So this smallish sixth grade boy (i’m in 9th grade. ouo) was told by the driver to sit in my seat on the ride home from school. Note: i’d never met this kid in my life…
so, He was talking with his other friends, doing those jokey-kid things like “you have to answer my question with yes or no” then asking questions about random things and laughing at the outcomes because they alwasys seemed embarrasing for kids to have to answer.
Well, he got to a question about lesbian/gay people: “Do your parents know you’re gay/lesbian??” (depending on the person’s gender) he asked the kids in surrounding seats. They all either said yes or no then hurriedly shook their head, some saying “NO no!! I’m not, I swear!”
he commonly replied with, “OH YOU FAG!!!! HAHAH!”
and then he turned around and asked me, and instead of replying, I said, “Why is being gay or lesbian an insult?”
and he replied, “because… that means you like guys! or a girl likes girls!!! Ew!!! People like that are sick. my parents told me.”
then i asked him, “do you agree with them? what if two boys really, really love each other?”
he stared at me like I was nuts. “when a girl and a boy love each other, it’s not considered ‘sick’,” I said, trying to reason.
he looked at me in an inquisitive way, then answered, “But.. my parents also told me that in the Bible, it says that being gay is wrong. So —”
i interuppted, “what if there was no religion? just love, and whoever fell in love fell in love. Would you still think it was gross for two people of the same gender to like each other that way?”
he didn’t answer, but I didn’t pressure him. He stopped asking kids questions to the other kids, but asked me about five minutes later, “what about Bi people? they just like whoever they want.”
and I smiled, and said, “yeah. everyone has their own way of.. you know, doing stuff, and in this instance, it’s to do with loving other people.”
he just kinda squinted at me, trying to understand (i think)
so i contunied, “did you know there are more ways for people to identify than gay or lesiban or bisexual?”
he shook his head. I’m pretty sure the kids beside us were listening too, so I just whispered. “so, there’s gay, and lesbian, and bisexual,” I explained. “but sometimes, people feel that they should be a different gender. it’s in their heart that they want to change sex, so they do. they’re called transgender.”
I let that sink in, then he nodded. “that’s when they get surgery.”
I nodded. “then, there’s asexual. they don’t want to… you know, love anyone more than just being friends. there’s more, but I have to get off now.”
he had tilted his head in thought, and I smiled again. He moved to let me get out, and waved when I was walking along the sidewalk to my house. I waved back.
I think ive done some good in the world of homophobic sixth graders…