Acceptance: Part I
**Names and certain settings have been changed.
The first person I kissed, was a girl at my former church. I was six, it was evening and our Momma’s were downstairs in the kitchen cackling. Laughter slithered underneath the cracks of the bedroom and we both smiled. I scooted a bit closer to her. She scooted too. We kissed.
“and secret kisses from her.
We did some secret cootie catching and releasing
in the crevices of a house that reeked
of prayers, love and anointing oil.
I didn’t know any better
back then and it seems
I’m back to square one,
I knew better back then
I know better now.
Except my kisses are no longer
-Acceptance I, Long Live Phoenixes
I had a crush on Xena: The Warrior Princess. I mean, she was fierce, had intense cheek bones, tough, mouthy, seductive, aggressive and kind. Like, hello? OF COURSE I WOULD’VE GAVE HER ALL OF MY PLAY DOH IF SHE ASKED!
I watched big booties in sanctified skirts sway while fixing my lips to fit in with friends about how cute that boy is. Ya know, typical, “late bloomer” beginner tales.
When I reached the third-grade, I learned what the word gay meant. I was play fighting with my good friend Amy one day after school and when we were out of breath, we sprawled out on the concrete. Waiting for our breath to behave, we heard fifth-grader, Manny yell out, “You two are gay!” He laughed and I was too confused to respond. Amy leaped up and charged after him. Later on, I asked one of our after-school counselors what gay meant. She said, “It’s when two men or two women are in a relationship. It’s an illness.” She scrunched up her nose hunched her shoulders, shook her head and continued, “Why? Someone here said they like a girl and they are a girl too?” I shook my head and slipped away. I sat next to Amy, terrified at my feelings for her.
When I was in the fifth grade, I learned that acting on same sex-ness was a sin. I was sitting in church and the guest preacher’s message was about being a part of the remnant. The speaker spoke about people who were under, “The homosexual spirit”. He mentioned how those who move in that “unholy manner” will not make it into heaven. He mentioned 1Corinthians 6:9-11 he mentioned 1Timothy 1:8-10 and kept it pushing with his sermon. At 11 years old, I was terrified. I had a crush on my friend, Ariana at the time and she was… A GIRL. I told no one.
There was a boy that my friend asked me if I liked and I told her yes. He dressed nice, and he was kind. The whole class ended up finding out that I like him. I was humiliated yet quite relieved. I was thankful that no one knew that I liked Ariana.
When I was thirteen years old, I confessed to a few friends that I liked girls, but I wasn’t too sure about guys. I simply told them that I was bi-sexual.
My first girlfriend had dimples deep enough to swim in and a laugh that was contagious. I met her at an after-school program that we both attended. When she smiled, I smiled. One day, when her mother (Who was about to become an ordained minister at the time) arrived to pick up, she pulled her to the side and began to whisper to her in a threatening manner. I pretended as though I had to go my cubby to retrieve a few things so I could eavesdrop. I heard her ask my first girlfriend, Dina, if I was her “lil’ girlfriend”. She shook her head no. I felt my heart sink to my tummy as I pretended to fumble around in my book bag. Her mother widened her eyes and responded,
“You need to stop actin’ so close to that girl. People gon’ start talkin’ bout you bein’ some lesbian. You don’t want that do you?”
Dina didn’t respond. She grabbed her by the arm and repeated the question with duck lips.
Dina shook her head.
“You like Corey don’t you?”
Dina nodded her head.
“You like Corey, don’t you?”
Knees trembling, Dina shook her head, but more anxiously this time.
Her mother snatched her body this time and she was close enough to simply drag her down the hallway.
“What do you mean you don’t like Corey? So you a bulldagger, now? My child of the kind is not bulldagger.
Dina, began to whimper. She lowered her head and nodded slowly. She ran over to her cubby to grab her things. She didn’t even glance at me. Her mother noticed me and released a half smile. When Dina returned to her mother side, she grabbed her hand and told her to stay away from me.