Bitch Is the New Black



From Chapter 3, “The Beatitudes of St. Clair” :

Looking back, it’s understandable why one day I would point her attention to Leviticus, Chapter 18, Verse 20: “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.”

No one had showed me this particular passage beforehand in an effort to sneakily gauge our wickedness. Frances’s status was like the sixth finger that gets yanked off otherwise perfect babies: people see the small but noticeable bump on your pinky, but no one says, “Hey, you’re technically mutated.” Everyone knew. Once, before bedtime at my new best friend Melissa’s, her mother nailed on an addendum on the Lord’s prayer that Frances would “find a man, oh please Lord.” The real miracle was that I succeeded in keeping my head down, looking devout without suffering church giggles. I’d been reading the Bible before bedtime, inducing nightmares that involved sulfur, hot pokers, pillars of salt, and/or the violent gauging of eyes. If Hell had a mascot, I figured it’d be me — illegitimate aberration that I was.

To my limited knowledge, none of my friends knew that Frances was a gay. I carried around our status as lesbians — her by choice, me by association — like a bedazzled scarlet “A.” Someone might notice while Frances helped the normal mothers pass out Rice Krispies Treats or when she bared her unshaven legs at one of my Little League games.

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