Have you ever felt not quite right in your own skin? What about in your family or community? I struggle with those kinds of feelings all the time. I have not reconciled myself with how I look (fat) or how I feel (fat and slow) or how I think other people see me. It is not a comfortable situation, ever. Basically, I have zero self-confidence about my looks. I love the way that I am…my personality and how I interact with people. I’m kind (most of the time, just don’t piss me off online…), I’m funny, I’m smart (unless you give me a math problem then, I’ll freak out), I care about other people. I wish that I could have the confidence of some of the fictional characters I’ve met over the years. When the negative thought bombard me, sometimes, I close my eyes, breathe in and out slowly and count the good things about myself. Just breathe… The main character in my latest awesome read is one such person.
Juliet is from a predominantly Puerto Rican neighborhood in the Bronx. She’s short and thick and sassy and…gay. She’s been in a relationship with her college roommate her family thinks is just her bff. She is an amazing writer and an avid reader. Her latest obsession is the Pussy book by famed author Harlowe Brisbane, the guru for all things female and gay. In response to the book, she wrote a long, passionate letter to the author in hopes of becoming her research assistant for the summer. It worked, she was on her way to Portland…a thick, brown-skinned girl from the Bronx amid a see of white! It’s all hippies, weed, crystals, and a whole, unfamiliar vocabulary describing gayness that makes her feel out of place. Still, Harlowe is amazing…right up until she isn’t. The fallout from her betrayal leads Juliet to question everything about herself, her family, her girlfriend, and what it means to be a gay woman.
Whether you are a gay woman or not, we can all learn much about who we are and what we stand for from Juliet! Kudos to author Gabby Rivera for writing such a powerful, funny, beautiful character! We need more like her.