Issue 12

Bad Behavior

Bad Behavior is a two-month deep dive into LGBTQ+ women and non-binary people’s experiences of defiance and/or deviance, of yearning for connection while stuck on the fringes, of the secrets we hold close to our chest, hearts beating still, nervous or maybe even eager for the next chapter.

Bad Behavior: Letter From Your Editor

Welcome to “Bad Behavior,” a two-month series about the ways in which we are not good queers, at least not most of the time.

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Jesus Would Have Found the Whole Thing Comical

“We took off on our bikes with the intention of shoplifting all the proper ingredients to make homely ham sandwiches.”

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two queer people making out in a church by alyssa andrews

A+ Roundtable: What’s Your Relationship Kryptonite?

What types of relationship situations or people are you often drawn to even though you know they’re bad for you and will destroy you?

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green watercolor crystals on a pink background

I Used to Break Into Houses

“I craved that isolation, that feeling of utter aching loneliness that I found inside houses where I did not belong.”

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Monday Roundtable: Our Childhood Disobedience, Revisited

“I like to think I’ve put my talking-back skills to great use as an adult who enjoys proving points and getting the last word and being right.”

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Stewing

“I still learned how to make bad things last, make my words sweet when my heart was sour, make anything a weapon, even food.”

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stew pot from above with a bg that says "lies" repeating

13 Ways to Be a Good Woman, According to the Bible

“I derailed Bible study tonight and Pastor Daniel ended up delivering a lecture about the danger of Britney Spears; specifically, Crossroads. He said she’s scandalous.”

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"a woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness." — 1 Timothy 2:11

Still Reeling That I’ve Made It

“No one knows, including me, that my overindulgence and competitive drinking is an attempt to assert the only masculinity I know. Toxic.”

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A+ Roundtable: Vice Squad

“Life is hard enough, let me have this.”

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What a Time to Fail!

“I want to cry but I work in events, and I can’t go home until 8pm. Instead I spend the afternoon wondering how much it would hurt if I bit off my finger.”

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girl lying facedown in the grass

Alewives: The Women Who Crafted Beer and Split Hell Wide Open

For centuries, the art of brewing beer belonged to women alone. This is the story of how the church pushed them out the industry they founded and sent them riding piggy-back on demons into the flames of an eternal abyss.

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She Never Liked Me Anyway

Dementia used to be called madness, I was told.

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TV Team Roundtable: Our Favorite Lesbian and Bisexual Girls Behaving Badly

“My armor was a smile, Santana’s was an insult. And bless her for it.”

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bad girls annalise santana and petra

Ask an Adult Lesbian: Get Your Shit Together, Shane

Shane McCutcheon self-sabotages, Emily Fields co-depends, Cheryl Blossom is scared to commit — and a team of real live functional adult queer women are here to help.

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Monday Roundtable: Hey Bad Spender

“I think I’m willing to do this because I’m constantly aware that death awaits us all and I’m more inclined to want to heighten an experience if I can.”

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wave of dollar bills

Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be (Lesbian) Cowboys

“I wanted her to smile at me that way. I wanted her to say my name. This turned out to be easy.”

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illustration: two women holding hands driving down a country road, you can see the gaze of the driver who is glancing over at her passenger. there's a wanted poster on the dash with their picture on it

Take Me Home

“She asks me how it went, I say it went bad. I don’t say much more because she hates hearing about my family like they hate hearing about her. It goes better when I keep it to myself.”

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woman staring out a window to the outdoors

A+ Roundtable: If I Could Take It All Back

“I never went into it planning to be a monster, and I think that actually always made it worse.”

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The Sociopath Who Loved Me Enough

“As soon as we met Tara and Tony, our lives morphed to make room for them. Instead of drinking Carol’s parents’ liquor on Friday nights, we went to their apartment in Hillcrest to smoke pot from a bong filled with Midori and play with Tara’s snake.”

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hazy image of woman closing her eyes, rainbow objects fly around her face

Begging to Be Sterilized

“It seemed at the time to be exactly what life was about, and only just barely staying alive, curling up in corners of lonely, unclean rooms in shaking fits of sadness too raw to keep inside my head, screaming into my bent knees.”

