birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Liar Girl

I was born a girl. I was to be named “Natalia” but my parents thought it was too exotic. So they stuck me with Emily. I wore pink overalls and had ringlet curls. My aunt called me “a dollbaby.” I grew up with two younger sisters. We raced the neighborhood boys. Cropped out hair and vandalized construction sites. My legs were scared from constantly picking scabs. I was dirty, rough, wild and ended up being prescribed three different medications for ADHD, Generalized Anxiety Disporder and dyslexia.

When I was stabbed in the arm and got #2 lead imbedded into my flesh my mom decided to pull me out of school. I missed half of 7th grade. And sex education. New state, new city, new school. New girl. I grew my hair out and shopped at the Gap and American Eagle. I went to parties and flirted with boys. Teenage girl. The girl who lied. I was 18 when I finally told my family I liked girls. I was born a girl who loved girls.


We've Come a Long Way?