Tag Archives: telenovelas

La Virgen de Oklahoma: Jane the Virgin and Flashbacks to Abstinence-Only Education in Biology Class

Jane the Virgin

I thought about staying a virgin until marriage when I was thirteen years old because I started attending a Baptist church with my best friend. She was almost two years older than me so, I figured she was wiser and she seemed very certain about remaining chaste. Sexuality, in general, was very confusing for me. For one, I didn’t want to think about sexuality. I felt trapped in a body that was not growing into itself, I felt ashamed to be in my body because of the trauma encrypted into my body at the hands of a grown man when I was a child. I was afraid that being touched meant giving away a part of myself that I could never get back. Being a virgin and “saving yourself” was a conversation I heard in church a lot. It was always about being pure for your future husband and once he gave you a diamond ring and proposed, on your wedding night, you could give him your version of a diamond ring. The both of you could stop dry humping in front of God and get to real life intercourse as God applauds at your ability to wait.
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The Fake People I’ve Loved: My Three Imaginary Feminist Boyfriends, Michele Bachmann, and Me

Illustration by Laura Cerón MeloIllustration by Laura Cerón Melo

I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)
—Sylvia Plath

The story went like this: Camilo waited for me at the park next to my house every day after school. He brought Bon Bon Bum (look it up), cigarettes, and his tongue inside my mouth. He said, Quibo, qué mas? I like you. After he left I walked two blocks north to another park where Pablo under a hoodie munched Sparkies, also smoked cigarettes (although red Marlboros, so ew), and wrote me—ME who was barely twelve—a love poem. It was heaven-like. I was twelve and totally ki-lling it. My friends envied me! Should I tell you about Darío, my third boyfriend? Darío in a leatherjacket while I stroked his greasy brown hair, a leftist revolutionary wearing Zapatista shirts, a beard, etc.… I had not one, not two, but un-dos-TRES boyfriends (I know, and there you sat thinking I was just an angry lesbian).

The next day I arrived early and giddy from so much excitement at my all-girl Catholic school. Really quick: picture nuns, picture impeccable uniform, picture Jesús bleeding from the cross everywhere you look, picture this humble narrator in a ponytail and yellow headband (the 90s mi reina). Amén. Inside the classroom I whispered to all my girlfriends about my romantic whereabouts the night before. His tongue! His mouth! His index finger! His poetry! I showed them the poem, a letter, and the plastic wrap of the Bon Bon Bum as proof of my escapades. Sometimes this was enough, and by the end of first period most of them believed my triumphant romances. Other times, some girls’ skepticism made me repeat Uva Curuba Uva until my upper lip folded into two perfect semicircles proving I was not a mouth virgin, proving I was kissed the night before.

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