Of course, there was Prism. Cynthia discovered the rainbow postcard while waiting to be seated at a restaurant. She slipped it into her pocket while her parents weren’t paying attention, which was easy since they barely seemed to notice her. She hadn’t been yet, only looked at the number and thought of going. She didn’t know if she would be able to do it. How could she explain to her parents? She would need a ride, which was hard to get, and then she’d need some explanation as to why she was going there. She thought of saying it was a social justice club or something, but she knew that her mother wouldn’t understand. She would probably wonder why Cynthia would go to this group outside of school, but wouldn’t join any clubs that the school offered. So she kept putting it off, waiting for the right moment, and pondering if it was even worth it. She avoided thinking about it until one Thursday after school. She stepped out into the snowy weather. It was cold and bitter. The snow came down slowly, mere ice crystals dancing in the light.
She hadn’t gone more than three steps when a snarky voice called out from behind her, “Hey Cynthia, where’re you going dyke?”
Cynthia flinched at the hateful words. She didn’t turn around, but her step faltered. The owner of the voice obviously noticed because there was laughter and then, “Going to meet your girlfriend?”
Cynthia stopped and slowly turned around. It was a girl in her grade who took two classes with her. Two other girls stood nearby. Her boyfriend stood with his arm slung across her shoulder. Cynthia didn’t know the girl's name, or who the other girls were, but she knew the boyfriend. His name was Joel and he had lived on her block when they were little. She remembered they used to play together sometimes, but then he’d moved away and she hadn’t seen much of him after that. When she’d started high school she’d seen him walking down the hall and had gone to talk to him. It had been brief and he’d seemed in a hurry to get away. That was before anyone had started rumors about her. He simply didn’t have time. Now he leered nastily as the girls giggled and his girlfriend said, “Why don’t you take a picture? It’ll last longer and then I wouldn’t have to endure you stripping me with your eyes.”
Cynthia blinked back tears. Her throat ached and she wanted so badly to scream at them to shut up and leave her alone. She knew she wouldn't though because she couldn’t bring herself to do it. She knew whatever she said would come out wrong and only give them ammunition. Instead she turned and walked away, their screeching giggles following after her.
“She just needs to get laid,” she heard Joel say before she was out of ear shot.
She hated it and wanted to make them shut up. Her stomach hurt from thinking about it. She didn’t know if she was a lesbian, or whatever, but she hated that everyone else had decided she was and that it was so completely wrong. But it couldn’t be wrong because it felt so normal to her. Unless she was abnormal, which she questioned every day.