our closet is filled with many articles of clothing that we trade as well as innumerable accessories that we swap back and forth.
When we’re out together, we don’t have to discontinue our conversation if someone has to pee, because we can just use the same multi-stall gendered restroom (I think gendered restrooms are silly anyhow, but that’s a conversation for another day).
A lot of this expression is perceived as acceptable because of how people are socialized to perform gender, but while I acknowledge this, it doesn’t change the fact that Tori and I find comfort and happiness in sharing these things. Furthermore, navigating the world as a woman can be difficult for a number of reasons, and sharing my life with someone who understands my concerns and shares many of my fears and my joys is such an incredible experience.
It makes me feel truly safe and happy to spend so much time with someone who shares makeup and clothes with me and also understands so many of my gendered experiences. Yes, any relationship can be wonderful regardless of the genders of the people involved, but I feel there is something inherently understanding in our relationship because we have had similar experiences as women.
So, there it is. It may not be a popular declaration, and it may seem strange to hear given that a lot of coverage of LGBTQ issues in the media involves raising awareness about struggles we face and being negatively impacted by any number of things, from behavior of loved ones to anti-LGBTQ legislation. There are some people who are LGBTQ who may think very differently, and that’s okay, too.
It has been somewhat of a confusing journey, but I have learned to reconcile the very real struggles I face as a gay woman with the fact that I wouldn’t change a single thing about my life with Tori, and I am so happy to have found a balance that works for us so well.
I love being a woman in a relationship with another woman. I love my wonderful, intelligent, beautiful, talented girlfriend. I love being gay.
Tori Tucker and Emma Simpson are Keene State College students who work on the column The Gay Agenda together. It is posted every Sunday at InDepthNH.org
Tori Tucker was born and raised in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. She is a student, author, and activist, and is currently in her senior year at Keene State College where she is finishing her English-Writing BA. In addition to being a writing student Tori also is pursuing minors in music and German. She is an intern at InDepthNH.org.
Emma Simpson is a Women’s and Gender Studies major currently in her junior year at Keene State College. She is the vice president of her campus a cappella group and involved with Planned Parenthood as a volunteer.
InDepthNH.org and Manchester Ink Link co-publish The Gay Agenda