A Letter to My White Girl Friends

Illustration by India Elle (@india.elle)

Courtney is that white girl you meet in home room. She invites you into her friendship circle but ultimately wants to be closest to you. She offers to share her already-chewed gum in attempt to solidify this bond. You decline mainly because Juicy Fruit is your least favorite.

She invites you to her sleepover where there’s one other girl who looks like you, but you’re still her best friend. The other girl feels the same. When you go to the bathroom you hear her mother warn her to make sure her “new friends” stay downstairs. Courtney reiterates this during hide and seek after you go upstairs to hide under her bed. “But we play in your room all the time,” her other friend says with a slightly puzzled, but pleased expression.

Fast forward short of a decade, and you and Courtney are still friends even though her parents sent her to that “better high school” and you lost touch. She comes round because she likes that you go to the flagship college and that she can meet college boys there. She goes to community college and those boys don’t appeal to her much. You invite her to hang out with two of your closest friends, (women of color from high school), and they get along really well. That summer, the four of you hang regularly – sunbathing at her pool, riding in her red mustang. Despite this, you still never really get close with Courtney’s friends. Courtney’s friends project a bit of hostility when they call and find out she’s hanging with you. They occasionally say problematic (racist) shit that makes you question whether they’re good friends for her, but she doesn’t understand why. They treat her fine.

The rest of this realness can be read at the brilliant Sweet Thang Zine!

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