When I heard that Cosmopolitan was featuring a real-live lesbian love story in January’s issue, I resolved to lay aside my differences with the magazine (Photoshopped covers that destroy a normal woman’s body image, volumes of tips on keeping a man satisfied, and over-perfumed pages), and pick up a copy.
It didn’t go smoothly.
I passed by the magazine rack half a dozen times, glancing at the cover, trying to stealthily decipher whether or not there was actual lesbian content inside. A person could lose all queer street cred if she got caught red-handed with a magazine promising advice on “guy-pleasuring touches” and “how to deal when your man gets moody.”
Then, on my seventh pass by the magazine stand, I saw it: “Angelina Did It. So Did Lindsay. What It’s Like To Love A Girl.”
The article is a Q&A with Jennifer Duncan and Stacey Book, two women who met in Central America while working on CBS’s Amazing Race.
Both women talk about how they knew they were gay, but weren’t out at work. They both had crushes on one another, but didn’t know how the other felt. Then:
Jenn: The next day the race was in Costa Rica where, where I was working with a male producer named Dave, who confided in me that he had a crush on Stacey. Meanwhile, I’m thinking Me too! The crew decided to take a boat ride. Dave, Stacey and I were the last to get to the dock. There was a nice catamaran and an old pontoon boat, both of which were nearly full, so there wasn’t room for all three of us on either. Dave jumps on the catamaran, I jump on the pontoon, and Stacey is just standing there on the dock. We both look at her as if to say So, which boat is it?
Stacey: It was really clear what was going on. Dave’s boat was way cooler, but I got on the boat with Jenn. I knew my choice would out me.
The interview is sweet and funny and so not your typical Cosmo fare. They spend two pages talking about falling in love, how they knew it was forever and planning their wedding.
There are fingerprints of straightness all over the article, from the picture captions (Jenn’s decision to wear a suit was a sign of self-acceptance) to the sidebar teaser (What’s the biggest difference between a straight couple and a fun, fearless female couple who decide they want to spend the rest of their lives with one another? The chicks both get engagement rings), but as greentara313 pointed out in the forums, Cosmo is usually so intensely straight that any lesbian coverage at all is something to talk about.
If you need another reason to drop five bucks on the magazine, there’s an entire mini-guide inside called Bedside Astrologer 2009. I wonder if there’s a difference between straight and gay horoscopes. I hope not. Apparently, short getaways, impromptu parties and no-holds-barred nooky will be the order of my next year.