My Experiences With Straight Girls


Claire talks about some of the experiences she has had with heterosexual girls and how it’s resulted in erasure and homophobia.

I used to think that there were a lot of bisexual girls in Bristol.

Before I realised my own sexuality, I used to think that there were a lot of bisexual girls in Bristol. I know this now to be very, very naive. As soon as I started pursuing actual relationships with girls, all the bisexuals fizzled into thin air. Where do they go?

The fact is, people like to laugh at the seemingly ridiculous straight boy, ‘no homo’ mentality, but straight girls are not as all-accepting as we like to paint them. Their brand of homophobia is subtle and innocuous, but still very pervasive and just as debilitating.

One of my first gay experiences was at a party with a straight girl who reportedly had a boyfriend. When I mentioned this to her she just smiled and said, ‘It’s okay, he doesn’t mind if it’s with girls’, then went back to kissing me. When the night ended she went back to her normal, straight life, with a boyfriend, no dysphoria and the memory of a fun ‘experimentation’ with another girl. She had her cake and ate it. Meanwhile, I was left with a mix of confusing feelings; most overwhelming was the thought that ‘I don’t count’. Since then I’ve had a variety of experiences, none of them of great consequence, but cumulatively they have contributed to a fair amount of suffering.

If they contribute to society’s sexualisation of girl-girl relationships, then how am I supposed to be taken seriously?

Some straight girls come to me for just a bit of fun, and I can handle that (usually). Sometimes they do it because a boy is watching, which I definitely cannot handle. If they contribute to society’s sexualisation of girl-girl relationships, then how am I supposed to be taken seriously? I don’t want to be used to appeal to some third-party crowd, and in my opinion no girl should. Girls loving girls is not a product for male consumption.

And it gets worse: one time I had a girl pull away in tears, sobbing that ‘she couldn’t do this’, that she just approached me because she’d been feeling ‘so sh*t’ about herself recently. That’s right – a straight girl came to ME, despite not being that way inclined, with the specific intent of using me to boost her deflated ego. I’ve even seen a straight girl complain about not being hit on by girls in a gay club, and how it made her feel bad about herself, as if non-straight girls are just so desperate that they would approach any girl in their radius. I’d be perfectly happy to offer support without any favours involved, but it hurts to know that these girls only come onto me with the intent of boosting their self-esteem. I feel like the fact that they see a gay experience as somehow more flattering than a heterosexual one is because ultimately they don’t see my sexuality as real; for them it’s not just a normal relationship, it’s the power of their allure ‘turning’ a girl against their (heterosexual) nature.

I don’t want to be that person who can’t have a bit of casual, inconsequential fun…

I don’t want to be that person who can’t have a bit of casual, inconsequential fun; I don’t approach every flirtation with the aim of pursuing a long-term romantic relationship, and I certainly am not going to govern other people’s sexualities. I am totally for girls experimenting and exploring their sexualities, especially since it’s hard to put decisive labels on something so fluid. But I don’t want it to be at the expense of someone else. Even if you approach every hook up with a light heart, when you’re getting consistently rejected romantically it WILL get to you. You can’t envisage a fulfilling romantic relationship with another girl; you doubt yourself; maybe you’re just inherently unlovable?

The homophobia of teenage girls is hardly as aggressive as that of teenage boys, but it still restricts us. In many ways it can be even more damaging, because it’s not obvious so you rarely realise what’s happening until it’s too late, you’ve internalised years of heteronormative conditioning and don’t know how to access your sexuality. I want to be taken seriously and for this to happen, straight girls need to be made aware that for a lot of us, a simple romantic interaction carries a lot more weight than it does for them.

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