i love for the

I just had an amazing night. I love my kids, and it breaks my heart that I must say goodbye to them in the morning.

For the last night, I made the executive decision to completely disregard bedtime. For two and a half hours, I talked with a group of 12-13 year old boys about their feelings. The prompt was, “What’s an obstacle you have or want to overcome?” The resulting discussion was moving enough that I can probably survive through the election season with hope and love for humanity intact.

These boys are probably going to remember this night for the rest of their lives. They loved it - the chance to be vulnerable and honest and entirely themselves. They were brave and supportive and honest and kind, and they relished the ability to trust each other.

And so did I, honestly. I opened up to them about my complicated relationship with masculinity and the difficulty I have finding ‘my place’ as a trans man. They accepted me wholeheartedly and expressed feeling honored that I would trust them with something so personal. Encouraged by my vulnerability, one boy confessed to still wetting the bed. Two others chimed in with the same confession. We spent half an hour discussing how important it is not to judge people for things they cannot control, and then the boys elected to go around sharing their most embarrassing bed wetting experiences. They cried, laughed, hugged each other, and moved on. Others talked about how they use wackiness as a defense mechanism, how they felt they were trying to grow up too quickly and don’t know how to slow down, the identity struggles of having white adoptive parents, how early childhood traumas still haunt them, how they felt insecure about puberty and don’t know how to relate to their bodies, how mental illness affects how teachers treat them, and how they fear that their school friendships are disingenuous and shallow and not the rewarding relationships they truly desire.

It was amazing. There were group hugs, sudden outbursts of inspired words of solidarity, professions of appreciation and love of camp and how cathartic it is to be able to talk like this without fear. A few decided on the spot that they wanted to become camp counselors someday so that they could give kids the experience that I had given them. I… might have teared up a bit, just a little. I’d had similar talks last summer, but never so long, never so deep, and never with so much universal respect and affection.

Even if all I did was subtly guide it, I can rest easy knowing I did something right this week.

You deserve the love you keep trying to give the world.

ok but consider this:

  • lance with dimples
  • every time lance makes a terrible pun keith gets ready to roll his eyes but then he looks up and sees that cheeky grin and those goddamn dimples and he just dies
  • that’s it keith is dead rest in fucking pieces keith
  • and then he tries to retort but just ends up stuttering and stomping away out of embarrassment
  • of course being the sharp dudebro he is lance puts two and two together and realizes that puns!!! must be keith’s true weakness
  • so lance gets all up in keith’s bidness i.e. his face esp because keith is trying to avoid looking at him at all costs, and when keith mutters “i can’t even look at you right now” well he’s not lying it’s just not in the way that you think lance
  • 1000 puns later and keith is just exhausted from the torture of lance’s really bad puns and really adorable dimples
  • so finally he decides he has to shut him up somehow and so when lance is in the middle of delivering his punchline about chocolate bars or something keith grips lance’s cheeks, squishes, and plants a clumsy flustered kiss on him
  • when he pulls away the smile is successfully wiped off lance’s face which means so are those fuckcing dimples ha take that you fucking lance
  • except cue a big dazed goofy grin spreading across lance’s face that made his dimples eVEN MORE NOTICEABLE ABORT ABORT “fffuck” they’re both messes
  • a giggling lance: w what was that for
  • “your puns are unbearable and you needed to be stopped”
  • “hheheehhhe u know what else ‘s unbearable”
  • “don't—”
  • “that i can bearly make a pun without you making a face”
  • “lance”
  • “oh come on just bear with me”
  • “uuUGGghHH”
  • “♪but you still wanna kiss me♪”
  • well he’s not wrong
  • “i can’t bearlieve this is happening right now”
  • “that’s it I’m leaving”
2

“if i let you know i’m here for you
maybe you’ll love yourself like i love you”