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Maybe One day MAG
“You’re grounded,” my mother said in the car on our way to school.
“What? That’s stupid. It’s not fair!”
“It is fair. You lied to me!”
“I just didn’t want you to know, Mom!”
“You’re not going to Borger, either.”
“End of discussion.”
I stared out the window until we got to school, then slammed the door without saying good-bye.
“She grounded me, baby,” I whisper into the phone to my girlfriend that night.
“Well, crap. Try to get your phone line back.”
“Yeah, I’m going to. My grandma has nothing better to do with her sorry, lonely life than ruin mine.”
“How did she find out anyway?”
“No clue. Well, I better go before I get caught.”
“Yeah, don’t want you in even more trouble than you’re already in.”
“Eh, I guess it doesn’t really matter, right? They won’t listen to a word I say.”
“Of course your parents wouldn’t. They enjoy hurting you too much.”
“Yeah. Well, baby, I’m going to bed.”
“Alright, I love you. Miss you already.”
“I love you too, hun.”
“Love you more!” She laughs and blows me a kiss over the phone. I laugh and blow her one back.
Morning comes all too quickly. I called my baby and get dressed. It’s Friday and I try to fake being sick, but it doesn’t work.
“Aren’t you going to ask if you can go out tonight?” my mother asks.
“What if we un-ground you?”
“I have no friends. I want to go to Borger.”
“I told you no already.”
“Okay, then. Leave me alone.”
“You would have friends if you weren’t gay,” my step-dad says.
“The correct term is lesbian, thank you, and even so, it would be my business, not yours.” I walk to my room and slam the door. I’m already annoyed. Wonderful. I forgot to mention that they didn’t bother pointing out that my middle-school sister is a whore. But I’m the bad kid in this stupid family, right?
“Oh! Look at that boy!” my mother says on our way to the grocery store. She always does this to me, seeing a guy she thinks is cute and saying that I should ask him out. She refuses to accept that her daughter likes girls rather than boys. She must think it’s some sort of sickness, because she hasn’t touched or hugged me since she found out.
I overheard her and my real father’s phone conversation the other night. He was yelling at her to ground me for a couple more months until I “straighten up,” thinking this is just a phase I’m going through. I wish he didn’t feel that way, because it’s his acceptance I want most.
I don’t understand what I’m grounded for. It’s like they’re slapping me on the hand saying, “Bad girl. Don’t be gay.” They can’t just make it go away, though. They think my psychiatrist will help heal me, but I’m not a broken machine that you can just send away to fix. I’ve been hiding for way too long and I won’t anymore. I just wish that they would all still look at me the same.
I wish that they would say it. I’m tired of them acting like it’s some big secret. I am gay. Why can’t they face it?
“Say it,” I tell them one day.
“Say what?” my mother asks.
“Say that I’m gay.”
“You’re a dyke, okay?” my stepdad says.
“I’m not a dyke! I’m a lesbian!”
“Go to your room ... ” my mother groans, like she’s already tired of the conversation.
“I’m not going anywhere until you say it, Mom.”
“I’m not saying anything. Go to your room.”
“I love her, Mom. You can’t keep us apart forever.”
“We can do anything we want. This is not a debate, it’s a democracy! Now go!”
“This is a house. The U.S. government is a democracy and you two are stupid! Just push me away. Just make believe that you never knew. You keep telling yourself that your daughter isn’t gay! You can keep living the lie but I won’t anymore!”
“Shut up, girl.”
“You’re just mad because you think it’s wrong. I don’t expect you to think it’s right but you act like I’m sick. Like I’ve infected your house and your life! You’re embarrassed because I’m not like everyone else!”
“You know that’s not true.”
“It is! You can’t accept it. You haven’t hugged me once since you found out!”
“Shut your mouth and go to your room!” my stepdad says.
“You’re not my father and I won’t mind you!”
“You’ll do whatever he says!” Mom says.
“The Bible says it’s wrong and you’ll go to hell for it,” he says.
“Well, your and my mother’s sin are on the same page as mine!”
“The Bible says -”
“Screw the Bible!” I scream, cutting him off. “I’m not the stupid Bible! I’m your daughter and you said you’d always love me unconditionally! You lied!”
My mother slaps me across the face.
“Don’t you ever call me a liar.”
“Well, aren’t you God’s perfect child.” I turn and stomp off to my room, crying.
I’ve been thinking about telling them that I’m not gay just so they’ll be proud of me again. I wish they would just try to understand that this is me. Why don’t they love me like I am?
When Massachusetts started to allow gay marriages, it was really cute to see all those happy couples crying and hugging. I was watching that on the news when my stepdad came in and grabbed the remote.
“I was watching that.”
“So,” he said, flipping through the channels. “I’m not gonna watch some fags getting married.”
I’m still grounded. I haven’t talked to my girlfriend in days. I guess being happy with myself doesn’t matter to them anymore. They would rather I was a normal girl who doesn’t dress or look like me. I feel like I’m screaming at them to see the real me. I don’t deserve to be called nasty names. They tell me to be true to myself. They tell me not to lie to them.
Well, here I am, Mom. Your baby girl is gay. I’ll never have a family and you’ll never see me walk down the aisle because of people like you. Yes, Mom, people like you - the people who people like me come out to, our families. Our loving families call us names when we are hurting, and take away what we love most, and refuse to look at the real us when they’re looking around with their eyes open.
I’m here, Mom! I won’t go away. I’m your baby, remember, Mom? The one you used to love and hug. Remember when you told me that you’d love me forever? I hope that you’ll love me like you used to. Maybe you will ... one day.
Author’s Update: This story was written when I came out of the closet at the beginning of my freshman year. Things at home have gotten a lot better, though sometimes I feel I’m still in the closet. My parents accept me a lot more than they used to. My mom and stepdad are very loving, wonderful people. I know that there are others out there who can have some hope that things will and can get better. Though things were hard for us all at first, my girlfriend and I are still together. Without her and my parents’ acceptance, I don’t think I could have written this story.