Red, for Nina Packebush

409408_10150556777897444_313418522_nRed, For Nina Packebush

With Love from Ariel Gore


Teen pregnancy makes girls gay, Nina says.

And years later the statisticians agree.

They study these things, you know.

The bean counters in the government and the bean counters at the institutes for public health and the bean counters at the think tanks on public policy…

To them, we’re all beans.

We’re all something to be studied.

We’re something to be counted.

Me and Nina and everybody else.

Every flesh and blood body that bends and grows where they don’t want us to grow.

They say teen pregnancy is “every threat to Western Civilization”—all our bellies of blood and bellies of new bodies will be Western Civ’s downfall–and they’re ALL ABOUT Western Civ and the way they don’t want it to fall.

They’re not sure why teen pregnancy is such an intense threat–why it’s so terrifying to them, why it repulses them to their core, why it has to be stopped, but it does–

It’s like communism.

It’s like debt.

It’s like harlots.

It’s like blood.

It’s everything red.

The color of shame.

They say we’re a drain on the economy or they say our kids will suffer all this horrible damage from listening to PJ Harvey or whatever, but those things are lies.

The bean counters are on television now. They’re freaking the fuck out. They thought they had us in the tower, no door and no stairs and still somehow they wake up every morning and more of everything is red.

They want to talk about prevention so they want to find out what’s making us pregnant–besides the obvious. And it turns out it’s not quite what Nina says about pregnancy making girls gay, it’s the other way around.

Gay makes us pregnant.

You can believe it or not but kids who say they’re gay or lesbian or bi or queer are two to seven times more likely to get pregnant or father a baby than the straight kids.999434_10151619119652444_1235330858_n

No, really.

It’s funny, right?

It’s fucking hilarious. I’m laughing until I’m bleeding.

I mean, the one thing they thought they could count on with the gays is that they weren’t going to breed, right?

Keep counting.

It gets better: They forgot to count the gay kids who didn’t even know they were gay kids yet. Because we all get pregnant way more often than the straight kids. That’s what Nina says. She says, I had no idea I was gay when I got pregnant. I just knew I was a freak.

I knew I didn’t fit in.

I knew I wasn’t boy crazy.

I knew lipstick and dresses felt like drag.

Lipstick and dresses never felt like drag to me, but I’m with Nina and everything is red.

I’m with Alli and everything is red.

I’m with Bella, and I’m with Cherry, and I’m with Sal, and I’m with Chris, and I’m with Alex, and everything–I’m telling you everything–is red.

They’re trying to study us, but we keep dropping out.

They’re trying to study us, but we keep slipping out of the tower.

They’re trying to study us, but they don’t want to touch us. Nina and me, we scare them.380709_10150641868762444_724738417_n

And right here right now Nina and me don’t even know each other yet.

Nina and Alli and Bella and Cherry and Sal and Chris and Alex and me, we don’t even know each other yet.

Because that’s the way marriage works. And that’s the way the suburbs work.

We keep slipping out of our windows at night, but so far we just wander the dark streets and we think we’re alone, revolutionary armies of one, our babies at our tits, and we don’t know why this compulsion to paint everything red.

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on “Red, for Nina Packebush
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