I’m From Spokane, WA.

by Betty Flores-Sparks

Satellite overhead image of Washington State from Google Earth 2022

My mother hates the word bisexual. I was told several times that being a lesbian was just as acceptable as being straight. But my mother refused to allow the thought of her daughter liking more than one gender. I would tell her and she would force herself to forget just so she could attempt to drill the polar opposite concepts into my head each time.

For years I hid my relationships from her. Gaining knowledge and realizing just how widespread my spectrum of attraction could go. I went through relationship after relationship dating everything from super nerds whose only human relationships were on the Internet to football players too straight to even remember the colors of the rainbow, to would-be drag princes to straight girls testing the waters of young sexuality, until the day I finally met someone worthy of bringing home. He was the spitting illustration of the uber-masculine, teenage male. I cared about him very much and shared a similarity and connection that no other guy I’d ever been with had. He was ‘bisexual’ too. He made me feel like I wasn’t alone in my sexuality and didn’t have to be restricted to one or the other. We were so very much the same and I loved it. my mother loved the idea that I’d chosen a side finally and settled into the ideals of being a mother to a straight girl.

One day, my mother caught me in a conversation with my boyfriend about how attractive I found him in women’s clothing. Alarmed, she instantly accused me of trying to corrupt such a nice straight boy into childish confusion. When I explained how he was okay acting like a girl for me because he was into guys just as much as I was into girls, so it was okay, she became infuriated and tried to force me to call him up and break up with him because he clearly didn’t like me and was just a gay boy trying to hide the truth.

A full week of arguing took place and in the end I won, due to the fact that I was tired of trying to be forced to choose an end of the spectrum and refused to allow her to force it on anyone else. I told her to call me whatever she wanted, her opinion didn’t matter because she wasn’t me and no matter how much she wished it, she could speak her mind but couldn’t speak for me.

That was four and a half years ago. Since that day, I’ve fully accepted who I am and refused to be boxed in. I found my true family, Odyssey Youth Center and do my best to help other kids in their quest for acceptance and love. And to my surprise, my mother has begun to learn to accept my desire to love people for who they are, not what’s in their pants. As for the boy, I eventually ended my relationship with him, but we remain good friends, still sharing that loving connection we had back then.

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