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What is the 'lesbian breakup curse,' and why are some TikTok users worried about it?

TikTok users are joking that the curse, also referred to as the “breakup plague," is why so many popular women-loving-women creators recently split with their girlfriends.
Kylie Prew and JoJo Siwa attend a drive-in screening and performance at the Rose Bowl on Sept. 3, 2021 in Pasadena, Calif.
Kylie Prew and JoJo Siwa, pictured here Sept. 3, 2021, in Pasadena, Calif., called it quits a second time during what's being described by some on TikTok as the summer of the "lesbian breakup curse."Leon Bennett / Getty Images file

It started with Sedona and Rylee, who announced their split in a TikTok video that now has 8.5 million views. Then Alissa and Sam quietly announced they had separated. By the time Avery and Soph broke up, TikTok users began worrying that a fabled "lesbian breakup curse" would affect their relationships, too.

In recent weeks, the supposed curse, also referred to as the “breakup plague” and the “breakup apocalypse,” has consumed many TikTok users' lives.

“Remixing my attitude to avoid the lesbian breakup curse that’s going around,” one user captioned their video. “It really is contagious right now isn’t it,” another user wrote in the comments.

Some have joked that the supposed curse is why so many popular women-loving-women, or WLW, creators have split with their girlfriends in the past few weeks. Others warn that the curse is moving into “straight” TikTok, after several heterosexual couples announced their breakups, too.

“Wtf is in the air why are all the tiktok wlw couples breaking up?” one TikTok user posted

Artist King Princess even joked that the break up curse inspired her to write a new song, which she posted on TikTok on Thursday.

“Lesbians break up on TikTok/ which turns into TikToks/ inspiring songs about breakups on TikTok/ the cycle will never end ... until they’re gone.”

Some TikTok users blamed the curse on astrology, joking that the alignment of the planets catalyzed so many public breakups. Others said it was just an unfortunate coincidence.

However, most believe the curse started when the pop artist Cari Fletcher — who performs under the mononym Fletcher — name-dropped her ex-girlfriend’s current partner in her new song “Becky’s So Hot.” A spokesperson for Fletcher did not respond to request for comment.

The circumstances that inspired Fletcher's song has roots in 2010s YouTube culture, during a period that has been described by some as the “Lesbian YouTuber Couples Era.” Popular lesbian couples, like YouTubers Shannon Beveridge and Cammie Scott, became much-needed representation of loving relationships for young LGBTQ audiences, and the wave of breakup announcement videos that took over YouTube in the mid-to-late 2010s devastated fans. Beveridge and Scott announced their breakup in 2016. 

“Everyone is so upset about the tik tok lesbians breaking up but where were you in 2016 when the YouTube couples all started splitting,” TikTok user @ifykykbutudont captioned a video posted earlier this month. “cause I was in line for a bus at Disney world still in the closet and started crying.”

Beveridge and Fletcher have not publicly disclosed when their relationship started. Fletcher’s 2020 album “THE S(EX) TAPES” is a collaboration between her and Beveridge, produced while the two were quarantining together after the end of their four-year relationship. 

Beveridge is now dating a woman named Becky Missal, whose name repeatedly appears in Fletcher’s new song. Fletcher has said she wrote the song after she accidentally liked an Instagram photo of Missal.

Fletcher shared a clip of her new song on TikTok on July 12, sending fans spiraling with the chorus: “Are you in love like we were?/ If I were you I’d probably keep her/ Makes me wanna hit her when I see her/ ‘Cause Becky’s so hot in your vintage T-shirt.”

Fletcher’s name-drop was polarizing on TikTok: Although some users praised the artist for “normalizing being messy,” others found it inappropriate. 

Beveridge responded to the “situation” in a TikTok posted July 17, telling viewers that she did not collaborate on the song with Fletcher and alleging that “no one asked permission” to use Missal’s name.

In the weeks that followed the release of "Becky's So Hot," which is also a popular hashtag on TikTok linked to the breakup curse drama, multiple popular WLW couples announced their separations.

College basketball star Sedona Prince and creator Rylee LeGlue, who were known for their height difference and whom followers jokingly referred to as “the tall one and the short one,” announced the end of their relationship in a video posted July 31. Despite them initially asking for privacy, the weeks following the creators’ split has been rife with cheating allegations, which fueled followers to take “sides” in the breakup.

Alissa Carrington and Samantha Miani, creators who began posting videos on the shared YouTube channel Alissa & Sam at least four years ago, revealed their separation in early August when Carrington confirmed speculation of the couple’s parting in an Instagram story. Their shared YouTube channel no longer exists, and Miani appeared to delete all of her public social media accounts.

Creators Avery Cyrus and Soph Mosca also announced their breakup in early August after just over two years together. Cyrus and Mosca posted separate messages on their Instagram stories on Aug. 3.

Cyrus and JoJo Siwa raised eyebrows by both appearing in an Aug. 8 “mukbang,” a video trend that involves eating large amounts of different foods for an audience.

Siwa has had her own share of public separations: In May, she appeared to rekindle her relationship with Kylie Prew, whom she first began dating in 2021 before they broke up later that year. In an Instagram livestream reposted to TikTok, Prew said she’s been “single for almost two months.”

TikTok creator Kales, who describes herself as “lesbian Tea-sus” and posts videos summarizing the drama, jokingly compared videos about the curse to a sexuality litmus test.

"If you're a woman still confused about your sexuality, fear not," Kales said in a TikTok video. "Ask yourself where you’ve been for the past two weeks."

She asked viewers if they were following the Alabama rush drama or if they were entrenched in gossip following Fletcher's new song release.

"and if you consider yourself an expert in both... bisexual," she captioned the video.

But some creators want it to be known: Love still exists.

To counteract the breakup curse, many WLW couples have shared videos of their still-intact relationships, including posting sweet clips of dates with their girlfriends.

Responding to a comment about the "TikTok breakup plague," the creators known as Phoebe and Morgan burst into laughter. The couple, who post on the shared account @couplagoofs, describe themselves as "your gay internet parents."

"I just think that this is so funny because we're married," Phoebe replied in the video.

"It wouldn't be like a fun ... like a little breakup," Morgan said. She later added, "I don't know any of these people that broke up, but I hope they have a good day."