I have never liked rom-coms much. I mean, beyond that most are pretty sexist, riddled with cliches and made without much care or craftsmanship in the filmmaking or scripting... they just never quite worked. I also often got quite annoyed at romance subplots in movies, even fairly believable, well-executed ones.
I often told myself that it was because it felt contrived. Saving the world by doing something scientifically impossible? Sure. But meeting the partner of your dreams at the same time? Naaah. No chance.
This had begun to shift. Six months or so ago, I watched a few rom-coms, for no real reason. Just happenstance. None were very good. The laughter moments worked, but I was stuck noticing more than usual just how much the women were trophies for the men, and how uninvested I was in their relationship - even if I really liked the characters and the actors playing them.
This year, I've watched more and more shows and movies that involve queer romance. Specifically seeking out lesbian romance stories, or shows that show enough diversity that a lesbian romance isn't outside the realms of possibility.
Last night, after nine episodes of "will they, won't they", two of my favourite characters in a TV show I was enjoying finally got onto each other. Both women were awesome, and them getting together made me incredibly happy. Despite the slightly cheesy nature of the show, how believable, slow and relatable development of their feelings for each other were was very impressive.
I'd been waiting for this, as someone had strongly implied for me that it'd happen. But despite this, the moment they kissed for the first time, I fist-pumped, screamed yes loudly, and leapt from my couch so fast I fell straight on my arse with a nasty, painful thud.
I sat there, nursing my bruise and being slightly amused at my clumsiness (fun story: when your body changes as much as mine has in just 4-5 months, it can take some getting used to) it hit me:
I am really invested in these characters. I wanted them to get together and be happy. I got excited when they did the Hollywood-version of that, complete with roll-credits happily-ever-after stuff. I had been in most of the lesbian relationships I was seeing. On a very deep level they are relatable to me.
I've kind of avoided self-identifying in relation to my sexuality for a bunch of complicated reasons I'm not ready to talk about here yet, but the more I realise how different my attachment is to lesbian couples in media compared to even good, well-written het relationships, the more it makes sense.
It's not like I made a big secret of the fact that I am attracted to women - I was just cautious not to make assumptions about myself, given the degree of self-deception I'd shown myself capable of.
But the more I interact with lesbian friends and more media I consume that depicts healthy relationships between women of all sorts, the more I realise... holy fucking shit am I gay.