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dot pattern adult in fetal position

Butch Slut

In the pool hall, my sweetheart and a close friend tease me one night: “unimpressive,” “pure luck,” “you aren’t that good.” They were trying to get my ire up so that an hour later when I told them to stare into each other’s eyes as I fucked my sweetheart’s body, I would mean it with a snarky competitive vengeance, I would mean it with power and control, I would be pushed to take what I want.

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butch with hand in pocket, black background

Monday Roundtable: Breaking Up and Fucking Up

Just some of the many ways we ruin our lives after a breakup.

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Don Draper vs Jenny Schecter: The Sexist Battle of the TV Anti-Heroes

Even now, almost a decade after The L Word’s final season, with LGBTQ+ representation at unprecedented heights, we still hold Jenny Schecter up as our ultimate villain. Her name is a curse, a swear, a shortcut for derision. She is a model of bad behavior.

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don draper versus jenny schecter

The Nothing Between Your Legs

“She’s a tomboy,” your mother says, frustrated. “I’m sure she’ll grow out of it when she gets interested in boys.” “More dolls,” repeats Mrs. Morris. They plan to doll this little problem out of you.

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small island in the middle of the water

How to Behave at Boarding School

“Boarding school teaches self-possession repeatedly and thoroughly, because it teaches you how to be in control when you’ve made every effort to be out of it.”

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two girls in school uniforms walking across a bridge over the water in a forest

邊界姦情, Asunto De La Frontera, Border Affair

“Making love and choosing to be with other queer women of color is an act of love and defiance.”

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two queers laying on a blanket on the grass in a park near the water, overlooking a pink sunset with a tea set

PHOTOESSAY: Going Nowhere

“It’s about breaking the rules just a little bit.”

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Something Wild

“When her body shook I was filled with a fullness that almost made me cry. For me, in that moment, Dan wasn’t even in the room.”

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two girls in a big open field holding hands walking towards some unknown

Monday Roundtable: I’m Not Gonna Do It

It’s not gonna happen, buddy.

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NOPE neon sign with cords

15 Ways to Stay Out of Trouble According to a 1950s Reverend-Doctor

Don’t be a frigid bitch, but don’t be so un-frigid that you murder your husband with sex.

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50's house wives portraits, smiling and pointing

I Don’t Want to Be Your Friend Anymore

I couldn’t deal with the love-hate whiplash anymore. I may have been patient, but I had my limits.

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two girls standing with backs facing us, hands on their hips, clearly in some kind of argument!

Evening Walks

“My brother would wander toward the TV to watch some movie, and I’d go straight for the computer and open two tabs. In one, YouTube. In the other, fanfiction.net, where I tweaked the character filters so I could read about Santana and Brittany falling in love for the thousandth time.”

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brittany and santana from glee laying in a bed, surrounded by a collage of red roses and leaves

A+ Roundtable: Forgiven but Not Forgotten

Forgiveness may be an attribute of the strong, but we also have the memory of an elephant.

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group of three flowers

How “Bad Girls” Made a Good Girl Gay

“The first time I left my mom in the county jail, the only person more surprised than her was me.”

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bad girls - helen and nikki on a background of bars

I Am a Sex Idiot

I feel nothing and everything when I’m with her and I want that more than I want to protect myself. I know this will hurt me, but pain is part of my life, so I allow it in bursts I think I can control.

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girl curled up with her head on her knees

Why Did You Betray Your Own Heart, Cathy?

“Last week I found one of those butter-coloured strands on my dress, and wondered. Then I realised it was one of my own, greying hairs. Ten years have passed, and she’s straight now, living with the boyfriend I introduced her to nine and a half years ago.”

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a woman looking back over her shoulder and she's biting into an apple--but the apple is heart-like (euphemism heart, not biological heart). Her face shows expressions of remorse, and guilt. pop-arty, bold colors, clean lines.

Lying’s the Most Fun a Girl Can Have

“I identified as a heterosexually-inclined bisexual when I started giving hand jobs for money, and I left more or less a lesbian. It wasn’t the only factor in that transformation, but boy was it a major one.”

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