I’m From Dubuque, IA.

by Sarah A.

State Satellite overhead image from Google Earth 2022

There’s something you should know about me: I’m a liar.

Don’t judge me. Because if the first thing you should know about me is that I’m a liar, the second is that I’m a teacher, and the third that I’m a lesbian.

I teach at a middle school, and most of the girls are in their boy crazy stage. “Chris Brown is so cute!” they say, and I lie and say sure he is. And when a student comes to me in tears over the death of a sibling in a gang fight, he asks me if life is going to get better, and I lie and say, yes it definitely is. Students ask if going to college will guarantee them a good job and a better life, and I lie and say, of course it will. “When are you getting married?” they ask me, and instead of saying, “when it’s legal” I lie and laugh and say I’m too busy caring about them. “I saw you at the movies with your friend, Ms. A” they say, and I lie and don’t correct them.

“Where do you go to church?” the other teachers ask me, and I lie and say I’m looking for one. “Was that your boyfriend at the concert?” they prod, and I lie by not telling them that “he” is a “she.” “I’m so glad we don’t have any of them homos in this school. They’re gonna ruin this country” they say over lunch in the teachers lounge, and in fear for my job I lie by staying silent and walking out of the room.

“Too busy to date then, are you?” my father asks me on his way out to the garage, and I lie and say that I’m focused on work. “Just hasn’t found the right man yet,” my mother says while she puts dinner on the table and I lie and say he’s out there somewhere. “How long has it been since you were in a relationship?” my sister asks me when we take my nephew to the park, and I lie and say senior year in college. “That friend of yours seems like a nice girl” my aunt comments on an email, and I lie by not telling her that the nice girl and I are having amazing sex.

“I’m getting married!” my friend says, and I lie by not telling her I think she is making a huge mistake. “We really need to get together, it’s been too long. I’ll call you soon.” An old friend says, and I lie by not pointing out that, no she probably won’t. “Don’t you miss those good old times?” a guy I knew in high school asks over Facebook, and I lie and simply agree.

I go out clubbing and dance with cute girls. And sometimes we talk, or grope or kiss, and when they ask me to call them, I lie and say that I will. I cuddle in bed with my girlfriend and she talks about the future and a beach wedding and kids and she asks me if I’m scared, and I lie and say that I’m not. And then when it inevitably ends and we go our separate ways, she says we’ll stay friends, and I lie and play along. And when my friends come over with Ben and Jerry’s to tend to my broken heart, I lie and say that I’m not heartbroken, that it’s no big deal, that I’m not discouraged. When my married friends say that the right person is out there somewhere, I lie and say that I’m sure that she is.

But then when I’ve left my classroom, and walked out of my school building, when the rest of my family is 3 rooms away and my friends, gay and straight, have all gone home, my brother comes over, or calls or IMs, and after saying hello, he asks, “So how was your date with that girl from the thing?” and I tell him that it was great, or crap, funny or lame or whatever it actually was, because–and this is what keeps me going–I don’t have to lie to him.

Sharing your story can change someone's life. Interested in learning more?