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Kristen

November 1997

Hi! My name is Kristen. I'm a 15 year old lesbian. I live in Delaware. My main interests are poetry, girls, politics, and acting. I am very obsessed with Shakespeare.

I am at the point in my life where all of my friends as well as a few family members are aware that I'm gay. I suppose that you'd call me semi-closeted. I am in PFLAG and am slowly becoming more active in the queer community.

Conversion

My mother found out in August that I am gay. I did not come out of the closet to her. Indeed, if I had it my way she would not have known for a very long time. When my family (me, my brother, mom, and dad) were on vacation, I found a secondhand bookstore and got a copy of Sister Outsider, by Audre Lourde. (Yes, I love feminist theory). My mother found it in my bookbag and confronted me with it. Audre Lourde, of all people. You'd think it was a crime to read books written by gay people. Anyway, we started fighting and she asked me if I was a lesbian. At that moment I got so damn sick of it all -- the lies, secrets, suspicion, and I yelled, "Yes, I am. What the hell's your point?" NOTE: This is not the best way to come out to your mother. Or anyone else, for that matter.

Things went downhill from there. I tried to explain PFLAG to her, that I was single and always had been, etc. There were a few things that were rather unfun to go over -- the three boys that I had dated, my "boyfriend" who is gay, and why I knew I was gay. "Because I fall in love with girls, mother..."

She, in her parental wisdom, reacted thusly: You're not gay. She then informed me that I was banned from PFLAG, shouldn't tell anyone that I was gay, and that as long as I was a minor, I would be straight. (I have ignored all of these, BTW.) She then told me that I was going to go into therapy. Not regular therapy. CONVERSION therapy. From a Christian 'therapist.' She refuses to believe that being gay is not a choice.

At that point, I almost ran away. We argued many times a day for awhile. She was infuriated to know that most of my friends knew. (Since then, I have told even more). I stuck it out, though. And then, silence.

My mother has not spoken of it since then, way back at the end of August. That is her way of rejection. She also couldn't find a local conversion group to take her little babydyke to, so that has not happened, thank God.

One day I was at a party right before school started. Most of my closest friends were there (including my 'boyfriend'). The boy who was hosting the party pulled out this book that he had gotten from church, "overcoming homosexuality". He showed it to everyone. (He's completely gay friendly, it wasn't out of meanness). We proceeded to look through it to see how some pathetic people actually can brainwash themselves into being straight. As I read through it, I learned a lot about myself:

This was all news to me. All together now: "Yeah, right!" I am a confirmed member of my church, and I was taught that God will accept me for who I am. The whole book was comprised of other such b.s.. It was actually rather hilarious. And the grand outcome of me reading this book on how to become straight:

I am still a dyke, and I am proud of it. And I am not alone.

Perhaps it's the Christian therapists that have deep rooted psychological flaws...

Know your own truth, not what anyone else tells you.

Kristen
Email address: poetgrrl1@juno.com

(I would like to dedicate this column to Jacob Orozco. Never again. Never forget.)


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