Too Uncool for High School Roundtable Megapost

Here in the States, it’s that time of year when the children are released from their educational institutions and unleashed upon the world.

So we got to thinking about high school … See, here in the Stateland of Autostraddle, our brains are somewhat fried. It’s days like this we wish we had a tumblr — you know, where we could just post pictures and quotes and things? And as this particular post has evolved, and as we’ve looked at it and thought “Hm, this is just a wee bit totally self-indulgent,” we have made it, in its own way, into a mini-tumblr with a theme. And the theme is … High School!

What’s interesting to me is how quickly things have changed when it comes to what we saw and what we thought we could be and who we could love. Per ushe, we’re not a representative sample by any means. Enough talking … let’s go!

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I’m 28 years old, I don’t even like to look at photo albums from high school, it’s so unfortunate, like I should have been on an island from the ages of 11-21.

-Sara Quin, Tegan & Sara

The embrace of weirdness is actually a pretty good predictor of which women are going to find lesbianism an easy fit. The two of us like to say that we were queer years before we were gay. To be a lesbian is, by definition, to flout social conventions. Bookworm? Tomboy? Rule-Breaker? Felt like a changeling in your family? Women who answer yes to any of the above may feel instantly comfortable with the outsider status that more readily comes with that lesbian territory.”

-Van Gelder & Brandt, The Girls Next Door

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class-of-99

1999_butimacheerleader

I’m a homosexual! I’m a homosexual! I’m a homosexual! Oh my god… they were right. I’m a homo!

-Megan, But I’m a Cheerleader (1999)

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laneia-prom
FUCK MY FACE I’m so glad it’s over. Thank g*d the reunions aren’t mandatory.

-Autostraddle Associate Editor Laneia

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1999_selmablairandsarahmichejd6

Sebastian: I read your manifesto.
Annette: You did?
Sebastian: Yes. I must say, I found it rather… appalling.
Annette: That’s a first. Most people praise me for it.
Sebastian: Most people are sheep. Who are you to criticize something you’ve never experienced?
Annette: I wasn’t criticizing. I just think people shouldn’t experience the act of love until they are in love and I just don’t think people our age are mature enough to experience those kinds of emotions.
Sebastian: Are you a lesbian?
Annette: No…
Sebastian: I didn’t mean to offend you. I just picked up on a little bit of that lesbian vibe.
Cruel Intentions

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riese-yearbook

There was a video store in town we could walk to from our boarding school and my best friend and I rented Gia and kept it for like five months — possibly we never returned it? Worth it.

-Autostraddle CEO of Ideas Riese

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I’ve never paid as close attention to my life or anyone elses’s as I did then. How was I able to pay such attention? I remembered myself as often unhappy at Ault [boarding school], and yet my unhappiness was so alert and expectant; really, it was, in its energy, not that different from happiness.

-Curtis Sittinfeld, Prep
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199-boys-dont-cry
Lana: I hate my life.
Brandon: I hate your life too.

Boys Don’t Cry, 1999

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robin-yearbook

I hated most of high school. Christian boarding school my senior year was a step up.

-Autostraddle Photoblogger Robin

class-of-00
carly-yearbook

I had really long hair for the longest time & always wore it in buns or ponytails because I was a Jock. I was going to do a fancy up-do for prom but once I got to the salon I decided to chop it all off instead. I’d been toying with the idea for a while and it was obvs a part of my Subtly Convince My Friends To Tell Me That I Am Gay Because I Refuse To Come Out plan. So off it went, and I showed up to prom looking smoking hot.

-Autostraddle Television & Technology Editor Carly

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1999_girl-interrupted

Was I ever crazy? Maybe..or maybe life is…crazy isn’t being broken or swallowing a dark secret. It’s you or me amplified. If you ever told a lie and enjoyed it. If you ever wished you could be a child forever.

Girl Interrupted, 2000

I’m the person most likely to sleep with my female fans … it’s great when you discover that you love other women.

