When I first was figuring out my queerness, I told my best friend the summer before sophomore year that I liked girls. She told me I was just confused about my then-current crush, I just really liked her as a person and took it to be more than it was. This crushed me, because she was my person (like Cristina & Meredith from Grey’s Anatomy– we always joked it really was us, because her name is Cristina and my last name is Meredith), and she just… didn’t believe me. For the next year, she didn’t talk to me. It was like I was invisible, which you would think would be impossible for a class of 50 students in total, right? Eventually, she started talking to me again.
But she never apologized. She actually never acknowledged that for a year she forgot I existed. This hurt because she was my person, my best friend, but it also killed me because a tiny part of me had hoped that she would embrace me and recognize some queerness within herself, as well.
It didn’t work like that though.
Anyways, fast-forward to my first year of college. I went as far away from home as I could, all the way across the country, to a tiny women’s college chock-full of queers. I found really good friends, and it made me realize what it was like to be surrounded by people who cherish you whole-heartedly and LOVE you.
I still couldn’t give up this friendship, though. It felt toxic, most of the time, but her and I still talked constantly.
The summer after my first year, we went on day-adventures together and it was almost everything I had dreamed of, except something was still missing because she couldn’t bring herself to use the right pronouns when talking about potential partners for me (and she had met past girlfriends too). It was rough.
But I got a letter from one of my now best friends– the fiancee of a friend I met first year, and she sent me a letter about fairy tales and stories and enclosed was The Star. And stars kept on coming up in my life.
In Japan there’s a myth/belief that star-crossed lovers who take their own lives are reborn as twins in the next. And I couldn’t help but thing, who did I fuck over in the last life to become this with her?
I did a lot of research about past lives and rebirth and hoped maybe there was a life we ended up in together and I just couldn’t remember it– so I wrote poetry and stories and realized… That wasn’t a life I could live.
My second year of college I told myself there wasn’t going to be any more of being hung up on her. But she was still my North Star, a guiding light home.
Soon after I sent this email to the friend who had sent me The Star card:
“I was reading this article about the north star (I can’t remember why but it felt important)
did you know that we consider the north star as a point of reference actually changes between stars? they occupy the same space in the sky, can all be used to tell true north, but because of the earth’s rotation, it’s not always the same star
when I read this I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders (particularly w/r/t the importance of having a Person or being someone’s Person bcs Cristina was always my Person but every time I come home I feel less like she’s my Person but once we’re not together again she’s my Person)
(but it feels like the person who I think of as my Person doesn’t really exist)”
and her response was everything, it broke my heart but also let me embrace the love I have for other people. Because this friend is now more of my Person, but this time I’m her Person too
“you’ve got stars to guide to you, and which ones you look to depend on where you are, where you want to be, where you need to be. the brightness and importance of the stars change depending on your perspective.
but you can always find them again. you’re becoming a seasoned astronomer. ”
My queerness is intimately related to learning how to love myself, and to share the love I have to give with others. It’s related to my spooky, witchy, soul, and my love of telling stories. We tell stories because we want to remember, and because we don’t want to be forgotten. We tell stories about the stars so that we can remember the people who have come before us and the ones who will come after us.
We tell stories so that we remember how to get home. It’s the same reasons we look at the stars.
(My most recent tattoo was of the constellations that would have been visible around the day I was born– they’re to light my way home, to remind me of the light that’s in the world)