2 years ago
shannonl5
in English · 3,568 Views
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“The B Word” by Trista Mateer
I kiss the pretty boy in black semi-sheer thigh highs, plant my hands on his hips, pull teasingly at his garter belt and I can hear my mother shaking her head across town. I can’t tell if she is disappointed or confused.
I lie awake next to the girl who smells like sweat and lemonade. I think about shoving my face into her hair but she falls asleep talking about her boyfriend. On the day my mother corners me in the kitchen to ask if I’m a “fucking lesbian”, I say no. I wonder if it counts as a lie when I still don’t have a word for all the different kinds of porn I like to watch.
When I come out, I am eight thousand miles away from home. I am sharing the bed of a substitute teacher. He likes to tie me up at night and kiss me in the morning. When I use the B word, my mother says she’s not surprised but she doesn’t understand. All I can think about is the first time bisexuality came up with her in conversation and she laughed.
THEY’RE JUST GREEDY.
IT’S LIKE THEY DON’T EVEN CARE WHO THEY’RE FUCKING.
THEY’D FUCK ANYTHING.
THEY MAY AS WELL FUCK A DOG.
My grandmother asks where they went wrong, if it’s because my father left and “you know, the other stuff.” She says, LOOK: IF YOU FALL IN LOVE, I’LL BE HAPPY FOR YOU BUT YOU CAN’T MARRY A WOMAN BECAUSE IT PERSONALLY OFFENDS ME. She calls me a dyke and says it’s a joke. She never asks me again if I’m seeing anybody.
I have a crush on a girl who makes her living writing good lines. I swoon every time she calls me baby, but I tell her I don’t know if I want to get into things. I second guess myself into a corner. What if it is just a phase? What if I change my mind? What if my mother’s right? Do I really need to put my family through that kind of thing?
I make arrangements to meet up with a man I’ve been in love with for the last few years, but I don’t tell anyone in my family because I don’t feel like explaining that it doesn’t mean I am straight.
My coworker says to me “why do lesbians use dildos? why don’t they just fuck men?” And I want to say “have you ever met a man??” but I feel like the joke is too gay and I am always trying to convince everyone I know that my sexuality is a revolving door that never stops spinning long enough to check IDs.
Yet somehow, I am always getting carded.
OKAY BUT HOW MANY WOMEN HAVE YOU BEEN WITH?
HOW MANY THREESOMES HAVE YOU HAD?
I MEAN ALL GIRLS ARE A LITTLE GAY.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO FLAUNT IT LIKE THAT.
YOU JUST DO THIS TO GET GUYS, DON’T YOU?
When the supreme court ruling comes through, I cry; but I don’t know if I can really celebrate the way that I want to because I don’t feel gay enough to talk about the struggle, but I’m not straight. My mother finds me in the morning to ask if I’ve heard the news.
She says, I SUPPORT YOU BECAUSE YOU’RE MY DAUGHTER BUT I DON’T AGREE WITH IT AND I DON’T THINK IT’S RIGHT.
I say, “then you don’t really support me”
and she doesn’t say anything.

You read that poem. Then you read it again.

You bookmark the link for the days in the future you've learned by now are inevitable. The days people make random assumptions about your sexuality, or the things you like in bed. The days people tell you that you're faking it, that your identity is imaginary, that they know you better than you do. Because that's what people do.
You learn to hate 'coming out' stories, because for you, it's one long frustrating march, instead of one triumphant moment. You have to keep your pockets full of receipts that prove you are what you say you are. You have to accept the fact that a lot of the people you meet will never believe you. You have to accept the fact that you will spend time educating people that are too lazy to use Google.
You fall in love with the first person that says "me too" even though they're a trainwreck and you're terrible together. Because at least you arguments are about candy bars left in the freezer or brushing your teeth or toilet brushes. They're all stupid fights, but they feel so much smarter than the constant stupidity that the rest of the world seems committed to presenting you with.
You reach a point where you don't want to tell anyone, not even people you trust, because you don't want to have another fucking conversation about it. That's the thing people don't realize. It gets BORING. "Yes, I am bisexual." Boring. "Yes, it means attracted to more than one gender." Dull. "Yeah, whatever, just call me gay, it's fine." DUMB.

You read the poem one more time before you go to bed.

You think "god what a stupid thing to feel lonely about".

Because you have the internet. You have friends that don't suck. You get into a conversation with a bunch of queer women about the first time you realized you had a crush on a girl. Some of you figured it out right away, and some of you were completely clueless. You were the 'ally' that couldn't but two and two together. Because when do girls ever learn what it feels like to be attracted to someone? We talk about Xena: Warrior Princess. About Natalie Portman in Garden State. About the book Annie on My Mind.
You thought that's how it would always be for girls who like girls, and you thought you were safe because you were sure you liked boys. Which meant you weren't "like that", you couldn't be. You didn't want to be.
You've carved out a little corner of the world where you feel safe and normal and fine, but you're so tired. It feels like you're hiding. But every time you go out in the open, you feel so transparent; it never feels like you're being seen. You wish everywhere felt like this, like home. You wish the "b-word" wasn't a bad word. You wish there was space for you underneath the umbrella.
You read the poem a few more times.
She says, I SUPPORT YOU BECAUSE YOU’RE MY DAUGHTER BUT I DON’T AGREE WITH IT AND I DON’T THINK IT’S RIGHT.

I say, “then you don’t really support me”

and she doesn’t say anything.

20 comments
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Thanks so much @LizArnone you're very sweet ^_^ this was really hard to write so I'm really grateful for everyone being so supportive
2 years ago·Reply
10
@shannonl5 I'm trying to work up the courage to stop censoring myself! you are certainly helping!
2 years ago·Reply
10
@LizArnone I'm so glad!
2 years ago·Reply
⚥⚥
2 years ago·Reply
10
@MaraOwens you might be really interested in this! I found this poem about bi-erasure a while ago and it really resonated with me.
2 years ago·Reply