July 1998

Hi, my name's Amy, and I have a pretty interesting story to tell about my fellow queers here in my sleepy little hometown... It all started waaa-aaay back in the summer of '95... I can remember it as if it were yesterday, by cracky! Anyway, those times were the glory days for queer youth at my high school, with a whopping SEVEN "out" teens (all seniors and juniors, with poor little freshman me left behind in the desolate wake of dust left by their graduation), and as one can imagine the whole school was in an uproar. A popular theory of that time was that all of the babies born in 1977 had been exposed to radioactive fallout and those seven had gotten the worst of it, or that they had all been delivered by the same doctor, who had a raging case of cooties...

Two of these queer kids, females by the names of June and Skylar (aha, at last a plot!), went to prom together. Now, the administration allowed this, surprisingly, but what really got their little panties in a knot had to do with that the couples got "party favors," with boys getting a keychain and girls a candle. June and Skylar, both receiving candles, just screwed up the whole count, and of course some poor little straight girl was denied her rightful prom inheritance... I, being a mere freshmen, oblivious of these goings-ons, was sleeping at home in my bed as this happened. Imagine my surprise when I heard a forceful rapping on my bedroom window --- the source being June's fist. Lucky me! The famous lesbian couple had decided to honor me with a visit, and instead of going to afterprom, they insisted I partake in their planned brouhaha in the Wal-Mart food court.

"All right," I said in a sleepy voice, "Let me change out of my jammies..."

So they threw me into June's frighteningly fast Mustang Convertible, and I soon found myself breaking Mach 4 at 2 A.M. in the morning. Now, I have never been religious, let alone Catholic, but when we arrived in that parking lot I recited my own interpretations of Hail Mary, and crossed myself at least a dozen times, though if it was right side up I'll never know.

It was there that I was not only introduced to the fine cuisine of 5-month-old chili-dogs and pizza-pretzels, but I also saw two girls kissing for the first time ever. June and Skylar were the first example of a positive lesbian relationship I had ever seen, and simply witnessing their love (for they were deeply in love with each other) was the most helpful event for me in admitting to myself that I really was gay (not "unsure," not bi, etc.) and that there was nothing wrong with that!! Before dropping me back home (Skylar announced that they were going to enjoy a REAL entree back at her house), Skylar was kind enough to give me her candle.

"I don't need it," she told me, holding June, "I have something a lot better to remember tonight by."

Of course, I was foolhardy enough to bring that candle to school the next day, hoping that I would be the only 9th grader in possession of one and to be able to lay claim to bragging rights. After fondling the cheap wax product for three straight periods (and not paying one bit of attention to the teachers), a watchful administrator called out from the hall: "You --- freshman! YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO HAVE THAT!" Naturally, he assumed I had stolen it due to my baggy pants and silly red Muppets T-shirt. That was THE garb for pot-smokers and trouble-makers, you understand (nevermind I was an honor roll student).

An hour later I found myself sitting on the plush, aromatic (if you like the smell of sweaty socks) couch in the principal's office, being grilled under the bright lights... I told him the whole story; that it was Skylar's, that it was a gift, (though I don't think he believed we really went to Wal-Mart), and luckily he didn't call anyone else down to confirm my story, or (thank god!) call my parents.

"Those two caused a lot of trouble!" he fumed and fussed, "I don't understand why they had to have TWO candles anyway! Uh, young lady, are they... um... they aren't REALLY lesbians, are they?"

"No more than you are limaceous, sir," I replied.

And he smiled and sighed, obviously deeply relieved, and sent me on my way... and that's my story!

YES, they really are that TIGHT up here, and I did change the names of our inspiring sisters to protect the innocent. They have since broken up, and what happened to them, me, the other queer kids and the newbies that have since emerged (few though they are)... well, you're just going to have to wait until next time!!!

P.S. Limaceous -- adjective. Sluglike, having to do with slugs. ex: "We utilize salt in the garden to combat the limaceous inhabitants!"


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