The High School “Best Friend” Concept

Shakira Sison


In Episode 2, I discussed the occurrence of possible primordial lesbian relationships in high school, particularly in all-girls high schools in the Philippines. These friendships were often intense, exclusive, and very emotional. There were many jealous rages, fights, and unmistakable affection between two adolescent girls. 

I was in a number of those friendships in high school, though I never even considered myself a lesbian until I was 22. To me then, they were just really close friendships, but they were often obsessive and “best friends” often behaved like romantic partners.

Of course, most of these friendships don’t progress to actual committed relationships or anything physical or sexual (mine didn’t). Most high school best friends later go on to lead heterosexual lives and simply look at that time as one of intense feelings. Or they may maintain those friendships throughout their lives. It’s a widely known fact that teenage girls have intense relationships with one another, and that’s just a part of normal female development.

I’m only speaking for myself who later on developed feelings for women way past the friendship level. Looking back I realize that I had practice lesbian relationships in high school with my best friends, particularly with one who was a little more affectionate than normal, hugging and kissing my face often, holding my hand when we would walk, and cuddling during sleepovers. I definitely didn’t have a relationship with that one, but now as an adult I definitely recognize that attachment and intensity as a little more than regular friendship.

I have an actual best friend from college who is still my friend now. We were close but never physical. In fact, I don’t even think we’ve held hands or shared a bed. That’s how I knew that my high school “best friends” were a little more than just friends.

Anyway, if you’re an all-girls school administrator reading this, don’t go banning best friends in your school. They’re just a part of growing up and are as unavoidable as the actual same-sex relationships that actually go on in your school. So relax.

I’m just an old lesbian reflecting on the past, and being a bit of a late bloomer in my lesbian development, I had to look back to my roots and figure out when I first felt so strongly about another woman. It was for a “best friend.”

Anyway, if you want to hear more about the best friend concept, listen to our second episode: