Candace 26 & Autumn 29. Angleton, TX.

Candace 26 & Autumn 29.  Angleton, TX - June 21, 2014

Candace and Autumn

Rachel: The first question is your name, and your age, and where you live]

Candace: Candace, 26, Angleton, TX.

R: How would you describe it here?

C: One street.  It’s very small very quiet.

R: What about this part of Texas?  If you were gonna describe it to someone who’s never been here before…

C:  It’s green.  Like I said, there’s one street.  It’s very small.  I don’t know how to describe it better than that.  You’ve got a Kroger.  You’ve got a Walmart.

Autumn:  What about this part of Texas though?

C:  Oh, this part of Texas?  I don’t know, like, hot?  [laughter] Like, what do you want to know?  I don’t know.  Google it!

[laughter]

Ed's Snow Cones - Autumn & Candace's business in Angleton, TX

Ed’s Snow Cones – Autumn & Candace’s business in Angleton, TX

Candace: Candace, 26, Angleton, TX.

R: How would you describe it here?

C: One street.  It’s very small very quiet.

R: What about this part of Texas?  If you were gonna describe it to someone who’s never been here before…

C:  It’s green.  Like I said, there’s one street.  It’s very small.  I don’t know how to describe it better than that.  You’ve got a Kroger.  You’ve got a Walmart.

Autumn:  What about this part of Texas though?

C:  Oh, this part of Texas?  I don’t know, like, hot?  [laughter] Like, what do you want to know?  I don’t know.  Google it!

[laughter]

 

R: How do you identify?

C:  As a girl.  As a gay girl.  As a gay amazing girl.  That’s pretty much it.

R: Where were you born and what was your childhood like?

C: I was born in El Paso, TX and it was fantastic, it really was.

R: So what was fantastic about it?  Did you have siblings?  What did your parents do?

C: I have two younger brothers.  My dad is a store manager.  For like, my childhood, my mom was a stay at home mom.  And it was just great.  It was just alot of us just doing family stuff.  It was just really fun.  I don’t know.  I have really cool brothers.  We got to play alot together.  So, my childhood was filled with alot of Barbies, and alot of pink.

R: Really?

C: Really.  Alot of pink

[laughter]

A: Really.

C:  And I loved my Barbies.  I had the most amazing Barbie house ever.

________________

Rachel: When did you first know you were queer?

Autumn:  I had a crush on a girl that I knew in Elementary school.  I didn’t really know that it was a crush, but I was just like intensely interested in everything that she did, and um, she ended up moving back to East Texas and I was broken-hearted.  I actually found her on Facebook as an adult and I confessed to her.

Candace:  Stalker!

A:  No!  She had been my friend.  We were friends.  And I was like, “Do you know that you were my first crush?”

And she was like, “That’s the sweetest thing anyone’s ever told me, including my husband.”

And I was like, “Well, thats…”

C:  You like how she added the husband part in?  Like whoa, bitch, this is off limits.

[laughter]

A:  So that was probably weird, but she enjoyed it.  She thought it was cute.

C:  [laughing] yeah I don’t think you know what that word means, cute.

A:  But yeah I guess in elementary school.

R: What was your coming out experience like?

A:  Mine was really long and drawn out because I was convinced that my parents would hate me for all time, because they were so much older and they were country.  And like…my mom, is a wonderful human being and I have never ever heard her say any racist slurs anywhere.  My dad is the opposite.  My dad was racist, and would say ugly words.  He didn’t so much as I got older, but when I was young, like pretty much the whole family was backwoods, backwards hillbillies, you know?

So I was worried about my dad being ugly about it, and even though my mom is completely accepting of everyone else’s, I also felt like she would be upset if it were me.  Which she did, sort of believe that I was in a super long phase, but I think she’s finally given up on that.  So I kind of dragged it out, like literally everybody else knew before my parents found out.  I didn’t tell my parents until I was an adult.  Like, we had started dating, so I was like, what?  I was like 26 or 27 and I told my dad first because he was having an open heart procedure, and the last time he’d had the same procedure his heart stopped on the operating table.  And I was like, oh my god Dad’s gonna die.  I need to tell him before he dies, I’m really upset about this.

So, I wrote him like a eight page long letter and I have really really terrible handwriting and he forgot his reading glasses at the hospital.  So it was basically a lot of like him holding the paper so far away I was practically standing across the hall holding it for him.  And he was like, “I don’t, I don’t know what this word is, I can’t read this, I actually can’t read this word.”

And I’d have to be like, “It says blah, blah, blah” and then like turn away really fast cause I didn’t want to watch him read the letter.  And at the very end of the letter he’s like “I know that you’re a lesbian.  I’ve known this for some time now.”  And then I started crying, because it’s pent up emotion. And then he was confused and did the Dad thing and was like, “Wait, wait, I don’t understand why you’re crying.  Can you stop crying?  It’s fine.  Everything’s fine!  Please stop crying.”  And I was like “Ahhhh.  I thought you would hate me!”  He was more upset that I thought that he would feel that way than anything else.  He was like “Why would you think that?”

And so then, when I came out to my mom, it was kinda funny, in a not funny way, because it was my niece’s birthday.  And the whole family was over and Candace was with me and I was like “We’re just gonna go, because I have to go to her party anyway.”  You know it was just a cake and family kind of thing.  “I was like you’re gonna come with me.  We’re just gonna introduce you as my girlfriend and we’re just gonna bite the bullet and go with it.”  Right?  But she was sick, she had like a cold or something and she was miserable.  And like five minutes away from my sister’s house I realized, oh my god, my mom’s gonna be there and I don’t know how my mom’s gonna handle this, cause she’s kinda wackadoo right?  So now I’m freaking out, and now Candace is freaking out, and we’re all in the car panicking together.

C:  Being sick and panicking.

A:  Sick and panicking.  And so when we pulled up into my sisters driveway.  I called my Dad on his phone and I was like “Come out, Come outside!  Dad.  Come out into the driveway, I don’t care what you have to say, just come outside.”  So Dad comes outside.

He was like “What’s wrong?”

I was like, “Mom’s in there.”

He was like, “Yeah, no shit, your mom’s in there.”

And I was like, “but Mom doesn’t know yet.”

And, Dad was like super country, and he was from Arkansas, and he had a really thick accent. And he was really tall and hairy and bald and he had a huge pot belly.  And he always wore denim everything:  the denim work shirts, the denim jeans, you know, the work boots, the whole nine yards.

And he leaned his arm on the window of my pick up truck and he was like, “Sugar, let me tell you something.  You can either go back in the closet.” Which I was appalled to hear my Dad use the phrase back in the closet, I was like how do you even know that?  You’re like seventy years old.  He was like, “Sugar, you can either go back in the closet, or you can go in there balls to the wall, and you can say ‘THIS is my girlfriend, dammit, and if you don’t like it:  That’s tough!!!”

And I was like “Did you just say balls?” Like I was so horrified that my dad had just said that to me.

He was like, “Them’s your choices.  I’m goin back inside.  See y’all in a minute.”

Candace and Autumn at the Gulf

Candace and Autumn at the Gulf

 


This is an excerpt of our June 21, 2014 interview with Autumn and Candace in their living room in Angleton, TX.