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June 5, 2015

Story as Light

Amanda Sapir on stage

Amanda Sapir ©

Amanda Sapir on stage

Amanda Sapir ©

“God, I think I might be a homosexual. Whatever the case may be, can you let me know? I don’t like being confused. And also, do you approve?”

I remember saying a prayer my first year of college a few days after my 19th birthday. I saw a beautiful woman on campus smiling warmly and with autumn sunlight illuminating the curls in her hair. Her nickname was “Peaches” in honor of her being crowned “Peach Queen” in her agricultural hometown’s “Peach Queen Pageant”. When I saw Peaches I immediately felt an attraction.

I am a spiritual and praying person and consider my relationship to the universe—Holy spirit—God as central to my life. Naturally then, I said my prayer amidst my other prayers and peacefully fell asleep.

The next day I woke up and headed to the language lab to watch a video for my Spanish class, a telenovela called, “Destinos” or, fate. I asked the lab assistant for the video I needed.   She told me another student had just checked it out, “You can just watch it with her though. She just started it,” and directed me to the viewing room. I opened the door and lo and behold, that student was none other than Peaches. I looked upward and thought to myself, “Thanks, God.”

We talked and talked through the video and decided to go to a lecture together featuring Cornel West and Michael Lerner. After the lecture we talked into the early morning hours. Around 6 a.m. we decided to be girlfriends, without having even kissed. We finally parted ways with a hug and agreement to meet up later in the day after telling our friends about our new relationship. I cannot imagine a more sweet first experience than the one with Peaches. Twenty years later, we are still good friends.

On June 5, in honor of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, I will stand up in front of hundreds of people at Washington, D.C.’s 9:30 Club and tell a story for SpeakeasyDC’s “Out/Spoken: Queer, Questioning, Bold, and Proud” show. The story I will tell is not quite this one about Peaches, but about what my mother told me when I told her about Peaches, “I’ve been through this before. I had a gay mother”. My story is about making an offering to the brave souls who traveled rockier paths to make a more illuminated and loving one for us.

SpeakeasyDC is a non-profit organization whose mission is to turn good stories into great performances. SpeakeasyDC’s mission is based on a belief that the the shared experience of telling and hearing well-crafted and well-performed personal stories promotes compassion and community, and deepens an understanding of the self, the other and the world—just what I hope telling my story accomplishes.


Amanda Sapir is a writer, storyteller, and lover of humanity who moved to the District from Tucson, Arizona. She and her canine soulmate, a boy named Wanda, wag their tails in DuPont Circle where they enjoy nice pets from the woman they belong to and futile squirrel chases.