Chapter Three: Pretend it's Okay

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Camila had always known she was a lesbian. She knew that it was cliché to say, "Oh, I knew since I was little that I was different." But, in Camila's case, it was true. She knew that she was different and a lesbian when she was watching a movie with her cousins. They all were fawning over Ryan Gosling, who Camila supposed was okay looking. Camila paid more attention to Rachel McAdams, who looked much more than okay looking. She looked sexy, if Camila even knew what that word meant at that young of an age. She understood completely that she was not supposed to like the girl, but the guy who spent lots of time shirtless. So, instead of voicing her opinion on Rachel McAdams' pretty face, Camila agreed with her cousins that Ryan Gosling was, in fact, a hunk.

This never changed as Camila grew older. She never learned to accept herself or fight off the homophobia with her chest puffed out. Instead, Camila collapsed under the pressure everyone put on her. Especially her family, who preached about wanting to see Camila happy, but would never allow the one thing that made her feel human.

Every single family reunion, Camila was bombarded with questions about her sexuality. She was constantly asked if she had a boyfriend, and if she said 'no', everyone would make fun of her.

"Oh, what, are you gay?" they'd ask jokingly, and then cackle, like their precious beauty queen could actually be a homosexual.

Camila soon grew use to not being able to be herself. She grew use to giggling along with them and shaking her head, because no, of course she isn't a lesbian, Abuela!

Now that Camila was in high school, it became even worse. People would often throw gay slurs across the hallway to their friends and enemies alike. If they didn't like someone's t-shirt, they'd nudge their shoulder hard enough to make them stumble, then say, "That shirt is so gay!" It was like gay was a new swear word, and Camila had never received the memo. She didn't know that she was so horrible that people used her as a way to offend people.

Why were people so scared of love and acceptance?

Camila didn't know what else to do but crack under peer pressure. Once she got through freshman year, Camila had said yes to her first date. Soon after that, Camila was having her first kiss and first boyfriend. She even had her first time having sex with a guy, which she admitted every time with a heavy heart and wide smile.

Because beauty queens couldn't be lesbians. Beauty queens couldn't have awkward first times that led to Camila crying herself to sleep. Beauty queens couldn't have horrible first dates with a random stranger she met in her first hour. Beauty queens couldn't have disgusting first kisses with too much tongue and itchy stubble.

Beauty queens had to be perfect and desirable and wanted.

Camila sighed softly as she laid on her bed, wishing that she could just be herself for once. She wished that she could get rid of her makeup, perfect life, and pretty dresses. Camila never showed up anywhere in sweatpants and a hoodie from PINK. She didn't show up anywhere bare faced. Even when people thought she was wearing no makeup, she was wearing a BB cream and some eyeliner, just to make herself presentable.

Even Camila's room was extremely fake. When the girl had turned seven, she had gotten over her pink walls and butterfly wall stickers and glitter rug and lacy bedsheets with flowers on them. But, her mom had decorated the room as a gift, and even though Camila wanted to hang up One Direction posters all over the walls and change her room colors to blue and black, she didn't want to upset her mother.

Camila bit her bottom lip as she sat up, trying to think of some way to get her mind off of what had happened earlier that day. She was so embarrassed that her and Pauly had been caught making out. But, she was a lot more embarrassed over the way Pauly had reacted to the situation. Now she was certain that Lauren was completely and utterly turned off by Camila.

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