Lesbians love making playlists instead of talking about their feelings

There is something so inherently sapphic about making a playlist.

While this probably isn’t unique to the Queer community, it feels like every other minute I’m hearing about lesbians making playlists for their love interests — often before they’re even dating.

Perhaps it has to do with the fact that people are often afraid to be vulnerable. Admitting feelings is always scary, but doing so as someone young and in the closet can magnify the terror. But God knows lesbians have never been good at being casual (Chappell Roan reference, anyone?), so when there aren’t words to express how you feel, you can string together a series of songs to hopefully get those feelings across.

Borrowing the words of another person, tied together with instrumentation and melodies, can sometimes bring shape to feelings in ways you would have never been able to do by talking. But the gesture is also not an explicit admission to anything (plausible deniability). You could give your friend (who you’re clearly in a homoerotic relationship with) a playlist full of love songs, but that doesn’t mean you like them. It just means they were good songs that you thought they’d like — duh.

It’s a way to admit your feelings without actually having to commit to anything and dealing with the possibly negative consequences of confessing.

When I was 16, which was the first time a girl ever told me she liked me, she also showed me the playlist she had made me. There was so much Girl in Red on it.

I watched my little sister make her crush a playlist just a few months ago. It wasn’t just a Spotify playlist — she burned a CD, made cover art and wrote out the tracklist. They learn how to yearn so young.

On my 20th birthday, the girl I liked made me a playlist as a gift. While it was probably just songs that she liked, I so badly hoped she thought of me while listening to them (the probability was low, but no one could stop me from living in delusion). And then when we actually started dating, I included a playlist in her Christmas gift.

There are other instances where playlists spoke for me without me even having to open my mouth. It was a way to feel closer to my dad by listening to songs I knew he liked, the way I connected with a long-distance friend and how my coworkers found out I had a girlfriend by Spotify-stalking our joint playlists.

And since sapphics are the patron saints of arts and culture, telling someone these lyrics reminds me of them, that they’re on my mind, that I want them to appreciate the same music I do and acknowledge my desire to share it with them — it all feels more genuine than just saying “I love you.”

Being part of this community means that art often becomes the way to express how you feel when you have to do so quietly, whether that be through music, photography, drawing or any other form of media. Places where art is shared, like music venues or art galleries, can be safe spaces to build community.

Sharing art has always been one of the most powerful ways in which people have created bonds with each other — and a playlist is no different.