It is a beautiful thing, wanting nothing at all from someone you love because you live with mutual understanding beyond the primal need for physical touch, found in fleeting evenings doomed to end with someone closing the door without looking back. It is a beautiful thing, telling them that you love them over the phone while you’re crying your eyes out because you don’t know what to do now; then you’re laughing until there’s a moment you allow yourself to forget. I remember life before my queer friends, how it felt begging for someone I could see myself in just enough to spark a casual conversation built on genuine interest instead of twisting those unwilling into sharing hyperfixations created for those of us who know what it’s like to have to fight for the ones you love.
It started with a Facebook message between two bubbly freshmen-to-be: two California-born Indian girls bonding over Bollywood and books. One message led to another, and we decided to submit a roommate request form to live together in the dorms. It was our first time living away from the home-cooked food of our Indian families. Our shared heritage was what gave us a pocket of familiarity within unfamiliarity.