Girls I Pretended To Have Crushes On When I Was “Straight”

I didn’t come out of the closet until I was 17, which means I had about twelve years of deception under my belt. Usually the girls I would pretend to have crushes on would be celebrities because, hi, you can’t sleep with them. It’s an instant “Get Out Of Gay Free” card. Sometimes, however, they’d have to be real girls so I could abate suspicion amongst friends and family. Below is a collection of my beards, without whom I would’ve been very anxious and scared. Thanks for helping a sister out in his time of need, girls!

1. Tarah Keener, Age Six

The cool thing about being gay is that you actually have tons of girlfriends in preschool and kindergarten because nobody has any gaydar! The girls want to date you because they think you’re cute and charming but it’s actually because you’re non-threatening and a great friend. Fortunately for me, I got to spend the beginning years of my schooling chest deep in babes. Tarah Keener, in particular, was a crowning achievement. She was the prettiest girl in school and also my girlfriend. We held hands, played with dolls, and even discussed our mutual crush on the most popular boy in school. In retrospect, it was really strange. We would gush about how cute we both thought this boy was and then run off into the sunset together holding hands. The girls in kindergarten are just really understanding, I guess.

2. Neve Campbell

Like any self-respecting queer who was born in the eighties, I was obsessed with Party Of Five growing up. Not only was it really gay-friendly (OMG, Ross, the gay violin teacher), it was also full of hot guys. Scott Wolf and Matthew Fox were both the apples of my eye but I of course had to deny my love for them and transfer my affections to Neve Campbell. Thankfully, it wasn’t that hard. Neve Campbell was particularly gorgeous during her Julia Sallinger and Sidney Prescott days and back then, I honestly didn’t think I was lying. I mean, I knew I sort of liked boys but I also hadn’t hit puberty yet so it was really all the same to me. To prove my devotion to Neve, I posted pictures of her on my wall and talked about her incessantly. I even wrote about it in my diary (fag) and kept an old issue of Rolling Stone with her on the cover underneath my bed.

3. Sarah Michelle Gellar

Sarah Michelle Gellar didn’t stand a chance. By portraying a role that touched the hearts of gay men, she was destined to become my elementary and middle school beard. Buffy was my heart and soul while it was on the air. I taped every episode on VHS and even took the time to not record the commercials. This was before the new-fangled invention of DVDs, okay? I basically spent the ages of 8 to 15 next to my VCR pressing play and stop. But I didn’t care because it was SMG and she was beautiful and strong and blonde and tan. I went through the same obsessive behaviors with her as I did with Neve Campbell, who at this point, had killed my boner by starring as swamp trash in Wild Things—a movie that starred Kevin Bacon’s penis and a threesome.

4. Ashley Little

Ashley was a girl I dated for two weeks in middle school. Even though she was a total snooze, she had nice hair and was clearly a fag hag in training. I also knew she was probably the only girl who wouldn’t say no to me. By this point, I had bleached my hair blonde and begun quoting lines from Popular so I couldn’t afford to be choosy. My preschool heartthrob days were a distant fond memory.  I asked her out on the telephone one night and we started to hold hands at school. It seriously felt like a middle school version of Liza Minelli and David Gest but whatever, I was just happy to be dating a girl. I broke up with her when I realized I might actually have to kiss her. To cover myself, I told her I had to end things because I developed feelings for my best friend Sarah who wore a back brace to combat her scoliosis. Ashley was pissed and for a single day, I was a heartbreaker.

My crushes after that were fleeting and more obviously rooted in my being closeted. I mean, I had a fat crush on Parker Posey at fourteen. I can assure you that no one at that age gave a shit about Parker Posey besides me and maybe the token lesbian. TC mark

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

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  • lala

    Haha! You do (have a lot of feelings that is ;) Thanks for keeping me entertained at work.

  • erin

    I remember pretending not to like SMG and Parker Posey because I was straight!

  • erin

    I remember pretending not to like SMG and Parker Posey because I was straight!

  • Lucky

    Oh, I kind of have a crush on SMG as I’m watching Buffy right now and love Parker Posey. I’m beginning to question my sexuality

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=504951716 Tau Zaman

    I thought Matt Dillon was the one who had the threesome in Wild Things? Or maybe there was more than one.

  • http://www.facebook.com/t.jason.ham Jason Ham

    My go to girl was Lauren London. Someone give me a high five!

    • https://unemploymentisnotsexy.wordpress.com/ To

      double high five for taking me back to my KING magazine days!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1363230138 Michael Koh

    I have a crush on SMG. #boobs

  • Stellie Cat

    I must really be obsessed with Facebook. When i read:

    “To prove my devotion to Neve, I posted pictures of her on my wall and talked about her incessantly.”

    I immediately thought of facebook until I realized Facebook didn’t exist when Party of Five aired.

  • Sippycup

    Why are so many gay men into Buffy? I never understood that.

    • http://www.nosexcity.com NoSexCity

      Hint: lots of really, really hot dudes as regular characters.

  • David Moon

    “I broke up with her when I realized I might actually have to kiss her.”This is the single best description of my hetero “relationships” before I came out. I never thought about it from the girl’s perspective before, but it must have been awkward torture for them to not be able to understand why for some reason I always ran away from them when they tried to make moves— Hilarious, awkward torture. Oh well, they’re over it now, and we can all go shoe shopping. Yay, happy gay ending!

  • http://twitter.com/i9M Michael B

    I think that Natalie Portman is the new SMG.

  • http://www.nosexcity.com NoSexCity

    I think everyone had a crush on Sarah Michelle Gellar during her Buffy period. I was a pretty rabid fan… I mean, I even learned how to record programs off the TV with my parents’ VCR to ensure I never missed an episode due to any of the weird after school activities my parents forcibly signed me up for. (But really, I was doing it for the steamy teen makeout/ambiguous sex scenes.)

  • http://www.nosexcity.com NoSexCity

    I think everyone had a crush on Sarah Michelle Gellar during her Buffy period. I was a pretty rabid fan… I mean, I even learned how to record programs off the TV with my parents’ VCR to ensure I never missed an episode due to any of the weird after school activities my parents forcibly signed me up for. (But really, I was doing it for the steamy teen makeout/ambiguous sex scenes.)

  • Matt Bianco

    hahahahah…yeahhhh I had a huge teenage crush on Parker Posey. 

  • Matt Bianco

    hahahahah…yeahhhh I had a huge teenage crush on Parker Posey. 

  • Arkhatron

    What is it with men (straight and gay) thinking Sarah Michelle Gellar is a beauty and having crushes on her ??? Sounds so weird to me… thinking of all of the gorgeous ladies from times of Sophia Loren and Brigitte Bardot to 80’s Kim Basinger, Michelle Pfeiffer and today’s girls like Angelina Jolie, Gisele Bundchen, Olivia Wilde and on and on….Where does Sarah Michelle Gellar fit as a FEMME FATALE FOR GODS SAKE???!!! Are man totally BLIND, or is it one of those good for Ophrah’s “inner beauty” cases that i just can’t get???!!! GAHHHHH!!!!!

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