When I was in the 9th grade my home room teacher called me a fag. The day before, in an attempt to raise money for school activities, the teachers had been auctioned off. The students bid on them. If you won a teacher in the auction then they had to be your assistant for the day (I’m using the word ‘assistant’ instead of the word that was actually used in the auction). Anyway, it was all in poor taste. At least I thought so. Nobody else seemed to mind. They were all idiots.
My home room teacher, Mrs. ‘I can’t remember her name because she was a complete moron and her name is not worth remembering’ was bought be this guy named Barry. Barry was an obnoxious nincompoop. During home room, he went up to Mrs. ICRHNBSWACMAHNINWR and whispered something in her ear. She got up from her desk and walked over to me. She sat in my lap. She started stroking my hair. And then in a mocking gay voice said, “Robert, you are such a fag”.
Most of the class burst out into laughter. Whatever bitches.
Later, that same week, I got 3 licks in gym glass because I wouldn’t jump on the trampoline. I’m not going to fall off of that thing and break my neck. The gym teacher said, “Either jump on the trampoline or get 3 licks”. I didn’t want to jump on the stupid trampoline. So, I took the licks. Better a sore butt than a broken neck. Fuck you gym teacher.
My whole 9th grade year was pretty much like that. Horrid. I got used to it though. It became my life.
Great. First the school and now my mother.
I didn’t go around acting like an obnoxious little gay kid. Most of the time I acted ‘normal’. At least I thought so. Sometimes it would just happen though. The way I walked. My reaction to a certain situation. The way I talked.
I was just being me. It was the only me I knew.
School Counselor: Robert, you really need to work on fitting in. Cooperating. Participating. Work on being…
Don’t you dare say a good citizen.
a team player.
Why on earth would I want to be a team player? I’m always the penultimate or the last pick in any gym class sport or school activity. Nobody wants me to be in their group. They call me names and make fun of me. What sane person wants to participate in THAT nonsense?
Team player? Phooey! Screw you and your team player crap.
1972. The year that I decided that society sucked.
I knew other kids just like me. Most of them were so desparately trying to fit it. The wanted to be accepted and belong. They wanted to join that big claustrophobic traffic jam of acceptance. OMG people. Snap out of it. If you want to join that enormous herd of unoriginality and lose whatever imagination you may have, then go right ahead.
Not me. I wasn’t purposely NOT trying to fit in. I just didn’t want to be somebody I was not. If I don’t like Activity A then why should I pretend that I do? If I like Activity B, but everyone else thinks that it’s a waste of time, or pointless, or not cool, then why should I stop? Just because people said I should?
When I entered the 10th grade I decided to try and fit in a little more. I participated in team activities. I even acted like I cared. The operative work being ‘acted’. I could not care less if you become student council vice president or not, but I will help you in your campaign. That’s what good citizens and team players do.
That’s pretty much how I am today. The participation is a pretense. It’s an act. I smile and say ‘Go Team’. But deep down inside I’m still that 14 year old kid who was called a fag by an ostensibly responsible and mature adult. The one who doesn’t really fit in. Slightly different. Not one of the crowd. But, I suppose that everybody is like that. Everybody has a similar story. I guess I’m not that different after all.