“Kimberley likes girls, too!”
“No. She's a good girl.”
I was 14 years old, unbearably timid with a voice still only slightly above a whisper and just the mere thought of another kissing me on my usually chapped lips was overwhelming to think about, but whatever semblance of innocence I did have to the outside world at that moment was gone. I liked other girls. I was one of those girls. I was a bisexual. How could I ever be “good” again?
I liked their eyes, I liked their hair, I liked when they talked to me, especially if they were beautiful. I liked their perfume and their nails, I liked their smiles, I liked everything about them. I liked girls and I liked boys too. I wanted to love them and it hadn't dawned on me just yet what that would mean for my adult life, but that previous exchange had unknowingly gave me a rather somber glimpse. I wanted to love and be loved by them, boys and girls, and that was bad.
I am 24 years old now and I have fallen in and out and then back in love with several people. Some boys, some girls. Some were both, some were neither.
I have finished school, been diagnosed with many an illness, experienced as much as you would expect one to in a decade, but there is still one thing I see that has not changed in the days passed.
I search and search for my reflection, but I find no accurate image. I swim and I swim through the waves, but still find no sign of a welcoming shore. I read through pages and pages of stories supposedly about my “community”, my “home” but no mention of me or mines unless it is about how we are not to be counted or depended on.
We are no more than a scourge to be exiled upon admission of our misdeeds. We are only useful for a night or two, but even then, one must take precautions because our bodies and minds know no proper allegiance to anyone or anything of worth.
The masses are forced to look on in absolute horror while our poor, brave and infallible, but ultimately foolish, partners try their darnedest to make us give our elusive pledges to them and commit. To live an honest, pure life. To finally fight the good fight and “pick a damn side!”
To be on a “side” for once in our surely confusing, miserable lives. But the catch is, our flesh will be used as both the weapons and shields. We do not get to be soldiers! We are not meant to be heroes or heroines! We are simply the backdrop in the movie or the forest fire that burns the real protagonist’s hideout to cinders halfway through. We were simply not made to be the tall, handsome warrior who saves the village after a rousing speech! Because we simply aren't any “good” or at least not “good” enough.
In the next 24 years, I hope to take back what is mine. I aim to take back my words, my thoughts, my blood, my sweat and my tears. I hope we get to take back what is ours. Our words, our thoughts, our blood, our sweat, our struggles and our tears. Our history is Stonewall, our history is the bathhouses, our history is The Mother of Pride. Our history is Pride and we are fully capable of being “good”. We are bisexual and we are good. I was 14 years old when I was told that I was no good, I am 24 years old and I am one of “those” girls and I am proud but, most importantly, I know now that I am good.
Kimberley is a black American, bisexual and mentally ill woman from Long Beach, California who currently lives in The Bronx, New York, and uses writing and singing as a way to cope with and explore the world and the systems around her. She believes that our words are our most powerful gift and thus they should always be clear, concise and, most importantly, they should always come with a conscience. Her twitter handle is @msbehavedblkgrl.