-Angelina Jolie to Jane Magazine, 2000

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2000_willowtara_55497_1_9

Willow & Tara, Buffy the Vampire Slayer 2000

I just hope I remember to tell my kids that they are as happy as I look in my old photographs. And I hope that they believe me.

-Stephen Chobsky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

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class-of-01
tess-yearbook

I took my cue from Ferris Bueller, I rarely attended class.

-Autostraddle Web Programmer Tess

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claire_friends

Teacher: Well, maybe if you paid attention in class instead of reading —
Claire: Well, maybe if you talked about something that was actually gonna be useful to me I would.
Teacher: Oh, algebra is useless? Mmmm. Know a lot of physicists who would disagree with you there.
Claire: Well, I don’t want to be a physicist.

Six Feet Under, 2001

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2001_kissing20jessica20stein

"This is not something you can try on and see if it fits, okay?" -Kissing Jessica Stein, 2001

Lesbians frequently get sidetracked by body image issues. It’s easier to give in to mandatory heterosexuality when the culture tells you sex isn’t supposed to be much fun for women anyway.

A woman can pass as heterosexual by just remaining
passive; it’s not that easy for a gay man to fake a heterosexual response.

Pat Califia

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stef-yearbook

Instead of going to senior prom, my best friend and I stayed in and rented Carrie. True Story.

-Autostraddle Music Editor Stef

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2001-lost-and-delirious

Paulie: Lesbian? Lesbian? Are you fucking kidding me, you think I’m a LESBIAN?
Mouse: You’re a girl in love with a girl, aren’t you?
Paulie: No! I’m PAULIE in love with TORI. Remember? And Tori, she is, she IS in love with me because she is mine and I am hers and neither of us are LESBIANS!

Lost and Delirious

class-of-02

brooke-yearbook
I had an awkward first year or so of high school, but after I started filling my time with people and activities I enjoyed, I loved every minute of it!

-Autostraddle Business Manager Brooke (who loved high school more than anyone else, ever.)

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“I mean, all the kids think I’m funny, and I don’t wanna be. I wanna be normal, I wanna start to try me, a whole person, before it’s too late –” (Carrie, 1976)

“Everybody wants to belong. Anyone who tells you they don’t is lying. I think Carrie wanted it more than any of us.” (Carrie, 2002)

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2002-bend-it-like-beckham

"Bend it Like Beckham" 2002

“Writer/director Gurinder Chadha (What’s Cooking?) has revealed that in the original Bend it Like Beckham script, Jules and Jess were really in love. Not only was this removed, but to make sure we know that they are heterosexual, the two get in conflict with one another over a mutual attraction for their coach.”

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class-of-03

alex-yearbook
High school was like an endless tease as I kept falling for straight girls.

-Autostraddle Head Designer Alex

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2003-queer-eye

Queer Eye for the Straight Guy 2003

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Radio City Music Hall

Madonna & Britney Spears - MTV Music Video Awards 2003

The older one grows, the more one likes indecency.– Virginia Woolf

I know I had to give up some stuff to do this, but I don’t miss high school.– Britney Spears

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stephanie-doesnt

From Coming Out is a Bitch: An Elder Statesdyke and a Newly-Out Lesbian Talk Shop:

Pamela: I came out when I was 16, and I’m around 45 now. You just came out, right? How’d that go?

Amanda: I’m 13. At first I felt like everybody was abandoning me and everything. My best friend’s family had kind of taken me in. But when I came out they kind of just left me, and now they completely hate me. I have nobody to talk to. Three of my best friends left me and I only have one of my girlfriends left.

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The only true currency in this bankrupt world..is what you share with someone else when you’re uncool.

-Lester Bangs, Almost Famous

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We demand that it tell us our truth, or rather, the deeply buried truth of that truth about ourselves which we think we possess in our immediate consciousness.

-Michael Foucault The History of Sexuality

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20 Comments

  1. Oh yay class of 1999. I’m contemplating going to my 10 year reunion. But the geniuses in charge scheduled ours in October for the same weekend as the Chicago marathon… I was one of those cheesy kids who tried to like high school- soccer, service club, theatre tech, yearbook editor… It wasn’t too bad. But I don’t want to do it again!

