I’m From Fall River, MA.

by Emily Borges

State Satellite overhead image from Google Earth 2022

Feeling alive, feeling free.

Growing up in Fall River was partially easy at times. Certain times were harder. By harder I mean listening to people say constantly, “That bitch should come out of the closet already.” That hurt the most, during my middle school times. Growing up I knew there was something different about me. I sure as hell felt it. I never knew what the word “gay” meant or really what it was. I was 13 and entering the 8th grade. I never knew what to expect going into a new grade every year. Something about this year felt different.

The previous year I met a girl named Catherine. I could tell that I was drawn to her the way I was supposed to be drawn to a boy. After going through my class schedule for the year, I ended up having I think two or three classes with her. Entering the eighth grade was also hard because of a broken ankle I had. If someone had an injury, you would always have to have a buddy. Who do you think was mine? Yes, Catherine was my buddy. We grew closer and closer every day. I was that girl who pondered about what it would be like to date her, or hold her hand.

As the year went by, April vacation came along, and by this time we already started having weekly sleepovers. I went on vacation, to Disney. When I left I felt like something was missing. I called her every night, usually resulting into tears, and the genuine words “I miss you.” We talked every day and my face and hands we’re glued to my phone. I was always talking to her, hearing my dad tell me to put the phone away was hard and frustrating, but I never listened. I had to talk to her.  I was just starting to realize what that word “Gay” meant. It felt so perfect. I liked women and I knew it. We made a dare with each other, to see if she would actually kiss me when I arrived home. I lost that dare, flat out lost. I told her she wouldn’t do it. She did. That was my first kiss, and her first kiss with a woman. It felt like it lasted forever. Not minutes, but hours. That moment in my life was so special. I don’t think anyone had ever made me feel that way before, because clearly they didn’t. As of May 6th, 2009, Catherine was mine.

A few weeks went by, and I went to my adjustment counselor at school and I told her I needed to tell my parents that I was a lesbian. I didn’t know how. I felt like I was too young. I kept saying in my head, what if they don’t love me anymore, or what if they won’t accept me. I was literally shaking in my socks! When I arrived home, I remember doing my homework, then my chores, then just doing whatever around the house and in my room. Waiting seemed to be taking forever. I wanted my mom to come home already so I can get the weight which was sitting heavily off of my shoulders.  The only thing about actually coming out was sitting on my bed and constantly repeating, “I can’t tell you.”  Of course, like every parent they would throw assumptions at you, and guess what was wrong. The one that will always stick with me was my mom asking, “Are you pregnant?” After she said that all I could do was laugh and just roll my eyes, thinking to myself that was the complete opposite. She then found it out, and said “Do you like women?” I looked at her and then nodded. The weight was suddenly gone, it disappeared. My parents just looked at me and said that they loved me no matter what, and where in life I went. That moment was so sentimental to me. It was perfect.

I’m now in my senior year of high school. I’m 17 years old. I’ve been out as a lesbian for four years. I’ve never been happier. I was with Catherine for almost two years. She’s moved on, and now so have I. Again, I could not be any happier with my life. I’m thankful, so very thankful for my parents being as accepting as they are.

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