Author's note: This is a wildcard story! It’s pretty short and kinda different from my usual, but I’m trying it out! This is in a made up planet called Serratura, millions of years in the future, in an alternate reality similar to earth. I am an ally of the LGBTQ community and will support anyone coming out. Thank you to Isaac who proofread!! Enjoy!:D
“Nana?” A small girl asks.
“What are those marks on your arm?”
Elsie’s grandmother, Eliza, sighs and puts down her book, reaching for her granddaughter's small hands.
“Elsie? Hasn't mommy talked about the queer execution?” Eliza asks, trying to keep her voice steady as the memories creep up.
Elsie shakes her head, her blonde braids hitting her face as she does so.
“Well, on Serratura, about 60 years ago, there was an outburst. People were angry at others because of who they loved.”
“Why did the people get mad?”
“The people were mad because they disagreed with people who loved their same gender. Do you understand?”
Elsie shakes her head, and the woman sighs, smiling and nodding.
“That’s alright, maybe we leave this for a conversation between you and your mommy.”
Elsie pouts and climbs onto the musty couch, plopping down next to her nana.
“Please? You’re better at telling things.”
Eliza sighs and nods again.
“Ok. I’ll try to make this easy to understand.”
Elsie nods and squirms onto her side, resting her head onto her nanas lap.
“You know how your mommy loves your daddy?” She asks.
“That is a girl loving a boy. That is what some people call ‘normal’. However, we don't get to choose who someone loves. When your mommy told me she loved your daddy, I was happy for her. She was so happy with her life and was ready to spend it with your daddy. I can't control who mommy loves. Mommy can love anyone she wants. Boy or girl.”
“Girls can love girls?” Elsie squeaks.
“Absolutely sweet pea. And boys can love boys. You get to choose who you love, and if you find a girl when you grow up that you fall in love with. I will never stop you, because it is completely fine to love whoever you want. Ok? You remember that.”
Elsie nods and pulls up a tattered green blanket.
“Back then, there were people who didn't like the people who liked their same gender. Some of them were afraid of girls liking girls, and boys liking boys.”
“Why are they afraid? Those people are still human.”
“I don't know, sweet pea,” Eliza whispers, “I dont know.”
“Those people, who were afraid of girls liking girls, and boys liking boys, were sometimes referred to as homophobes. They thought it was inhumane to like your same gender. So, those homophobes started acting out in violence.”
“What does that mean, Nana?”
Eliza glances down at her wrist and swallows down the tears rising in her throat.
“They didn't think that those people who loved their same gender deserved to live. So they tried to hurt and kill those people. It was like a war. And by the end, some people didn't even know why it started.”
Eliza sighs and takes a shaky breath.
“I was at a parade one time. All the people who supported same gender love were walking around the streets, talking, laughing, people even made fun posters, and we thought maybe the war and violence had settled. Halfway through the parade, a mob of homophobes approached my group that I had been walking with. They-they attacked us. Told us we had no right being on this planet. Told us we were aliens.”
Elsie gasps and sits up.
“I was eleven years old when that happened. Only 5 years older than you. I planned on telling my parents later that night that I thought I was interested in girls. I was too afraid after that.”
Eliza raises her hand and quickly wipes away a stubborn tear that had started to roll down her rosy cheek.
“Can you promise me something sweet pea?”
Elsie nods, playing with Eliza’s dark brown curls that rested neatly on her shoulders.
“I need you to promise me, you will never judge someone for who they love, or how they look, or anything else. Ok?”
Elsie bits her lip and cocks her head.
“But what if I don't like how someone looks?”
Eliza straightens her back and squeezes one of Elsie’s hands.
“You keep that to yourself. Just because someone looks different from you doesn’t mean they are an amazing person. Just because a boy likes boys instead of girls, doesn’t mean he won't grow up to be a wonderful young man. Right? Do you remember when there were those kids at the park that made fun of you? How did that make you feel?”
Elsie looks at her feet.
“Sad.” She whimpers.
“Exactly. If you went up to a man who was married to another man and told them something mean, how do you think that would make them feel?”
“Sad,” she repeats.
“Our world was able to get over that homophobic stage and teach those people who sought violence right from wrong because we learned to look past looks, and religions, and who people are attracted to. Because that shouldn't matter. God makes us our own special selves, right? So criticizing and judging people is like criticizing God’s work.”
Elsie nods and her eyelids flutter closed as she lays her head back on Eliza’s lap.
“I promise Nana. I won't criticize God’s work. I’ll be nice.”
Eliza nods as Elsies breathing gets heavier. Eliza rubs the scars on her wrist, remembering the searing pain from the barbed wire whips. Eliza squeezed her eyes shut and pushed away the memories and the pain, trying to run away from the past.
After the attacks on Eliza’s group, she went home and shut herself in her room.
Later that night, 11-year-old Eliza Bakari vowed to bring change and promised herself that her children would live in a diverse world where everything was welcome. She prayed to God for his guidance on her journey, as she tried to pave the way for new generations, wanting no one to go through what she had just hours ago.
Eliza opens her eyes and her lips twitch upwards.
She had kept her promise. Elsie would live as a little girl, free to make her own decisions and follow whatever path she chose.