STORIES

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“A BOY THREATENED TO RAPE MY 13-YEAR OLD DAUGHTER. I’M SCARED FOR HER FUTURE.” (IN HUFFINGTON POST)

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I’m watching Christine Blasey Ford testify in front of the world. She says she was assaulted by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who has denied the allegation. / I believe Blasey, because why would anyone put herself and her family through this kind of scrutiny and loss of privacy? Why would anyone make herself the target of hatred, including death threats? / She says she’s been forced out of her home and is now protected by bodyguards.

 

 

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“MIAMI CASTE SYSTEM” (IN THE HAVEN)

The HavenDear Ivette,I noticed you planted a hedge on the swale between your swale and our swale. I noticed you didn’t plant a hedge on the other side, which makes this hedge feel very aggressive. Also, you have to admit, your lawn is awkward now.

 

 

 

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“JEWS FOR MARY” (in P.S. I LOVE YOU)

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When I came out 27 years ago, it wasn’t easy for my Jewish mother to accept her lesbian daughter, but along came a bigger threat: I married a Catholic. / My mom called one night and without even saying hello she said, “Vicky’s religiosity is gonna seep into you; I just know it.” / “What?” / “You’re gonna become Catholic.” / “Mom!” / “You said you were jealous of the rosaries.”

 

 

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“CURSE OF BEAUTY” (IN THE RUMPUS)

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My daughter posts a bikini selfie on Instagram. Half her ass is showing. I rush to her room and swing the door open so hard the knob makes a hole in the wall. I say, “Take it down.” / My daughter is fourteen. She’s 5’5” and just over a hundred pounds. She looks like a marathon runner or a beach volleyball player, one of those women who can run across the sand in a bikini and nothing jiggles. She wears glasses and braces and her hair straightened and down to her butt. She has big, pouty lips and defined cheekbones. People say we look alike, but she is much prettier than I am—than I ever was.

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“NOT PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN” (IN THE SELKIE)

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I went to a small beach town in Mexico to rescue turtles. I took my daughter, Tashi, who’s 14, because I wanted to teach her about the world and do something good. I did a quick Google search – Volunteering Families – and then gave Tashi three choices: old people in Guatemala; a cultural tour of Cuba; turtles in Mexico. She said, “I don’t care, you decide.” / The website showed smiling volunteers releasing baby turtles into the ocean. I thought turtles would be relaxing. So I picked turtles. I paid $2,500 for me. Tashi was a bargain at $350.

 

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“SPOILED MOM” (IN MUTHA MAGAZINE)

Screen Shot 2018-08-29 at 6.56.03 PMSebastian came home from school and like every day, he barged through the door of my office, and there he was, sweaty and red-cheeked. He’s in third grade and carries a big backpack, which, seconds after he arrives, ends up on the floor, along with his sneakers. / “Grab a snack and do your homework,” I said. I motioned for him to pick up his backpack and pointed to the kitchen, where the kids do their work. Then I got back to my own work.
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SO I EXAGGERATE A LITTLE  – AM I WRONG TO JAZZ UP MY STORIES?” (IN AEON)

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Before 8 November 2016, I thought it was okay to stretch the truth in storytelling, especially if you were trying to be funny. Now, I’m not sure. / TrueStory was my Match.com handle. I don’t remember Victoria’s handle; what I remember is her picture. She’s wearing drag-queen quantities of makeup: gold swathes across her eyelids, blush from cheekbone to temple, and fuck-me red lipstick. She’s leaning forward, her white, fitted shirt is unbuttoned way down, and she’s squeezing her boobs together with her arms to exaggerate her cleavage. She looks like a hoochie mama.

