Getting a voicemail from my mother explaining that she had found topless photos I took from nearly three years ago was the last thing I needed to hear. My mother is a devout Christian and fairly conservative black woman. She’s conservative in that she doesn’t oppose Planned Parenthood, but believes sex before marriage is a sin.
This is what Hester Prynne, from ‘The Scarlet Letter’, must have felt like when she was branded with a scarlet “A” on her chest.
My mother didn’t respond to my calls for a couple of days. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to say. This moment has reminded me of another horrifying one from my early 20s, when my mother found out I wasn’t a virgin anymore. It brought me back to the shame, the anxiety, and disappointment of embracing who I really am. But it happened and the question I ask myself is, ‘Now what?’
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