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Lesbian Sexuality

She was beautiful, with blonde hair done up in a bun and a stunning floor-length dress that shimmered when she moved. I watched her, breathless, already half-hating the man who would meet her and sweep her off her tiny, glass clad feet. Why not a woman? I thought bitterly. Why not a connection with the gender that has loved and cared for her so gently since birth? Why a man?

I was six. She was Cinderella, on her way to the ball where she would enchant the Prince, at least according to Walt Disney. Even at that tender age, I could see other possibilities.

I grew up in the state of Kansas, home of Dorothy, Toto, and Auntie Em, state of rainbows, barnyards, and twisters. And religious fundamentalism. When I was one year old, gays and lesbians in a little bar in New York called Stonewall rose up and fought police who showed up to arrest them simply for the crime of being in a gay bar.

Ten years later, on the other coast, gay city supervisor and gay-friendly mayor George Moscone were gunned down by a homophobic assassin who claimed to be acting under the influence of twinkies. His slap-on-the-wrist seven year prison sentence sparked riots in San Francisco.

I, of course, heard none of this. By the time I was ten, I had stopped asking why girls didn’t fall in love with girls, nor boys with boys. It simply didn’t happen, my mother explained.

A bulletin from our church told me differently, acknowledging that such things did indeed happen (Thank God! I’m not the only one in the world! I knew it. I knew it!), but that such people were very sick and in need of prayer and spiritual guidance (Uh-oh.)

Oh, how I struggled to make those “sick” feelings go away, but they didn’t. In high school, whenever my best friend spent the night, we would furtively cuddle and kiss, telling each other it was good practice for when we had boyfriends. One weekend, she went along on a short vacation with my parents and I, and my mother slipped me some money to take her out to dinner.

We sat side by side in a booth in a dimly lit restaurant, holding hands and whispering back and forth. Did the other patrons notice? Did they care? I don’t know. All I know was that for that forty-five minutes I was in paradise. I was also in love.

But it was not to be. Shortly after the trip, my best friend started hanging around with guys and other girls and ignoring me. I saw no point in asking why.

College took me away from my small town to a large university and different ideas. I met women who were out as lesbians (Finally! I found a word for my feelings.), but I was too scared to join their world. The little girl who had suffered so much spiritual distress was not quite ready to go out on the town, so to speak.

Then, senior year, a human sexuality class. “Queers are gross. Just look at what they do,” a boy remarked with complete authority, sure that no one except perhaps the teacher would contradict him.

“They are not!” My God, did I just jump up and say that? And why were my lips still moving? “Why do you care what they do, anyway? They aren’t doing it with you! And what makes you think they can help being gay any more than you can help being brown hair. Maybe they wouldn’t change it if they could. If you’re the alternative, I’d rather be queer!”

I sat back down to laughter from my classmates and a soft, warm feeling inside. Without even being aware that I was doing it, I had examined myself inside and out and found myself innocent of sin and free of sickness.

Of course, it would be a little longer before I was ready to take the next step and actually have a girlfriend. But I was at peace during that time knowing that someday, in the not too distant future, I would be watching my own Cinderella dress for the ball. And this Cinderella would have eyes only for me.


Comments (One comment)

I love this version of Cinderella…how old are you now? (I’d love to be your Cinderella!)

Shell / May 24th, 2007, 12:18 pm / #

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