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HC national writer Karly Ramani
HC national writer Karly Ramani
Photo By Karly Ramnani

Thanks To Chappell Roan & Reneé Rapp, I’m Now Living My Truth As A Proud Lesbian

I recently stumbled upon a TikTok of someone lip-syncing to “Good Luck Babe” by Chappell Roan with a Trump 2020 flag in the background. Naturally, my jaw dropped in disbelief as my brain couldn’t quite comprehend what I had just watched. I had to laugh at the irony of this creator supporting an overtly homophobic political figure while using a song that’s become a staple of lesbian culture since its Apr. 5 release. 

However, a quick scroll through the video’s comments revealed one that helped me look at this from a different angle. “Either she doesn’t get it, or she REALLY gets it,” one TikTok user wrote.

“Good Luck Babe” speaks to closeted lesbians who marry men due to societal pressure. So either the original creator obliviously picked a trending TikTok sound to lip-sync to without realizing the song’s meaning, or she’s in the closet and was trying to give hints to her online audience. If the latter describes this creator’s situation, I can relate because I found myself in that exact spot not too long ago. But pop artists like Chappell Roan and Reneé Rapp helped me embrace my identity as a lesbian. 

Compulsory heterosexuality, or comphet, is rampant among queer youth in today’s heteronormative society. Several queer creators have related “Good Luck Babe” to the “lesbian masterdoc,” which contains an in-depth guide to this concept. Comphet stems from many sources, including the lack of LGBTQ+ representation in media and pop culture, familial pressure to marry the opposite gender, and social norms instilled in us from a young age.

Both of my parents immigrated from India to the USA before having me, so I grew up with a strict set of academic, behavioral, and social expectations. Many Asian cultures stress arranged marriages and established gender roles. While my own parents harbored slightly progressive views, they instilled in me that I must hide the parts of myself that aren’t “socially acceptable” to impress my peers, especially the other Indian American kids in my honors/accelerated high school program.

Plus, I grew up in the conservative, small town of Richmond, VA, where queer youth often endured bullying and homophobic slurs. 

Looking back on my teenage years, comphet caused me to enter romantic relationships with men I wasn’t truly attracted to. But I couldn’t deny my attraction to girls, and I felt more freedom to embrace my queerness after graduating high school and moving to Los Angeles for college.

However, I identified as bisexual and continued to date guys despite feeling a bit of a disconnect from them. Deep down, I knew something wasn’t right, but I stayed in multiple relationships with guys and even hoped I’d end up marrying one due to societal norms and internalized homophobia. 

But Reneé Rapp and Chappell Roan later came to the rescue. Leading up to the release of Mean Girls’ 2024 musical remake starring Rapp, fan theories about a lesbian Regina George resurfaced.

I then realized many parallels between my own facade of “perfection” and the persona of Rapp’s queen bee character. It helped that Rapp, herself, came out as a lesbian during a January 2024 episode of Saturday Night Live after previously having identified as bisexual. This was validation for me that one can change the label they identify with as they grow and discover more about themselves.

Then, “Good Luck Babe” came out, and its bold discussion of comphet made it all click for me. 

When I went to Coachella for Rapp’s set on Apr. 21, I experienced a carefree and euphoric moment while taking pictures with a lesbian flag.

HC national writer Karly Ramani
Photo By Karly Ramnani

As I un-learned comphet and internalized homophobia, I began growing more comfortable with openly calling myself a lesbian, because I am 100% confident that this label fits me. 

I sincerely hope that the “Good Luck Babe” TikTok I came across was meant to convey a subtle message about internalized homophobia, rather than simply being a funny, ironic mistake. If that’s the case, I hope she finds a safe space to explore her sexuality, which is something I want for anyone grappling with this concept to suppress their identity. 

Pride month is about embracing who you are, which is something I’ve gotten significantly better at since June 2023. Now, I’m celebrating my first Pride Month as an out lesbian! 

Karly Ramnani is a junior at the University of Southern California, in Los Angeles, studying music industry, with a strong passion for art and journalism. They discovered this amazing community shortly after starting college, and are super stoked to a national writer for Her Campus this semester. Karly worked with Her Campus in Fall 2022 as well, as the Entertainment & Culture Editorial Intern. Other outlets they've written for include All Country News, The Honey Pop, Medium, Newsbreak, and their own startup music blog Playlists & Polaroids. They currently serve as a campus ambassador for Amazon Prime Student and Tinder. When they're not writing blogposts and music reviews, you can find them composing and performing music, putting their nose in a rom-com book, binge watching "The Summer I Turned Pretty," or crying over Taylor Swift.