Mary Akers

She thinks about the woman who drove her kids into the lake and cried about it on national TV. What a terrible person, a horrible mother. But the snakes hiss, “Yessss.”
She’s barely gotten the toast buttered once John Junior starts up again…she carries him out to the pickup and puts him squish onto the seat and she leaves supper unfinished and she’s really going to do it this time because she just can’t take it anymore.
—  Medusa Song, Women Up On Blocks, by Mary Akers

It was May of 2000. And we were beautiful.

We were fierce.

We were Boudreaux and Rothschild, Miller and Stackowski, O’Toole and Greene. We were Dani, Alyx, Rickie, Carlita, Jaz, Sam. We were butch. We were femme. We were bois. We were a tribe. Una familia. We pitched our tents between a bombing range and an ammunitions dump. We slept on sand still hot from the sun. We fueled our righteous indignation with campfire speeches and furtive tangles in the dunes. Our voices ached to be heard. We are here! We are queer!

No, they were proud dykes, disdainful of the base desires of men. To have the strength of a man was good. To want to be a man was a betrayal. Alone in bed at night, I rehearsed my confession. In the dream response, my friends stood in a ring, tribunal-style, horrified butches tut-tutting my Coming-Out 2.0.