Just This Sistahs Opinion: Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day

A story about my mom…

Last week, my mother and I were watching the local 6 o’clock news. One report that grabbed our attention was a story about domestic partnership registry becoming available in our city. Now both gay and straight couples can register to be granted rights as unmarried couples or couples whose marriages or aren’t recognized under state law. Under the registry, domestic partners can make health-care and end-of-life decisions for one another, visit one another in the hospital or jail and take part in educational decisions of their children. It’s a big step for our sleepy college town.

Watching two men sign the papers to have their relationship recognized, my mother made her trademark sound of, “Mmmmmm.” It’s the noise she makes when something doesn’t agree with her (think of the “ooooh” cat from Puss in Boots, and you get the picture).

Then the next thing she said is, “You better not go up there!”

She meant City Hall to register a domestic partnership with my girlfriend.

My back was facing her, so I couldn’t see her face. But I knew my mother, in her usual fashion, was half-joking, half-serious. While my relationship is no secret to her, it doesn’t exactly motivate her to run though the streets, announcing her baby daughter has a female partner.

So I laughed and returned the joke, “I’m grown. And what are you gonna do if I do?”

To which my mom replied with a smile, “You just better not be up there.”

Despite my mother’s warning that I stay away from City Hall with a black pen in hand, I know she wants the best for me in all aspects of my life. My sexuality is still a tender spot for her (it will get better), but she loves and accepts me. As long as I’m happy, I believe that’s all she cares about.

She knows I’m happy.

No matter whom I’ve dated, her love remains unchanging. She always calls me when I don’t call her after a couple of days, threatens to stay a week with me when I’m sick, and detects even the slightest distress notes in my voice.

Most importantly, my mother prays for me. Every morning, she sits for a spell with her Bible, and her talks with God ensure her child is safe, healthy and in His hands.

My mother’s prayers, I’m sure, have kept me.

And for Mother’s Day, and all the days between, I’m thanking God for her.

Just This Sistahs Opinion is column about lesbian literature and life.

Truth Disguised by Quandi

Publisher/Date:  Lulu.com, Dec. 2008
Genre(s):  Coming of Age, Romance, Contemporary Fiction
Pages:  245
Website:  http://www.truthdisguised.ning.com

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

A woman’s appearance doesn’t define her sexuality, so dressing like a boy shouldn’t make you a lesbian, at least that’s what Francis “Frankie” Livingston believes as she struggles with her imposed identity in TRUTH DISGUISED by first-time author Quandi.

Tell that to her family and friends. They think her tomboy attire, the fact that she’s never really had a boyfriend, and masculine demeanor are signs that she loves the ladies. Frankie hears it from her mother, who boisterously disapproves of her daughter being gay because of her own demons, and from her all-boy circle of friends that accept her but wonder out loud if she likes boys or girls. Only her father and girly twin sister, Arianna, support her no matter what or whom she chooses.

That’s the thing, though. Frankie doesn’t know what she wants. She’s always felt like a man trapped in a woman’s body, but can’t say for sure that means she’s a lesbian. When her dormmate, Tasha, becomes an admirer, Frankie pursues this flirtation with reservations. She’s intrigued at being with a woman, and gives Tasha the relationship she wants, but secretly, Frankie has always held an attraction to her best friend, Maurice.

This confusion has been a life-long burden for Frankie, haunted by whom she should be and whom she should love. Society tells her one thing, but her head tells her another. It’s when serious issues arise with her family that she realizes her heart is the only thing she should listen to.

In Truth Disguised, Quandi has created an appealing heroine in conflicted Frankie. Her protagonist’s journey is enhanced by fully-fleshed supporting characters, like her parents, sister and four homeboys. Also, the “don’t judge a book by its cover” message isn’t forced on the reader. It’s only the grammatical errors that take away from the plot. I was a little sad at the ending, but it’s an eye opener for sure. A book for teens and questioning women alike, Truth Disguised proves appearances aren’t everything.

Reviewed November 2009