author – activist – faculty – mom
For full novel description, see About Aya’s novel-in-progress:
Jody had known she was queer since she had known that boys had different things between their legs than girls, but the thing the boys had didn’t seem very interesting. It just hung there. Where was the mystery in that? However, her small Christian town in Missouri didn’t seem like the place to go around telling people about her intense curiosity about other girls, so she kept it to herself, except for long nights of playing doctor with her girlfriends during sleepovers.
She played sports all through school. In junior high and high school, she was on just about every team. And she always had a “best friend” who was around all the time. She even brought some of her girlfriends to church. One Sunday, she and her high school girlfriend, AnnaLee, held hands and squeezed each other’s fingers and smiled when the reverend promised that fornicators, adulterers, murderers and homosexuals would surely burn in hell.
“I won’t mind if you’re there,” Jody said.
“I’ll bring the suntan lotion,” AnnaLee agreed.
Unfortunately, Jody and AnnaLee got outed their senior year. Of course, it wasn’t a big shock to anyone at that point. They were always together. Never dated boys. They played every sport and had bodies like rocks. But they were slender, long-haired, feminine. People hadn’t quite realized it because they didn’t want to believe.
“A waste,” some of the boys at school said. Several of them even cornered AnnaLee in the girls’ locker room at school and tried to “cure” her. They might have raped her, but a gym teacher came by and broke it up.
However, the next day at school, Jody got in a fight with one of the boys. He called her a dirty dyke, and insisted that AnnaLee really wanted him. Jody went crazy and started beating the kid’s ass. The vice principal broke it up, brought the two of them into the office, and called both sets of parents.
Years later, when telling Marisol the story, Jody always maintained that her parents were more upset about being embarrassed than anything else. Maybe if she had continued as the obvious don’t-ask-don’t-tell tomboy. Maybe if she had let the rumors go and ignored them. Maybe if she had come to her parents, confessed, and pretended to “repent” they would have borne it like the stoic Protestants they were. But not this. Not this roughneck daughter beating up the mayor’s son. Not this unrepentant little sodomite. So they threw her out of the house.
“Get thee behind me, Satan,” her mother shrieked as her eldest daughter walked down the porch steps with a backpack of her earthly possessions and two hundred and seventy-eight dollars in her pocket, and her little sister screaming, crying: “Jody, don’t go! I love you Jody, don’t go!”