5002 – CJ Francisco

Honestly, I think I always knew.

When I was little I used to fantasize about being an adult and independent and what my life would be like then. I was always way too advanced for my age, and listening to Dr. Judy on Z100 at age 11 made sure I knew a lot more than I should have at the time about sexuality and creativity. I was raised by a single overprotective mother who stayed alone until my sisters and I were grown because she didn't want to set a bad example for us by having men hanging around the house, but when I say overprotective I mean overprotective – like no going to movies, no hanging out in front of the building, no parties, no going to the store alone, NADA!

My older sister had enough of our mom at age 18 and decided to get married and move out. Maybe she was in love or maybe she just wanted out, I don't know, only she knows for sure, but I do know she had to ask me, her 14 year-old sister, what an orgasm was. So listening to Dr. Judy paid off, but I lost my best friend. I was lonely, I was miserable. I stopped eating. I guess that's when my mom realized that if she didn't loosen her grip, I would be the next one out the door.

After that I actually started having friends and dating boys. They weren't my first choice but it was the 90s and I wasn't about to tell my whorish friends, Hey, I think I like girls – no way. So I dated around, a LOT, looking for that feeling my friends all talked about that I somehow couldn't get. But finally, I saw her. Actually I saw her again, I'd seen her once before but this time she looked different to me – like a lesbian. Not butch or anything, she had long hair, but she was wearing jeans and a fitted cap and when I saw her something in me clicked. She was just so beautiful.

My friends and I were hanging out that weekend so I invited her to come along, we were going to a straight place where my boyfriend at the time was a DJ. We were all dressed to the nines, it was that kind of place, and she showed up in her jeans and cap. A few drinks later, I asked her if she was and she said yes. I went from zero to flirt mode immediately – I wanted her, I craved her. I needed to feel her touch.

After the club we went out to eat, because honestly I didn't want the night to end, and then we made a bathroom stop. When I was done I came out with my jumpsuit unzipped in the back even though I totally knew how to close it myself and asked her to do it up for me. So she zipped me up…very slowly…and then turned me around and kissed me. Maybe I saw fireworks in that bathroom that night or maybe I just figured out who I was, but either way, I ended things with the DJ the next day.

After that we were your typical lesbian couple – couldn't get enough of each other. We were inseparable until three months into our relationship she said she had to go away for a while. I tried to convince myself that I wasn't really a lesbian, that I just liked her, that it was something about her, but I definitely didn't want to start dating boys again. So there I was, left alone in NYC with a computer and a mom who immediately told me you don't shit where you eat, and if I wanted to do anything, I would have to do it downtown in the village. They had places for that. Really, I thought…Let's do some research.

I tried a chat room first but my first one ended up being all boys and that scared me, so I decided to just club hop – Crazy Nanny's, Ruby Fruit, places like that – until I found a place where the crowd was younger and they had no problem with my lesbianism or fake ID. It was fantastic! It definitely didn't take me long to find where I was supposed to be, and I met lots of interesting and amazing women along the way.

Most importantly though, I found myself.

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