Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Outspoken Amanda Jessen

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Outspoken Amanda Jessen

Article excerpt

Before last summer, I professed to know the meaning of life. It consisted of school, friends, and that fragile reality we call "family." I strapped myself to books, took my AP tests, and prepared for the mindless perpetuation of summer days.

Then I fell in love. It was unpredictable and wholly unexpected. It wasn't, however, your typical boy meets girl, boy holds girl's hand, boy and girl have sex and become a statistic in California's tally of underage pregnancies. I fell in love with a woman. What I had internalized as preteen anxiety led to an implosion of truth. I am gay. And I am the gay daughter of an ultraconservative mother and stepfather, the gay daughter of a former Marine, the gay granddaughter of a community dignitary. All hell had broken loose.

I was sent to live with my grandmother, no longer welcome behind the facade of security known as "home." But even after hours of counseling meant to "cure" me, I remained the person who I will continue to be. …

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