Because this is one of the most important essays I’ve ever written. A version of this essay appears in Dismantle: An Anthology of Writing From the VONA/Voices Writing Workshop.

Vanessa Mártir's Blog

I once punched a girl in the face for saying, “You’re dirty like your lesbian moms.” All because a boy she liked, liked me. I didn’t think about it, I just swung. Then I dared her to say it again. She didn’t. She knew better.

I was raised in a gay relationship in the 70s and 80s. Long before Heather has Two Mommies hit the mainstream in the 90s. And just a few years after the American Psychiatric Association took homosexuality off the list of mental disorders in 1973.

For years I was told that my family was living in sin. That my two mothers were immoral and disgusting and going to hell. That no one’s born gay.

Still, when I went to boarding school at 13, I didn’t tell anybody about my family. I convinced myself that I just didn’t want to deal with it. What would people say?…

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