I’m From Brooklyn, NY.

by Bella Gambino

Satellite overhead image of New York State from Google Earth 2022

NOTE: Sylvia’s Place is an emergency night shelter and daytime community space for homeless LGBTQ youth, 16-24, in New York City. Every story this week will by someone from Sylvia’s Place. Read my previous “Sylvia’s Place Week” post for more information about the program and stories.

Mommy bought me a new Barbie bed yesterday. She said if I was good I could go out and play. She told me if I was good, I could have the doll house to match.

She left me alone with her new friend. I didn’t like him and didn’t want to pretend. So I went to my room and played with my toys. He came and sat down and asked if I liked boys. I shake my head no and go to my own world where I dreamt of being with a girl. He didn’t like my answer very much. He calls out to me but I pretend not to see because Momma never allowed stupidity. I’m so afraid. He makes a mess. Mommy’s going to be mad.

“You’re not my dad!” I screamed.

He blacked out and was mean. I peed on myself. As he entered me, I was looking at him like a deer caught in headlights. He snatches me up. Mommy’s going to be mad. Those were brand new. Instead of stopping he only pursues. Mommy probably won’t notice or care that there’s blood everywhere.

“Mommy! Mommy!” I scream.


Fast forward.

Then rewind.

Two years later I’m in intense therapy playing care-free because Mommy loved a man more than she loved me.

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