Gina C.

February 1998

Let the Family Fun Begin

Let me begin with a little quote: "And when I visited hell, I looked around and saw . . . my family?!" -- Myself

I'm 16 years old and I live in Oakland, NJ, a town not known for being tolerant (even though we put on the facade of being so). Anyhow, this isn't about my town, (that's for another column), it's about my family so let me get started, this time for real.

I've never really been close to my family because I've always found that there are way too many rumors flying around and I'm really not one for gossip. Even before I realized I was a lesbian (at age 14) they were saying things about me. I don't necessarily look like the stereotypical 'butch' lesbian; I have long hair and will, on rare occasions, wear a dress. However, when my cousin (who's the same age as myself) began bringing girls to family parties at age 12, the entire family started looking to me to bring boys. I really wasn't interested.

I can remember sitting outside on the front steps of my aunt's house, eating alone and reading my book while listening to my aunts gossip inside. Their topics for this particular gathering were the same as they had usually been: who's pregnant, why isn't she pregnant, why is she pregnant, he's not married yet, etc. etc. etc. But then, my name was mentioned. Now, being as that I don't fit into any of those categories, I didn't know why I was brought up. Then the comments started. The dialogue went somewhat like this.

Aunt 1: Why didn't Gina bring a boyfriend to the party?

Aunt 2: Yes, she really should have brought one.

Aunt 3: Well, she is only 12.

Aunt 2: So is James (the name has been changed) and he brought his girlfriend.

Aunt 1: Maybe she's a lesbian. (hmm....maybe she's psychic)

Aunt 2: Gina? A lesbian? (now here's the line that gets me) She can't be a lesbian, her hips are too big. She has good childbearing hips.

My hips are too big. I love that one. It's like, so you mean to tell me that if I go to like a gay support group or something, they'll actually take out the measuring tape and be like, "Sorry, your hips are too big, you must be a confused straight woman. Go away." Puh-leaze!

That was about four years ago and three family members other than my parents now know about my homosexuality. Oddly enough, one of my cousins is a lesbian as well. (I always wondered why I felt a connection to her) Family in more than just blood ties. She's cool and since she's older than me, she can kind of break the ice for me by coming out first. My goddess, my very Sicilian family should be interested in knowing that not one, but two of their family members are lesbians. Might make them wonder.

Well, that's all I can really think of to write about right now. I just kind of saw all the stories and columns and got inspired and wrote this up on the spot so please forgive any blatant errors. Hopefully I'll be able to write more in the future. If anyone would like to comment my email address is Rubyfrt@aol.com


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