Have you ever found yourself hysterically weeping in a fast-food joint’s parking lot, your best friend simultaneously attempting to hand-feed you and hold your hair back while you yell, “Take me away! How will I ever go on? I’ll never love again!” through snotty tears? Or are you … not gay?
Ah, heartbreak! The reason songs are sung and paintings are painted, the inspiration behind high art like Romeo and Juliet and Red (Taylor’s Version). I thought I’d seen it all, felt all the pain. But then I started dating girls — and unfortunately, something they forget to mention at Lesbian Orientation is that your first queer breakup will destroy you, in a “can I be hospitalized for this immense and insurmountable suffering” kind of way. Finally feeling physically and emotionally attracted (and committed) to someone you love just hits different.
A few weeks ago, I found myself in the throes of my first lesbian breakup. I cut up my ex’s shirt into a thousand pieces, smeared dog poop all over it, and left it out for them to find in the front yard. Then I retired to the comfort of my own depression cave (my bed) and did what any heartbroken Gen Z–millennial cusp should do mid-breakup: doomscroll on TikTok into the wee hours. But as I opened the app and the little FBI man in my phone shuttled me straight to the front page of Lesbian TikTok, I quickly realized the sapphic gods hadn’t just come for me — they had come for us all. In the words of queer TikToker Victoria Paris, “All the white gay girls are fighting!”
Blame it on the Lesbian Breakup Curse. During the few days I was unplugged from the online world, lying facedown on my kitchen floor and feeling sorry for myself, Lesbian TikTok absolutely imploded over a series of high-profile queer breakups that tore the #wlw community to pieces.
It seems as if all of the TikTok lesbians are breaking up at the same time, and the drama makes Love Island look like child’s play. According to some, the Curse was initially cast when lesbian pop star Fletcher began teasing a new track from her upcoming album, Girl of My Dreams. The song, “Becky’s So Hot,” describes just how hot her ex’s new girlfriend is and suggests that she wants to know how hot-girl Becky “tastes.” Fletcher’s ex, prominent LGBTQ YouTuber Shannon Beveridge, promptly took to TikTok herself in response to the song, clarifying that “no one asked permission.” Gay chaos ensued.
Suddenly, celebrity couples ranging from A-lister JoJo Siwa and former girlfriend Kylie Prew, to college basketball star Sedona Prince and former girlfriend Rylee LeGlue were breaking up faster than they could U-Haul in the first place. And the gays online were Eating! It! Up! There were clapback duets, incriminating comment threads, not so sly trips to Disneyland, $80 merch for sale, literal receipts — how can a lesbian with a full-time job and a screen-time limit on her phone possibly ever keep up?! Well, I did what any heartbroken lesbian should do at a time like this: I called out from work, popped a lot of popcorn, took a couple of Klonopin, smashed that “Ignore Limit” button, and kept scrolling.
Before you come at me for reveling in the suffering of real people, here’s the thing: When you’re in your own dark place, it can feel good to watch someone else’s life fall apart. Otherwise, why do we watch incredible reality shows like Love Island or 90 Day Fiancé? Even a good old-fashioned rom-com can hit the spot. Drama heals drama, and nothing shuts your brain down quite like projecting your own pain and suffering onto innocent Brits who just want to find love in a villa.
The Lesbian Breakup Curse is more than just a mysterious (and possibly astrological) phenomenon taking over our social-media feeds. It fills a need for content that’s relatable, realistic, and relevant to the queer community. When I was finally able to lock my phone, dry my tears, put on some chunky platform boots, and take the L.A. lesbian bar scene by storm, the No. 1 topic of conversation was, predictably, the Curse. This is our Super Bowl.
Lesbian representation in the media is minimal (and questionable!) at best, and when it comes to mindless gay breakup content, it’s slim pickings for us queers. This obsession with the private dating lives of lesbian women stems from a desperation for actually good gay TV. If we had a lesbian dating show involving carabiners, the Woods on a Wednesday evening, and traveling 12 hours and three time zones for a first date, we probably wouldn’t need to focus so much on a “curse” that was outlined for us on TikTok.
So yes, it’s true I was a victim of the Lesbian Breakup Curse (apparently, it hits those of us with fewer than 100 followers on TikTok, too), but it pulled me up by the bootstraps, slapped me around a few times, got me through the dog-poop phase, and helped me gain some much-needed perspective. In fact, I think I’ll credit my entire recovery to the Curse — we gays really lift one another up, don’t we? And speaking of lifting up, don’t you worry, no exes were harmed in the writing of this story. Actually, after half a session of couples therapy and one Phoebe Bridgers concert, we’re not exactly exes anymore. (Gay, I know.)