Deborah Rinehart (also known in poetry circles as Mother Tarantula!), 21, of York PA, has been a friend of mine from the poetry scene for several years now. I ran into her last night during a lecture I was doing at a local college and I was thrilled with the chance to catch up with her and see how her writing has evolved. Turns out she as a person has evolved tremendously in just a few short years, and not just in her writing!
I have been blessed, but not every story has a similar happy-go-loving family vibe of acceptance. Deby has done an amazing job of creating a ‘family of heart’ but as she admits, it can be a challenge when you don’t come from a supportive background.
I’m currently in school working on a business degree. I want to end up with a bachelor’s and open a business that allows me to help young people through their hard times by giving them somewhere they can truly be themselves. I might study psychology in the future as it has always been an interest of mine to understand other people and help them with their problems. I feel like being open to understanding different situations gives me better insight on how to deal healthily with my own problems. I want to publish a book of poetry and a novel about the crazy story that is my life someday. I like writing, working hard to support myself and being there for the people who need me.
I am bisexual. I first told my parents when I was about 15, but dated (or at least what 13-year-olds considered dating) a girl when I was 13. I knew I liked girls from about the second grade.. they were always much nicer and more attractive to me than boys. It was really scary because I wasn’t allowed to date at the time, let alone date a girl. My father was a strict religious man. When I did tell my parents, they laughed at me and told me to “go to my room” with that “nonsense.” It hurt really bad because it was then at 15 I knew that I could never truly be myself around the people that gave me life. I didn’t have very many friends at the time either.
My first boyfriend happened at the same time my first girlfriend happened. I wanted to have them both at the same time…this being way before sex got into the picture. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t have one of each… Whether that made me greedy or naive, I just wanted to love and be loved in return. I made the decision to be with the boy to satisfy the scenario my parents saw fit. It back fired because that’s how I found out my dad was also prejudice, as the boy I dated was black.
None of my family really gets involved in my life enough to even know that I’m bisexual. I don’t think a single family member has ever had a conversation with me about anything as personal as something like that which is crazy because I feel like a family oriented person.. but I’ve come to know that blood is not what makes someone family to me
My friends love me for the caring, awkward, strange thing that I am and love me for me. I am not shy to exposing my orientation to anyone. If they don’t like it, they don’t like it. It doesn’t change who I am. If I could ever get one message across to everyone to understand, it would be this: who we have sex with does NOT make us who we are. Unless you’re in Hollywood. Then it totally matters who you’re knockin’ boots with. LOL.
I think the biggest thing I’ve learned since coming to know what bisexuality really is, is that for me, love is not about how we have sex or what we look like with someone. It’s how we feel when we’re with them. If it’s meant to be, you feel it. Same with race, religion.. all of that. If I’m happy with you, that’s the only place i want to be. I hate all the bad things that come with being a bisexual girl… you’re always looked at like you don’t know what you want or that you just want attention. I’m over here like man, I just wanna be loved. But everyone feels like that I guess.