A boy I knew from the block led me to the terrace of my home, where he convinced me to engage in a childish game of sexual exploration.
Something happened during that playful sexual moment that thrilled me and terrified me at the same time. I realized, with undeniable clarity, that what I liked was not what “boys are supposed to” like. Time slowed down, as I tried frantically to process this new information about myself.
It was at that exact moment that my father caught us. Our pants were down, the boy was pressed against my back.
My father’s stern voice mixed with my embarrassed nakedness, with all my conflicting emotions about my discovered self, to metastasize into a paralyzing wave of shame.
I was eight years old.