Public disapproval over who could marry whom was an issue for Kelly’s family early on. Her father is black, and her mother is white. Kelly and her brother were bullied frequently in the small town of Guntersville Alabama. They were the only mixed race kids in town. Kelly was quiet and shy and kept to herself.
When she was 16, Kelly found a name for the identity that had been growing within her: lesbian. Her feelings had been developing for a while, but it came to fruition when she started a relationship with a girl in her class.
Kelly was confident that the hardships her parents had gone through would make them accepting of who she was growing up to be. She was wrong.
“At the time I thought that being gay that my parents being a bi-racial couple that they would be more accepting. My father had nothing to say. Til this day he hasn’t spoken about me being a lesbian. My mother freaked out. She put me in counseling to try to make me straight.”
Article continues belowThe counseling did not change Kelly, as her mother had hoped but in fact, made her more confident in who she is.
Kelly’s mother kicked her out of the house. While her father did not intervene, he divorced her mother shortly thereafter, and Kelly suspects that her mother’s behavior might have been a contributing factor. Kelly found refuge with her aunt in Huntsville, Alabama.
Kelly passed her GED, and did not see or hear from her mother for over a year. After a period, Kelly’s mother made contact again. She said she had reconsidered, and wanted to re-establish contact. Kelly was reluctant but over time, resumed sporadic communications.
Eight years ago, Kelly had moved to Florida and met a woman named Leslie.
Leslie fell in love with Kelly immediately, and had to work hard to get through the protective emotional walls that Kelly had built up. Kelly, over time, was able to trust this wonderful woman in her life and to trust that the love they shared was real.
As they quickly became soul mates, and were working towards a happy ever after in their life journeys, tragedy struck…