The Wright Women

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That evening, Abigail and Diane Wright sat in peaceful silence at the kitchen table, mother and daughter smiling tenderly at each other after finishing dinner. It was a night of reflection, the two women somberly musing over everything they had been through together, standing against the constant tide of contempt from their fellow Bellview citizens.

"We've come a long way, Mom," Abigail said to her as she leaned back in her chair. "Sure, it sucks to have the whole damn town hating our guts just because I exist and you speak out, but hey: we're still here, and still going strong."

"And the last four years have been such a struggle for us both, sweetie," Diane Wright replied. "I'm disgusted that all it took was you first coming out as gay for the people in this miserable town to turn on you. You didn't hurt a soul, but I suppose you refusing to hide anything was too much for their fragile, pathetic sensibilities to handle."

"No kidding, Mom. Getting hated for being gay was bad enough as it was, but when I came out as transgender a year ago...that was awful. People flipped out left and right like Hitler was walking the earth again. Damned ridiculous."

Abigail's refusal to keep silent about her personal truths had disproportionately provoked the rest of their hometown into painting her as a living abomination, when she had only wanted to be true to herself. Their days had become filled with turmoil as scores of strangers glared them down every day in the streets, called Abigail horrid words under their breath, and tried to shame Diane for her child's ongoing transformation. It was a battle that they both knew would never end, not on the malice-filled streets of Bellview.

Diane sighed and told her daughter, "Every day, I feel like I can't do enough to keep you safe from this town's malice, Abigail. No matter how many times I've called the school, demanding that they do something to stop that brat Grace from mistreating you, no matter how many times I go toe-to-toe arguing with the assholes who treat you like dirt, nothing gets accomplished. The scum continue to ignore my anger and look down on you. I'm so sick of it."

Abigail and Diane both frowned bitterly, and Abigail gently said to her, "Mom, you aren't responsible for these idiots being so incompetent. None of this is your fault, and you've done everything in your power to curb the crap I've dealt with. I will always appreciate how hard you've fought for me, how you've never buckled under any of this."

"That's very kind of you, sweetie, but remember...I did nearly fall to peer pressure," Diane sheepishly reminded her daughter, shifting about uncomfortably in her seat.

"Sure, Mom, but don't forget that because of what you did, those hypocrites were brought down hard," Abigail retorted, giving her mother a wide, cat-like grin.

Diane grinned back, and the two of them cackled pettily as they recalled the church drama they had left behind, a tumultuous incident that had occurred during Abigail's Fall portion of her junior year.

***

"Ms. Wright, as the Communications Director of our church's board, we all expected you to better communicate the severity of this sin to your son."

Diane Wright stood in the middle of her church's conference room, quaking before the collective glare of the rest of the committee. She had been cornered during what was supposed to be only their weekly meeting, a routine discussion to prepare for the following Sunday's service and any upcoming church events. To her terror, Pastor Rick, his wife Josie, and the Committee Director Patricia had sprung the topic of her transgender daughter on her with little warning.

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