I discovered I am queer the same way I discovered I am kinky – by reading erotica. I started reading erotica when I found a book in the home of the teacher who hired me to clean her already clean house so she could give me some money of my own (since I was 17 my welfare benefits for me and my child went to my mom and she never shared beyond necessity). Weekly I was alone in this big fancy house and I admit I snooped. I was a 17 year old with stars in my eyes for a beautiful teacher with speckled eyes who treated me like a person. I was curious about her.
When I found the erotica book I was fascinated because I had only ever seen my stepdad’s porn magazines. It was not a surprise that the writing appealed to my literary mind. What was surprising was my body’s response to the couple of stories that featured women exclusively. They turned me on more intensely than the heteronormative stories. When I moved out on my own two years later, I started buying erotica books and that’s how I came across the lesbian vampire stories that turned me toward kink.
The first time I kissed a girl I was 20 and partying with friends. I was drunk and so was she. But my next encounter with a woman was life changing. I first noticed her and her girlfriend as they lived in an apartment across the sidewalk from mine. I would see them coming and going when my curtains were open. She was tall, taller than me, which is rarity. She had long curly black hair, pale skin, and she dressed and held herself like like a goth queen. I was mesmerized. Eventually they moved out and I didn’t see her for months, until we started attending the same weekly queer dance party at the one dance club in town. And she no longer had a girlfriend that I could tell. She came with two men, a tall lanky goth boy and a husky Viking.
So I got brave and I wrote her a poem. I gave it to her one night as she was leaving. She went outside and then returned and kissed me. We dated and went to the local Pride event together, which was everything to my young queer heart.
What came after is a complicated history with someone who is now the longest member of my chosen family. She introduced me to queerness, kink, polyamory, and witchcraft. She spoke to my daughter in the womb and they still have a special something between them. She was my first woman love and will always hold a beloved place in my heart.
Image: portrait taken by a friend when I was pregnant with my daughter. I was 6 months pregnant when I approached the woman in the club.