If someone only knew when I was twelve years-old, I saw myself reflected for the first time in the characters of THE OUTSIDERS. If someone only knew how I hungered to see more of myself in the books I was reading. Where were the Mexican-American and mixed race kids? Where were the bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning kids? Where were the gender-fluid, tomboy, popular-geek kids?
Where were the kids like me?
The kids who grew up in homes that seemed solid from the street, whose lives behind pulled curtains and locked doors were a volatile and cruel place. Where self-harm became a coping mechanism. Where the struggle of being unseen, even when everyone was looking, felt paralyzing.
Where were the characters in books to reflect the challenges of my emerging sexual identity? To mirror a truth similar to mine while living in a town of 5,036 plus two stray dogs and a Pizza Hut. The restaurant we drove in circles around Friday nights after football games. Girls hanging out the back of truck beds. Guys cruising in their parents’ Buick or mini-van (the latter would never be cool).
Girls flirting with boys.
Boys flirting with girls.
I wanted to flirt with both, and often more with girls.~ read more ~