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“EVERYONE OUT INCLUDING THE BABY” (IN MUTHA MAGAZINE)

Screen Shot 2018-09-07 at 5.30.51 PMBefore 8 November 2016, I thought it was okay to stretch the truth in storytelling, especially if you were trying to be funny. Now, I’m not sure. / TrueStory was my Match.com handle. I don’t remember Victoria’s handle; what I remember is her picture. She’s wearing drag-queen quantities of makeup: gold swathes across her eyelids, blush from cheekbone to temple, and fuck-me red lipstick. She’s leaning forward, her white, fitted shirt is unbuttoned way down, and she’s squeezing her boobs together with her arms to exaggerate her cleavage. She looks like a hoochie mama.

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BORN TO RUN” (IN MANIFEST STATION)

Screen Shot 2018-09-07 at 5.42.58 PMMy mom has spent her entire adult life volunteering for the Democratic Party. She’s also an artist and was also very active in the women’s movement. She was the president of the local chapter of National Organization for Women and the head of the Miami Women’s History Coalition. She campaigned for equal pay for equal work and worked so hard for the Equal Rights Amendment that I can still recite the language: Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. The amendment died in 1982. I was 14.

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“JUSTAMOTHERPHOBIA” (IN BRAIN, CHILD)

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I’m going on two hours in the waiting room at the pediatrician’s office when I send my wife an angry text, “Waiting for the pediatrician is NOT what I envisioned for my life.”

Victoria is at work. She’s a financial advisor at a prominent firm. She texts me back, “You are the most beautiful and sexy mommy.” Feels good for a second. Then I think: That’s like saying, “You look hot doing the dishes.”

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“WHO’S YOUR DADDY” (IN FOURTWONINE)

4333_andrea_bw_box-2The nurse draws up my sperm into a syringe. This is “my” sperm I bought when I was single and got pregnant with my daughter Tashi. I bought ten vials. I used two. I stored the rest for just this occasion.

For three years, Tashi and I were a team until I met the right woman to create a bigger family with me and to have our next child.

 

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“PERFECT, WITH CHILDBEARING HIPS” (IN THE NEW YORK TIMES, MODERN LOVE)

NYTSeveral years ago I went to the California Cryobank’s Web site to buy sperm. I was single and a lesbian and wanted to have a baby. I’d always wanted a family and dreamed of creating one with a partner, but I’d proved to be a love loser. When it didn’t work out with anybody, including my most recent ex (after six years of couples counseling, meditation, acupuncture, hypnosis), I gave up.

 

 

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“WHEN WE TRIED TANTRIC SEX” (IN SALON)

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Besides the usual things that get in the way of good sex — kids and busy lives — Victoria and I also have to worry about lesbian bed death. / Lesbian bed death is a common affliction caused by the lack of testosterone in lesbian relationships. Some people think homosexuality is the gateway drug to freaky sex. Like once you’ve tried same-sex sex, you’ll try anything and often. But for most lesbians I know, that’s not true. We’re pretty conventional. Even less sexual than straight people, probably, because when there’s no man forcing sex — no one’s forcing sex.

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“WHEN I FINALLY KISSED A GIRL” (IN SALON)

Screen Shot 2018-09-07 at 6.25.11 PMIn high school, I spent weekends with my best friend Janet. We cuddled and slept like spoons. I would rather do anything with Janet, even homework, than go on a date with my boyfriend, who would drive me to a spot by the canal in his mom’s checkered cab and eat me out, which I discovered was pretty great.

 

 

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UP AND DOWN: NAVIGATING THROUGH MY PREGNANCY DEPRESSION ONE KEGEL AT A TIME“ (IN XOJANE)

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 9.32.24 AMWe took the kids to a trampolinatorium — an auditorium filled with a hundred trampolines lined back-to-back. My eyes bugged out when I saw how much fun it looked. / We got suited up in slick-soled shoes and helmets, like crash-test dummies. I also wore an overnight maxi pad with wings. I didn’t have my period. This was a pee-caution. / I told my wife, Victoria, we can’t go up and down anymore and handed her a pad. She said, “I don’t need a diaper.”

 

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“MY ACCIDENTAL BRAZILIAN” (AT THE ZEPHRE THEATER IN LOS ANGELES)

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A story performed live at the Zephre Theater in Los Angeles.