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August 1 is National Girlfriends Day–a day that comes around once a year, and platonic, female friends from all over celebrate one another. Yet, this year is different. Queer women have taken up the hashtag #NationalGirlfriendsDay to ask heterosexual women to stop using the word “girlfriend” when referencing their friends.
One Twitter user suggested they use “human friends” or “true friends” instead.
“I do wish hetero women would stop referring to platonic friends as ‘girlfriends’ because every time you do that I’m like ‘oooh, hello fellow non-monogamous lesbian’ and it makes things awkward,” she wrote.
I do wish hetero women would stop referring to platonic friends as "girlfriends" because every time you do that I'm like "oooh, hello fellow non-monogamous lesbian" and it makes things awkward #NationalGirlfriendsDay— Another Angry Woman (@stavvers) August 1, 2019
Call them your "human friends" or "true friends" instead
Or "friends" because let's face it, that's probably what you're talking about 98% of the time because friendships between women are necessary, uplifting and vital particularly if you're cursed with an inclination towards sharing your life with men.— Another Angry Woman (@stavvers) August 1, 2019
Even though National Girlfriends Day is meant to celebrate heterosexual female friendships, some users misinterpreted it to be about romantic partners anyway, with lots of queer women celebrating their significant other.
#NationalGirlfriendsDay Over a year ago we happened to come across each other’s twitter. Today we live and work together!! There is no one else I would want to make endless memories with ❤️ pic.twitter.com/njOEQtRCgd— Bri (@briannaleec) August 1, 2019
Petition to redefine the day, please!
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Siobhan Ball is a historian, archivist, and journalist. She also writes for Autostraddle and bi.org