"So there I am, it's starring at me, I'm starring at it. Thinking to myself, what the hell, it's just a book. But it's not just a book, it's my inaugural book. For the first time in my life I'm going to be reading a book where the main character is a lez. Not some best friend of the main character, not that mauve shirt who winds up killed off part way through, it's the main event.
Part of me is curious, part of me feels like I'm being bad just looking at it, but either way my hands are reaching for it right now whether I like it or not. So once I have it in my hot little hand I immediately grab something else, something to cover it with. Put on my best cool as you please attitude and head for the librarian feeling like the whole world has got it's eyes on my back. It's just a book, they won't even know what's in it if they haven't read it, and I know that logically I'm right, logically there ain't anything scary about checking out a book. For me, though, it's not just a book, it's proof, it's something that could prove I'm different.
Take it home and read it every spare moment for three days straight, hiding it under the pillow, worrying if it'll be seen. Not a single scene I can't remember in detail, though verbatim dialogue still escapes me. Get to the end and put it down, all that's in my mind is an overwhelming feeling of catharsis. Can't say as the ending wasn't happy, they certainly wound up together, but all that pain along the way, just saps it right out of me. It's like coming face to face with the crushing reality that being different is dangerous, even if they did make it through in the end. Yet at the same time, man, it's the first romance I've ever identified with. Oh I've enjoyed watching straight romance for years and intellectually I got the whole relationships, even felt good for them when they got together. That's not the same as actually identifying with a protagonist though, the sheer emotional weight when you can really understand their feelings.
So I started reading more... well I say more, as such it was only four odd books. Of course I noticed a bit of a common theme by the end of them, by the end of the story, the main character had always been ostracized by their peers. At the time I thought it was terrible, wanted more happy stories. I kind of still do. Yet, since I've been really lonely, a true outcast, I've been stuck more and more with the memories of those stories. There is just something about knowing that someone out there understands, that kind of slight glimmer of hope that maybe they understand what you're going through. Kind of feels warm, and yet still so cold."