As usual, my #SevenSentenceSunday snippet is longer than seven sentences. In this passage, we have Topher, a 21-year-old, slightly gender-fluid college student, answering some questions from his BFF’s dad about himself and the reason he’s estranged from his conservative family:
I gave him a slightly self-deprecating smirk, taking a long drink of my zin before it got warm and bitter. “Well, it’s more just giving in to the inevitable, I guess. I mean, really, look at me. I’ve been pinging gaydars since before I knew what being gay was. I flamed as a freaking toddler. I sashayed before I could walk. This isn’t just me putting on a show, it’s who I am. It would be ridiculous for me to even try to be anything else. It is what it is, you know? Might as well own it.”
“Well, it should be self-respect,” Mo said fiercely, giving me a shake. “You got nothing to be ashamed of. You’re amazing.”
I shrugged uncomfortably, leaning my head against hers, almost forgetting Mr. Gardner’s presence as Mo and I fell into that sort of exclusionary, near-telepathic best-friend’s communion. She knew that I would argue that I wasn’t ashamed, but that I just hadn’t quite figured out how to truly mean it when I held my head up high, because my entire life, people had been telling me to keep it down and stop being an embarrassment. I was still in that “fake it ’til you make it” stage, hoping genuine pride would come if I pretended confidence long enough. For now, I was relying on bravado and a complete lack of give-a-fuck to carry me through.
Saugatuck Summer is coming in May, 2014 from Riptide. As usual, this excerpt is not yet edited. Any mistakes are my own.