    • See if we had a 10 year reunion (we have weird ones with like five classes lumped into one) I WOULD TOTALLY GO … well. I would if I could afford to fly to the woods I guess. I hated my public school/myself butttt my senior year kinda rocked! I loved it! I miss all those kids, I wanna see their faces! Luckily we have facebook.

      • Ah, I’m one of the people responsible for making sure my class has a Reunion. And no Stef, I did not sign up for this! It was a post-requisite (is this a word?) of being a class officer.
        .
        Loved high school, but I have mixed feelings about a reunion. I don’t care much about the people I’m not still in touch with? As noted by Riese, thanks to facebook, it’s easy to keep in touch with those you do!

        • Too true. Actually, there are some people from my high school class that I talk to more on Facebook now than I ever did in high school. It’s sort of strange.

          • That’s exactly why I don’t have a Facebook page. I didn’t want to speak to anyone 10 years ago, I definitely don’t want to now!

        • I was a class officer too! But luckily only the Class President & Student Council President are in charge of the reunion – ironically which I got a facebook invite to a couple days ago

          A 5 year reunion for my class is going to be weird because we were the freshman class of college when facebook started up.. I have many thoughts on this

          ps- loved high school , hated class

    • omg! when I was your age I was still sitting on the floor in the dark staring at the ceiling fan listening to the empire records soundtrack song “free” on repeat! Things TOTALLY got better from there for real!

  2. i’m enjoying all your proms pictures, especially laneia’s because her date is looking pretty homosexy himself.
    ————-
    i went to a catholic high school that literally didn’t have walls. our 80-year-old priest once gave a homily talking about how we should all accept gay people and probs let them get married. i didn’t love love love high school, but mine was too awesome to hate.

  3. ain’t gonna lie, i’m pretty bummed that no one has any of those weird forest pictures where they had to hug a fake tree.

    a bunch of girls at my high school are out and dating and whatnot now. goddamn, i think i missed the boat.

    or i set a trend…

    • I went to a large Catholic school in Montreal in the early 90’s. The idea of having a girlfriend in high school is beyond foreign to me. I’m not sure if I’m jealous of these kids or not, I can’t imagine what being out so young is like.

      • At my public high school in a super-liberal college town in the mid-90’s, all the kids in my science class would make jokes about how our teacher, the only out gay teacher in the school, had AIDS. Someone started a GSA and the sky fell open, parents pulled their kids out of class when they let a gay speak at an assembly, and the few out gay kids were mercilessly mocked and harassed in the halls. I felt like if that’s how it was in Ann Arbor, certainly the rest of the world couldn’t be any kinder. But I think things are changing really fast, or that’s the feeling I get … or hope …

        • I think things are changing pretty quickly as well. I graduated from a pretty liberal high school in fairfield county with plenty of gays and I never heard one account of anyone being discriminated against (save for the “That’s gay” remark slipping once in a while). Shortly after I graduated, there was a GSA started with a decent amount of both G&S members. I’m happy to say that this is an area where being a gaycist is really looked down upon so I imagine people either just aren’t, or keep it to themselves. Which is great in a high school setting and makes things easier…If only that were true everywhere, right?

  4. “High school was like an endless tease as I kept falling for straight girls.”
    Word, Alex. That was high school for me. Also everyone is so cute in their pictures! I look at my high school pictures and flinch. Luckily by my last year I had also pulled a Carly and chopped off all my hair.

  5. Neato post, awesome quotes and pictures. High school is a blast for me at least. Just senior year left, I’m as happy as a clam. (Why does that saying exist?)

    This post makes me even more grateful for what I have. Everyone at my Quaker school is pretty open minded, they all support me. I guess with so few kids it’s hard to discriminate because it’s like a little dysfunctional family, even if you don’t agree with it you gotta love ’em.

  6. Pingback: Amazing ’50s-style cartoon on lesbians « Stuff Queer People Need To Know

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