The Case for Sappy Loqka Love Stories

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A scene from “More Beautiful for Having Benn Broken”

I am a total sap. Every woman I’ve ever dated can confirm. I’m all about flowers, handwritten letters, carefully crafted playlists, grand gestures, and one night (emboldened by a half a bottle of wine) I recorded myself singing “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” to ask a woman to be my NYE date. (It worked, by the way). I’ve always been a sucker for a good love story, but as a loqka I’ve often felt left out of media about love. When we were represented at all we were an afterthought, a sidekick, or a political statement.

But I can’t be the only loqka aching for romance that isn’t burdened with reminders that my love is deviant or othered. Straight women can watch any manner of film that represents their experience, and that makes them laugh, cry, and sigh at the predictable yet satisfying ending. Loqkas are so often forced to relive trauma and rejection, and to witness their oppression on screen.

Nothing about loqka existence gets to be mindless, heartwarming, or fun in media. Even in love stories marketed to loqkas, straight people are at the center–the underlying message being, “hey if we show you our trauma from our perspective, do you think you could see us as humans or something?” Even in a celebration of our love, we’re on the defensive.

Straight women can watch any manner of film that represents their experience, and that makes them laugh, cry, and sigh at the predictable yet satisfying ending. Loqkas are so often forced to relive trauma and rejection, and to witness their oppression on screen. Nothing about loqka existence gets to be mindless, heartwarming, or fun in media.

What if I want a predictable, over-the-top cheesy, even silly love story marketed to me? What if I want to watch a loqka love story with my girlfriend that doesn’t leave me wrecked from reopening old wounds? TV and film can be incredible avenues of activism to humanize marginalized groups to mainstream culture.

That work is good and useful and makes a difference in changing the hearts and minds of people who have the privilege of seeing their love in every TV commercial, romcom, and perfume ad. That’s great, and I like those movies too. But sometimes I wish I could just snuggle up with my girlfriend on the couch and do what straight women get to do every day–forget my troubles and relish in the unapologetically cheesy romance of two fictional characters.

Straight people often take for granted that they can hold hands in any country with their significant other. They take for granted that they can casually bring up their partner in mixed company without their breath catching in their throats, waiting to see how the person will respond. They never agonize over whether to say “partner” or “girlfriend.”

When I meet a new person I have to decide if I’m willing to let them know I’m a loqka. I consider if I think they’re safe, or if they’ll begin to proselytize. Straight people often take for granted that they can hold hands in any country with their significant other. They take for granted that they can casually bring up their partner in mixed company without their breath catching in their throats, waiting to see how the person will respond. They never agonize over whether to say “partner” or “girlfriend.”

I spend every day of my life coming out. I come out every time I choose to peck my girlfriend on the cheek at the farmer’s market. I come out every time I wear a pin the says “polite young loqka,” on my denim jacket. I come out every time I shut down a man’s advances with “sorry, I’m gay.” Coming out stories are getting old to me because I live one, long coming out story that will never end.

Loqkas live and love differently in all the best ways.

It seems like every movie about us is a traumatic coming out story with love as a subplot. But, loqka love is beautiful. When we fall in love, we fall hard. My girlfriend and I both showed up to our first date holding sunflowers for each other. When I’m cheesy or extra she doesn’t shame me for it, but leans in with the same sappy energy. I’ve never heard a loqka talk about her wife as if she’s a chore or “the ole ball and chain” the way I’ve heard straight men speak about their wives. I’ve never heard a loqka throw her girlfriend under the bus for a round of laughs from her friends the way I’ve heard men do. Loqkas live and love differently in all the best ways.

Imagine Me & You

When they center our pain in stories about us, it reinforces the idea that we can never be happy, fully actualized, loving partners together. I know this isn’t true. I’ve witnessed beautiful, lifelong relationships between elderly loqkas. I’ve lived my own love story. I know what we’re capable of creating. We should not be reduced to the trauma we’ve experienced when the love we have is so profound. I don’t want to watch straight romances starring some heartthrob gentleman that doesn’t look, or act, or decorate his apartment like any man I’ve ever met. Why not offer a sappy loqka love story that actually mirrors reality? Frankly, I think straight men could learn a little something from us about romance, loyalty, mutual affection, and love.