DISCLAIMER: This article is not concerning the LGBTQ community. This article is written for women that are constantly persecuted for becoming close in friendship and sisterhood with women that are not considered blood related.
One of my girlfriends – allow me to break the term “girlfriend” down before we begin:
Definition(s): (prefix) Girl –
Def 1: (Google) a female child; a young or relatively
Def 2: (Webster) a female child
(suffix) Friend –
Def 1: (Google) a person whom one knows and with
whom one has a bond of mutual affection,
typically exclusive of sexual or family relations.
Def 2: (Webster) one attached to another by esteem
Now that we have defined the term girlfriend, it is clear that we can put too much emphasis on titles such as girlfriend or boyfriend, especially when in intimate relationships. In this case, the term girlfriend will be used to describe a sista-friend.
Anyhow, one of my girlfriends was telling me about her parents very much cornering her to ask about her sexuality. Have gone to an all women’s institution and welcomed one of her college sisters into her home because she wanted to leave her home state to start fresh, her parents had their questions about the two relationship arrangement. Considering the limited space in her home, the responsible, heterosexual women shares the same bed. Aside from being close in sisterhood, they know what it means to humanly take care of one another when another is in need.
I have a story of my own. I myself have attended an all women’s institution and proudly grew up as a “tomboy”. I played just about every sport. I participated in sports that would be considered masculine: I threw the shot put and was a USA Olympic weight lifter. I ran with all the guys; beat them on and off the basketball court and talked mad to them. For this reason, my sexuality was always in question to others but because of the confidence I received in my home and from my extracurricular activities, it never bothered me. I believe my parents’ way of raising my sisters and I have taught us how to truly know guys as friends and not objects to fornicate with.
The downside of my peculiar upbringing that is not uncommon was that coming into my womanhood was more awkward than the average girl I went to school with. It was difficult for me to relate to the troubles most of them went through during our teens. For an example, intimate relationships, heartbreak, wavering confidence, peer pressure, premarital sex, superficiality, caution about their appearance, and more. I was a jock. Hell, I didn’t pursue my first relationship until I was 21!
Being able to relate to other women is a success in it self for me. If you had seen me interact with other women now, you would have never thought.
Nonetheless, in my case it was not my parents that questioned my sexuality. My parents and I are close and they know just about every detail of my life. It was during a recent family confrontation with my parents and cousins that the issue was brought to light. My girl cousins felt the need to comment on my sister’s and I questionable sexuality to spite my father. Excuse us for being reserved about our relationships!
My cousins shouted, “That’s why your daughters are GAY!” I was away for school and my sister was with her friends so neither of us could defend ourselves at the time. Yes, you all are getting just the tip of the family drama iceberg. Because they can say this, shouting it throughout the neighborhood and not to our face, writing this article could possibly be my way of clapping back but in a more intellectual and heartfelt way.
Needless to say, it seems like its family that makes the worst of the observation of questioning a confident woman’s sexuality. Especially when she feels no need to compete with other women and choose to love on them instead, even in conflict. The understanding is very narrow and limited. Not only are ill relationship practices with the same sex is to blame while training up a child, but especially the initiation of the Jim Crow era regarding relationships amongst Black women. If you are unfamiliar with colorism, the Willie Lynch letter is where you can start. We are still struggling to make our mends as sistas from a different mista’!
To the girlfriends that are comfortable in who they are and already know how to love on other women, who are struggling with the questioning of your sexuality coming from others, don’t worry! I am providing you with some backing in this article and it may help to provide some understanding to the misunderstood. Here we go!
Dear Mom, dad and cousin Keisha…
Just because I don’t bring a man to Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner does NOT mean I have secrets! Just be alright with me showing face and be happy that I am alive and living well. Whether if I have anything to hide or not, my personal life is my personal business. What if I am not ready to bring my potential significant other to dinner? What if he still needs to pass the test to finally meet you all?
Nor does NOT bringing a man around mean that I can’t get a man! Its possible to stand alone with or without a man at any and every age and not be bitter and feel lonely, THANK – you! I am confident enough in knowing that the timing will be right when the right one comes along. No rush, which brings me to my next point...
Being alone means you learn to fall in love with yourself FIRST: Challenging your intimacy levels with yourself, practicing celibacy and getting to know The LORD. I am not holier than thou but I do have reservations about myself and am looking forward to growing closer to The LORD, striving to make my faith practices, moral and ethics much stronger. Having a partner takes a lot of work and being emotionally, mentally and spiritually grounded first is an important foundation to layout first.
I am taking the time to become comfortable in myself FOR myself. As we continue to age and grow wiser, we still have to adjust to living with the changes we go through – mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. However, it takes for us to learn a basic approach in meeting those complex changes and we would not want to invite someone into our space too soon if we have not developed a healthy, basic way of functioning through life.
Oh, but mom, dad and cousin Keisha, correcting your perception of my sexuality does not stop there! Having girlfriends is more than close friendship. It is about encouragement. It is about having women around of the same caliber as me, if not greater! Did you not once teach me, show me your friends and I will show you who you are, mom and dad?
I would also like to add that experience from being in unrequited relationships could want to keep us single for a while. We may need time to heal, put ourselves back together and give ourselves the love no one else could. It would not be smart to jump into a new relationship if we are still broken up from the last and NO, the only way to get over someone is NOT to get up under someone else! That is just plain wrong and an ill taught ideology. There is no authentic healing in that. No other person can give me the true love I desire other than The LORD and myself.
Loving on other women is about having women who look like me, respect me for my individuality and want to acquire success with me in my circle of sisterhood. Sharing goals and building a community with genuine women is all the reason to form such relationships. United we stand, divided we fall. Right? Then it shouldn’t have to take an article for you to understand that I am trying to keep myself around good company for the sake of my sanity, portrayal of my image and future aspirations. Yes, all of this could be done with a man at my side but I’d rather choose to do it with my girlfriends at the moment. I’ve already given my reasoning so lets leave it at that, cousin Keisha.
Girlfriends, bottom line, those folks that are so busy worried about our sexuality actually admire how we freely give love with the reservations we choose. Keep loving on other women as you are because if we don’t, a sisterhood outside of blood relations will be one that is catty and some way or another, we know what that looks like.
Peace & Blessings, ya’ll.