The AfterEllen.com Huddle: Our First Lesbian Films

 
 

Jenna Lykes: Well, this topic is giving me all sorts of nostalgic feelings.

Though I’d already seen/heard some queer-related stories (Buffy, RENT, etc.), the first truly lesbian film I ever saw was But I’m a Cheerleader. I was a freshman in college, and at the beginning of one of those really intense, middle-school-style (probably unhealthy) friendships with my new roommate. She was bisexual and I wasn’t out yet, and in the middle of a marathon deep conversation session (in the dining hall, of course) she straight out asked if I was gay or bi. After I recovered from the initial shock, I came out (out loud) for the first time in my life.

cheer

That night, we watched But I’m a Cheerleader lying side-by-side on her extra long twin bed. I remember our hands were almost, but not quite, touching. I remember sort of wanting to be alone, because what the fuck was I actually watching? I remember my pulse pounding when Megan and Graham kissed behind the gay bar. I remember everything, basically. When I watch that movie now, nine years later, I’m always taken right back to that dorm room.

Grace Chu: The first lesbian film I saw was But I’m a Cheerleader. I thought it was great. But then the selection of films since then has only gone downhill.

Kim Hoffmann: I can’t be sure, but I’m almost positive the first lesbian movie I saw was Bound. I do believe it was playing on TV at some point in the mid ’90s, or maybe it was on something like pay-per-view, but damn. Hello.

bound

What I remember even more vividly, though, is renting But I’m a Cheerleader in 1999. I was a very shy freshman in high school, and that movie was maybe the first huge wake-up call for me that I was being a weird liar about how I really felt for girls (and was in no way ready yet to come to grips with it). I was also in the midst of trying out for the cheerleading squad, so, now I’m sure all those Catholic school girls I was once friends with are like: “But, she was a cheerleader!” Indeed.

Anna Pulley: Kissing Jessica Stein turned me gay. I regret nothing.

kjs

Jill Guccini: I’m one of those losers who literally had no idea I was gay until suddenly I was kissing a girl, who is now my wife, and my brain was like, OK, well, this is happening now. One of the first things she did early in our relationship was show me All The Lesbian Movies, since I had never even heard of any of them. (Yes, including Imagine Me and You.) Just like you never forget your first Doctor, I will never forget the first movie night: But I’m a Cheerleader, which remains my favorite, because like Bertie said, it is the best.

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