Tuesday, February 14, 2006

A lesbian in the library.

Having recently moved to the area, I was very excited to sign up for my card at the local library, and the first book that I checked out was For Lesbian Parents: Your Guide to Helping Your Family Grow Up Happy, Healthy, and Proud. Rarely in my life have I had flashbacks of anything, but this time, holy moly I was suddenly 15 again! If you've read this little story before, feel free to skip it- you see, my high school had a little curriculum and book selection problem. The Health class text had only one paragraph about gays and lesbians, which was basically a definition and nothing more. Desperately looking for more information in the midst of my six-year bout of rediculously self-destructive internalized homophobia, I went to the school library, but only found one book that had anything to do with my issue, and it was a novel. Annie on My Mind is the story of two high school girls several decades ago who fall in love and then all kinds of terrible things happen (of course, fictional lesbians can't ever have a happy story, right?) I wanted to check the book out, but I couldn't bring myself to do it because I didn't want the librarian to see that I was doing so because she might think I was gay. So, every day in between periods, I would sit on the floor in the back corner of the back row of stacks and read as much as I could, then stick the tiniest piece of paper in my place and put it back. I think I read the whole thing in about 2 or 3 weeks, but it was always full of anxiety for fear that someone would see me. Flash back to the present where I am now trying to decide if I can finally go to the librarian and check out a book that says "For Lesbian Parents" in giant purple letters on the front. I did it, but it really seemed to me as if I were seeing my high school library around me rather than the one I was in. Of course, it was uneventful. She scowled some (maybe I'm projecting, maybe not) and checked the book out for me. I just brought it back today, having finished it, and I know it doesn't seem like a big deal, but darn it, I think it's a milestone!

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