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What It Feels Like To Have A Crush

When you’re queer, there’s another level of heartbreak and risk in crushing, especially in your younger years.

I grew up in an extremely religious environment and crushing on girls came with a feeling of guilt and fear. The only option was to suppress those feelings by convincing my brain that they were disgusting and wrong.

It really screws with your head way into your older years. Even as a moderately established dyke, I find myself fighting against that creeping “Catholic guilt,” that until recently I hadn’t been able to diagnose.

I pick at my bottom lip right to the point where it hurts a little when I bite it with my front teeth. I always have.The more I chew on it, the more it hurts. But, it’s bearable and starts to feel good. The way it hurts a little more each time. I get used to it. It becomes comforting. Then, I’ve bit so much that it’s raw and I can’t really tell if I feel anything anymore.

I think that’s what a crush feels like to me. That or getting hit by a bus.

In this series #1 Crush, I asked my friends to describe what a crush feels like for them.

“It feels like throwing a huge party, but nobody shows up.” – Kalea

“It feels like being choked.” – Tony Zamora

“It currently feels like someone has filled my body with antifreeze.” – Cristina Keane

“Anything can be a crushing feeling if you let it overpower you.”Yezmin Villareal


“My stomach feels in knots and my skin is clammy. It’s a very real heartburn.” – Cassandra Gonzales


All images by Cole Santiago


Cole Santiago

Cole Santiago is a queer Latinx filmmaker with a lot of feelings.