"The Lesbiana's Guide to Catholic School" by Sonora Reyes, Chapters 1–5

November 5, 2022
Sixteen-year-old Yamilet Flores is a queer Mexican-American girl who navigates Catholic school and first love while learning to be authentic to herself.

Here are links to our lists for the novel: Chapters 1–5, Chapters 6–12, Chapters 13–17, Chapters 18–27
It’s been way too long since I punched something, and that vanity had it coming. Stupid mirror.
I mean, I am cute— objectively—but that’s beside the point.
There’s a burning in my gut, like the crosses are trying to exorcise the gay out of me.
Part of me wants to be grateful she only told a grand total of three people about me being gay—our other friends Stefani and Chachi, and Bianca’s mom—but that part of me is way too naive.
Frankly, she could make a lot more 
money off this if she set it up a little nicer and actually put any inkling of energy into marketing her Etsy store.
Revamping her Etsy store and making an Instagram for it could be exactly what she needs.
After about an hour of deliberation, I end up going with JoyeriaFlores for both Etsy and Instagram.
I throw myself onto my bed and happily convulse, squealing loud enough for Cesar to come in all concerned.
He backs away slowly from my squealy frenzy.
“Do you like the name? Look at the sales! Isn’t that amazing? This will be my new job! I can help you with your workload and I’ll take care of all the online stuff.” I feel like I’m about to cry from pure joy. Mami must be so proud of my entrepreneurial genius.
Maybe it’s because it was basically our dad’s mantra. Dad was always outspoken about our roots, and he wanted us to be too.
He says “in lak’ech” instead of “same,” and always wears both a cross necklace and a chain with the jaguar symbol on it—for facing fears, I think. Maybe it’s his way of compensating for the fact that we haven’t had a solid connection to our ancestry since Dad left.
I roll the top of the skirt until it’s at my knee, and it makes me want to gouge my eyes out a little less.
I want to stare deadpan back at her and continue to say nothing.
I hear a couple of murmurs and hushed laughter when her hand shoots up, and I’m intrigued.
She stretches the corners of her eyes with her fingers, then stifles a giggle.
When some kid steps up to the front of the class, she nonchalantly places two pieces of paper on my desk, then walks back to hers.
Maybe I’m looking out of jealousy, and not attraction—maybe I just want to know her workout regimen.
I can easily gravitate toward people I’ve already met, instead of having to make new friends in every single class.
We’ll definitely have a backlog of orders to fill now, but that’s a good problem to have.
They’re all happily linking arms, with Karen’s borderline brownface spray tan in the coveted middle position.
"Thank you!" Jenna says emphatically, squeezing my arm.
I hate how casually she says she loves me. She doesn’t even know me.
I want to look cool and aloof, like I have friends I can text.
The years we spent as best friends didn’t matter because I must have had ulterior motives, and everything I had done now seemed creepy.
I want to comment on the pin, but I can’t bring myself to 
do it. I’m not supposed to feel any kind of solidarity based on that pin.
“Daylight. Savings. Is. Arbitrary!”
The other side is arguing for separation of church and state. Like the only way they can accept me is through excommunication. The Catholic church has no problem taking all my money, but they don’t really want me.
She left the flourishing talavera pots out to mock me, I’m sure. I wonder if she finished the garden alone or if she already got someone to replace me.
Then there’s Bo’s intoxicating laugh from across the cafeteria. She throws her head back from the powerful force of her own laughter.
So Bo is gay, and she’s okay with me knowing. Hearing Bo say it out loud sends me into an existential crisis.
My heart beats quicker, trying to catch up with my racing thoughts and internal squealing. Inevitably, I miss the rest of their argument.
It feels terrible to say, but I wish someone here believed in me. Someone more tangible.
She’s always a stickler about cursing, and she only does it herself when she’s pissed.
I don’t know if there’s such a thing as unconditional love, but I think my dad loves me and Cesar as close to unconditionally as possible.

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