For boys like you, there always has to be a plan.

It isn’t until we’re parked that I realize where we are. It’s dark outside the car and freezing cold. It’s October, early October, but colder than it should be. We’re at the top of a circle drive in a little neighborhood park I’ve only been to once or twice before. The neighborhood park a few miles north of the post office and the fire station and the public middle school. It’s a good choice. Empty, secluded. Private.

He picked the spot. He made the whole plan and I followed suit. He’s done this before, a few times. I haven’t. He’s…

I thought my mother was the only barrier keeping me from reconciling my identity — but I missed something bigger

Photo courtesy of author

When I was 10 or 11, I went to my mom, forehead creased with confusion, and asked: “Mom, am I White?”

She barely held down a laugh as she reminded me, “Well, honey, you’re not Black.”

My mom brings this story up a lot, one of many in her arsenal of favorite anecdotes about my childhood. Long after I forget about the interaction altogether, the story lives on in comic infamy. I didn’t know what I was asking, and she didn’t know how to answer.

As I get older, I dissect my own intentions and I start to understand. I’m…

Johnny Alvarez

queer latinx writer & filmmaker / midwest original, west coast trespasser / ig & twitter @ jmigalv

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