Bi, Black, Fat, Disabled: Clarkisha Kent Is All That and More
Author: Clarkisha Kent
So, let us take a journey down the road of the origins of my bisexuality . . . starting with the phrase girl crush.
Such an interesting term! Both as a whole and when we look at the two words individually. “Girl” has an obvious definition, but when you deep it, it seems rather redundant to put in front of the word crush on its face; since “crush” is merely describing a brief, yet intense infatuation to a certain someone and doesn’t even particularly hint at the gender of the someone in question. Still. Growing up and then subsequently heading to high school meant that I quickly learned that “girl crush” functioned as shorthand for a couple of things.
The first included giving someone like myself—sometimes girl, sometimes woman—the opportunity to express admiration for another girl. That admiration could include everything from appreciating their brain, appreciating their looks, or straight-up fantasizing about what it would be like to walk in their fabulous shoes for a day. However, “girl crush” quickly took on another meaning the deeper I got into high school and the more people came out to me (especially in private). Through passive observation, I noticed that many of my “straight” friends (because I truly believe heterosexuality is a myth, now that I’ve been on this planet for almost three decades) used “girl crush” as a stand-in to illustrate that “I am literally too straight to exist and probably shouldn’t even be admitting that I have an aggressive crush on this girl. Despite this, my crush persists. So, to cover my ass just so people don’t think I’m gay, I’m just going to put ‘girl’ in front of ‘crush’ and everything will be a-okay.” On the flip side, with my closeted friends or friends who were still questioning everything, “girl crush” meant that “I am still sorta kinda exploring this whole queer, gay thing and this is the quickest and cleanest way I can demonstrate that I do, in fact, have the hots for this girl without any of the baggage that comes with ‘officially’ assigning myself a letter from the LGBTQIA+ umbrella.”
The whole idea of a “girl crush,” to me, was to take the edge off of possibly being attracted to someone who shared the same gender as you, to give yourself a moment to identify where such feelings were coming from and what that meant, and to prevent any meddling and bigotry from Bible-thumping relatives or friends.
In other words? The word was safe. Comfortable even. And something you could bookmark and return to later.
Excerpted from Fat Off, Fat On: A Big Bitch Manifesto by Clarkisha Kent (Feminist Press).
Original Article on The Advocate
Author: Clarkisha Kent