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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Gay and Lesbian  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: July 14, 2016

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Submitted: July 14, 2016



When I was younger, my mother owned her own flower store. She sold all types of flowers – coral lilies, white orchids, blushing peonies, hanging pear blossoms, and the ever famous rose. Her heart grew as they grew, you could see the passion as she tended to them like her own children. She’d speak to them, like children, when she wrapped them up for customers.

“What lovely petals you have,” she’d say, “they’re just going to love you!”

I mostly scuttled around the store, picking and prodding at the many flora while she worked. Every now and then I’d poke too hard and a petal would fall off. I would stuff it in my pocket as fast as I could, making sure she never saw it. They were her loves after all, I couldn’t hurt them, even if it was an accident.

Some years passed by, and the little flower shop had been closed down. Those memories soon were replaced with new ones, and the little flower shop had been briefly forgotten. Up until I was 13, when I had some new questions for my mother.

“Mom, how come in shows they make fun of guys that like guys?”

“What?” She said, thrown off guard. “What do you mean?”

“Well, I don’t know. I’ve noticed in movies and shows that they’re treated like jokes, girls too.”

“Oh honey. The world is just unfair sometimes. They haven’t done anything wrong, I know, but they will never have it easy in this life.” She looked strained, worried.

Since that day, I noticed more things. Simple, tiny things. The word gay was an insult, thrown carelessly around middle school but kids as young as 10 years old. Boys needed to clarify that they were indeed not gay should they complement another boy. Girls always said you could spot a lesbian by the length of her hair. Being something other than straight was a horrible, horrible thing to be. It never made sense to me.

It didn’t add up in my head why it was bad. What was wrong if girls liked girls? How could you not, when they resembled nature itself. They were each a flower of their own, shining different types of beauty. The way their hair flows when it’s windy, the way it falls on their small shoulders like waterfalls. Their soft blushing faces, showing a hint of coral just at the tops of their cheeks as if crushed up lilies had been blown on. The way they get flustered, angry, eyes burning with white fire. The way they smooth their lipstick on, giving you thoughts unfit to be in this story. The intelligence they possessed, the ideas, the cleverness. The conversations could carry for hours on end, no matter what time of day. Understanding with them was somehow easier, it was natural. No matter how different they were from me, I could always find common ground. They coloured the world, they coloured my mind.

Maybe my mother was right. If you loved another girl, then your life was destined to be a battle. To accept to love another girl was to accept harassment, shame, confusion. To have death threats on late night subway rides, abandonment from those you thought would be there forever, to only be acceptable when it was sexual. If this is the price to pay to find something true, then so be it. I’d rather brave the storm holding her hand than play it safe. 

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