My phone rings.
My friend Elana, who works as a sex educator for fifth graders in Boston: Gina, Gina, I have to talk to you! I was just going through the file cabinet at my office, and—Okay, do you remember how there was that Allison Bechdel comic about that period in the 90’s where lesbianism was really cool for five minutes?
Gina: Dude, I totally remember Lesbian Chic, and not just from Dykes to Watch Out For!
Elana: (Trying and failing to contain her laughter.) Okay, okay, good. So, we have this file folder that’s from the 90’s and it’s all about lesbians, and it’s really dated. It has all these articles and random clips from magazines, like there’s this issue of Newsweek with these two really, really white middle-class yuppie women on it—
Gina: And all the cover says is “LESBIANS!” Oh my god, I so remember that!
Elana: Yes! And there’s this photo spread from Vanity Fair of k.d. lang in a barber’s chair getting shaved by Sharon Stone—
Gina: Getting shaved by Cindy Crawford!
Elana: Cindy Crawford, yes!
Gina: I remember that photo!
Elana: It’s really EROTIC! I had no idea it was so sexual! And I do sex ed for fourth graders, so like, why in the name of God would I use that photo for my “It’s Okay to Be Gay” class?
Gina: (Laughing really, really hard.) I don’t know, Elana, why would you?
Elana: So I just talked to my boss about how none of this is really age-appropriate for my work. And therefore, I should be the one to take it home.
Gina: BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Awesome!
Elana: I’m going to frame the “LESBIANS” cover and the k.d. lang picture and put them on my wall at home next to each other. I think they’d look good in the bathroom…
Gina: Right, Preserving Our History and all!... God, I so remember Lesbian Chic… I came out like right at the tail end of Lesbian Chic—it was like ’94, and I totally devoured all that stuff because I was newly out and over-doing it and obsessed with everything gay…
Elana: Well, Gina, Lesbian Chic must be why people didn’t believe you were a homo, they just thought you were jumping on the bandwagon!
Gina: Yep, jumping on the Lesbian Chic bandwagon*!
*At the age of 11. When I’d never met any real-live out queer people.