“If I'm not with a butch everyone just assumes I'm straight. It's like I'm passing too, against my will. I'm sick of the world thinking I'm straight. I've worked hard to be discriminated against as a lesbian”
“I began to feel the pleasure of the weightless state between here and there.”
“everybody's scared, but if you don't let your fears stop you, that's bravery!”
“i know the difference between what i can't do and what i refuse to do!”
“You're more than just neither, honey. There's other ways to be than either-or. It's not so simple. Otherwise there wouldn't be so many people who don't fit.”
“I felt as though I was rushing into a burning building to discover the ideas I needed for my own life.(239)”
“surrenderin is unimaginably more dangerous than struggling for survival!”
“strength, like height, is measured by who you're standin next to!”
“Who was I now—woman or man? That question could never be answered as long as those were the only choices; it could never be answered if it had to be asked.”
“Never underestimate the power of fiction to tell the truth.”
“But very quickly I discovered that passing didn't just mean slipping below the surface, it meant being buried alive. I was still me on the inside, trapped in there with all my wounds and fears. But I was no longer me on the outside.”
“Are you with women who only bleed monthly on their cycles?”
“I remembered what it was like to walk a gauntlet of strangers who stare—their eyes angry, confused, intrigued. Woman or man: they are outraged that I confuse them. The punishment will follow. The only recognition I can find in their eyes is that I am “other.” I am different. I will always be different. I will never be able to nestle my skin against the comfort of sameness.”
“I’m sorry it’s had to be this hard. But if I hadn’t walked this path, who would I be? At the moment I felt at the center of my life, the dream still braided like sweetgrass in my memory. I remembered Duffy’s challenge. Imagine a world worth living in, a world worth fighting for. I closed my eyes and allowed my hopes to soar. I heard the beatings of wings nearby. I opened my eyes. A young man on a nearby rooftop released his pigeons, like dreams, into the dawn.”
“The sky was black and strewn with stars. I felt alone on the planet. I was so scared I could hardly breathe. I didn't know where I was headed. I didn't know what to do with my life. I strained to look into my future, trying to picture the road ahead of me, searching for a glimpse of who I would become.
All I could see was the night sky and the stars above me.”
“some mistakes in life are not punishable, others teach you a lesson you never forget!”
“This is what courage is. It’s not just living through the nightmare, it’s doing something with it afterward. It’s being brave enough to talk about it to other people. It’s trying to organize to change things.”
“I kept yelling at them that you were a human being, that you mattered, and it was like they weren't even listening to me. I couldn't do anything to help you and I couldn't make them take care of you the way I wanted, you know?"
I nodded. I did know. And now I knew that Duffy did too.”
“I've been going to the library, looking up our history. There's a ton of it in anthropology books, a ton of it, Ruth. We haven't always been hated. Why didn't we grow up knowing that?”
“It was over Ed's shoulder that I really saw Milli for the first time. She was standing there just looking at me. Ed glanced at Milli and then, like a good friend, Ed walked away.
I have a few mental photographs I can see in my mind's eye. One of them is Milli, hands on her hips, looking me up and down as if the bike and I were one lean machine. Her body language, the gleam in her eyes, the tease in her smile, all combined into an erotic femme challenge. Milli set the action into irresistible motion by lifting on eyebrow.”
“I’m not saying we’ll live to see some sort of paradise. But just fighting for change makes you stronger. Not hoping for anything will kill you for sure. Take a chance, Jess. You’re already wondering if the world could change. Try imagining a world worth living in, and then ask yourself if that isn’t worth fighting for. You’ve come too far to give up on hope, Jess.”
“I remembered Duffy's challenge. Imagine a world worth living in, a world worth fighting for. I closed my eyes and allowed my hopes to soar”
“From that moment on I was her butch and she was my femme.”
“Every day I saw others like me in this city—enough of us to populate our own town. But we only acknowledged each other with a furtive glance, fearful of calling attention to ourselves. Being alone in public was painful enough; two could find themselves smack in the center of an unbearable sideshow. We didn’t seem to have any of our own places to gather in community, to immerse ourselves in our own ways and our own languages.”
“Oh, Ruth. I wish we had our own words to describe ourselves, to connect us.”
Ruth stood up and opened the broiler. “I don’t need another label,” she sighed. “I just am what I am. I call myself Ruth. My mother is Ruth Anne; my grandmother was Anne. That’s who I am. That’s where I come from.”
I shrugged. “I don’t want another label either. I just wish we had words so pretty we’d go out of our way to say them out loud.”
“I put on lipstick and high heels and walk down the street arm in arm with you, Jess. This is my life, and I'm damn brave to love who I love. Don't try to take who I am away from me."
My chin trembled, "Well, what do you think's being taken away from me? What the fuck am I going to do, Theresa? Tell me, what can I do?
...I don't want to die and I don't know how to live. I'm really afraid.”
“The loneliness became more and more unbearable. I ached to be touched. I feared I was disappearing and I'd cease to exist if someone didn't touch me.”
“As she climbed down from the stage, I thought: This is what courage is. It's not just living through the nightmare, it's doing something with it afterward. It's being brave enough to talk about it to other people. It's trying to organize to change things.”
“I want to understand about change--I don't just want to be at the mercy of it. I feel like I'm waking up inside. I want to know about history. I have all this new information about people like me down through the ages, but I don't know anything about the ages.”
“It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one's self through the eyes of others... two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder”
“I was glad to see other faces and at the same time disappointed that the war had destroyed the enjoyment of the very experience of meeting people.”
“You’re still just waiting,” she said. “And so is my mom. Who’d want a lifetime of waiting?” I stared at the soft lines of her lips. “Someone who knows what it is they’re waiting for.”
“It isn’t very interesting,” my father said. “He just writes things like, ‘Today the Japanese army is closing in around the city.’ Stuff like that.”
“you’re going to do something tonight that you’ll be sorry for tomorrow morning, sleep late.” ―Henny Youngman”
“This happened after Romero accidentally locked himself in his office. Hearing the pleas, Carmack gave the knob a twist, paused, then deduced the most obvious and immediate solution. “You know,” he said, “I do have a battle-ax in my office.” Carmack had recently paid five thousand dollars for the custom-made weapon—a razor-edged hatchet like something out of Dungeons and Dragons. As the other guys gathered around chanting, “Battle-ax! Battle-ax! Battle-ax!” Carmack chopped Romero free. The splintered door remained in the hall for months.”
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