I wrote a script last year with a lesbian main character. It was very freeing to not worry about romance between a man and a woman. To not worry about capturing an accurate male voice or projecting wish-fulfilling traits onto the male lead.
It can be very difficult to write romance and stay uninvolved. At some point, I always get swept up in things and think character X is so romantic? So great. And I’ll write this cheesy romantic scene that goes nowhere because I’m rooting so much for the girl and the guy to get together.
This lesbian script had none of that bullshit. It’s about two girls in a hostile relationship, slowly tearing each other apart. Now, there’s a subject I know. There’s a subject I can handle. Girls arguing. Girls, friends, sisters, lovers, whatever, who are so close their relationship has turned hostile. Who can’t help each other because they’re too involved with their own traumas.
Okay. I’m projecting again.
See. When I was 17, I had a best friend. I’ll call her BFF. Well, BFF and I were super close to the point where we obsessed over Fall Out Boy members* together. We talked constantly, saw each other constantly, took frequent trips to LA or San Diego just for the drive. We made up nicknames for the guys we thought were cute, for the girls we didn’t like. We talked about all our hopes and dreams for the future, college, careers. We stalked a local band together and TPed their van.
We were very close.
We were too close. Too codependent.
When we went to separate colleges things exploded. I was clinically depressed, struggling to get over an eating disorder, and having trouble fitting in. Her parents were getting divorced and she felt like she wasn’t making any friends.
We still talked constantly, but the talks grew needy. I was sure she couldn’t feel as terrible as I did; I was drowning. Miserable. Near suicidal. I hated my school and my classes and I wanted to go back home to Orange County. To change schools and study something practical.
She reminded me what a waste of money it would be to lose my first semester of very expensive tuition.
But I’m being way too hard on her. She was stressed. I didn’t see what a big deal it was–her parents getting divorced. My parents have been divorced since I was 8. Almost all my friends have divorced parents. What’s the difference.
I don’t remember all the details anymore. I remember a weekend in Maryland. She was there with a school group and I took the bus to visit her. I remember feeling left out and crying because it was so cold, and I was sleeping on the hard ground, and I felt so alone. I remember getting up at 2 AM the night after a party and sobbing into my computer journal for hours. I remember leaving and feeling betrayed.
A few weeks later we had a big fight on the phone. It ended with the words “well maybe we shouldn’t be friends anymore.” And that was that. I sent a few emails to get back in touch and she expressed her disinterest. She was happy being apart.
I wanted to write something about a friendship falling apart. Not autobiographical, god no. I don’t write autobiographical scripts. But taking the pain and anger and heartbreak I felt and translating it to the page.
Because, in my opinion, writing that doesn’t connect on an emotional level is pointless drivel.
While writing this lesbian script, I never thought about my BFF explicitly. It had nothing to do with her. But the more drafts I wrote, the more I saw the connections. A relationship that grows toxic. Destined to fail because of the raw need of both parties.
Now. That’s something interesting to write about.
I don’t have much of a point today. I finished a draft of a different script yesterday so I feel I deserve a little rambling.
I expect that everyone who reads this script will think I’m a lesbian. I don’t particularly care, but I don’t want to write myself into a niche with no market.
Sometimes I worry, if Producer Guy and I actually get this thing made, and it becomes popular, will everyone think I’m a lesbian? But that’s really not the worst thing in the world, that my movie is popular. Maybe I could be a celebrity. A fake lesbian like those girls in TATU.