when i was younger the way i felt about girls kissing was different. it made me uncomfortable, like i knew i shouldn’t hear my own heart skip. i remember watching boys kiss girls on tv and teaching myself “this is all i have”. i’m 24 and i still feel guilty when i think about how much i like girls. i hid it and hated it and i’m not even out to half of my friends. i couldn’t figure out why i felt certain things. i wrecked myself over it, made it hard for me to be in longterm relationships, made it hard to love without feeling like i’m doing the wrong thing.
but yesterday i was teaching a group of second graders.
“i think i want a girlfriend,” she said to me. when a boy squawked “a girlfriend!” the other kids stood up for her instantly. “it’s normal!” “it’s okay if some people want different things.” “yeah, not everybody needs to like boys.”
the boy shook his head and stared at me. “i don’t care it’s a girl” he said, with his hands in the air, “but we don’t even pay taxes, how is she thinking of getting married?”
“miss raquel,” she asked, “why does it look like you’re crying?”