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It’s me, I’m the Target Combat Boot Gay. 

We know about the Vans Gays, the Docs Gays, the Converse Gays, the Birkenstocks Gays. I am here to raise awareness for the other, forgotten gay: the target-combat-boot-wearing, jumping-through-puddles-but-nothing-too-deep, they-match-everything gay.

I feel I must better describe these shoes before I label my entire identity around them. These boots, linked here, are the “Women's Saylor Lace-Up Combat Boots” by A New Day. They are plain, black ankle boots that zip on one side and lace up in the front. These shoes are $40 and apparently also come in off-white, but those are very much not my style, so I will be ignoring them in this piece. 

However, you Target Off-White Combat Boot Wearing Gay, I see you and I am in awe of your power. (Also so sorry to my AFAB nonbinary gays who also wear these. Sorry shoes are needlessly gendered all the time. God it’s just a FOOT.)

These shoes are not pretending to be anything. They are not knockoff Doc Martens. They don’t have the fake tab, the yellow embroidery, and to be quite honest, they’re only a little waterproof. But that’s okay! They don’t require a lot of time to become broken in. They’re basically ready to go out of the box, and they match everything. 

Sure, cuffed skinny jeans are difficult to cram into them but who really cares if their jeans don’t fit perfectly into their boots. I do not have time to worry about that as I throw these on, forget to zip, and sprint out of my apartment to my class. Somehow, they’ve never flown off when I break into a sprint without zipping them. That’s called dependability, folks.

These shoes are perfect for the fall-weather-loving, don’t-have-time-for-heels, but-also-don’t-have-the-mental-energy for-blisters gay. I would say they’re low maintenance, but I am not, so I do not feel right making that argument at this time. 

These shoes are there for your closeted self, the one who really wanted those floral Doc knockoffs but never could explain why. These shoes have been with me through it all: from the early high school mornings I’d have to sit out of gym class in these because I forgot running shoes, to now where I sit in my Prose class wearing these boots. Every time I enter this class, I realize more and more what I want to do with my life, while simultaneously finally feeling secure in my knowledge of myself. 

Recently, I wore these shoes when I went to a Taylor Swift Dance Party in Boston with my partner and my roommate (who’s editing this piece! Hey Alyssa!) I wore them, living my life that everyday feels like it’s a fantasy I dreamt up. It’s something closeted me, so deeply unaware of their whole self, didn’t even know she wanted. 

I danced with my partner, got all lovey when “Delicate” and” Paper Rings” played, and also danced with one of my best friends, screaming to the songs that we both grew up with, screaming to the songs that we became friends over. I feel like I’m finally my whole self. This night, fueled by Taylor’s energy and these boots’ dependability, was “Gorgeous.”

Lauren Smith

Emmanuel '23

Lauren Smith (she/they) is a student at Emmanuel College studying Theater Arts and Writing, Editing, and Publishing. Personality wise, she considers herself a mix of Nancy Drew and Cher Horowitz. In her free time, she's busy making earrings, watching Criminal Minds, and baking banana bread.
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