In Mecca Jamilah Sullivan’s “Blue Talk and Love,” there is no explicit definition of Earnestine’s sexuality. She is never categorized as a lesbian, or even a specific statement establishing her attraction towards women. In fact, many could read it as a side plot, not the focus of the story. This implication over explanation significantly helps the narrative of the story; for many young people, they do not start identifying themselves with labels, but rather with feelings.
In a large portion of modern media, sexuality and attraction are shown as defining characteristics of life and personality, but for many people they are not the primary motivations of life. Because of this, modern media often depict queer people as being defined almost solely by their sexuality, instead of being people who differ slightly from the “norm.” As a result, media is often inaccurate in addressing queer people as actual people.
In “Blue Talk and Love,” however, the short narrative explores many aspects of Earnestine’s life, only one of which is her sexuality. As the narrator reflects on other aspects of her life, such as her mother’s church, her father’s daytime disappearances, and her standoffishness towards her peers, she does not generally consider it with the label of sexuality, instead focusing on her other problems. Her sexuality does not solely define her personality, and is instead merely one aspect of her.
This representation of implication is far more accurate to real life and people than most modern media, giving the story a more impactful story and ending.