Coming Out

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Gay and Lesbian  |  House: Abandoned
Margaret Weisman comes out and finds out that not everybody is open-minded.

Submitted: January 13, 2019

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Submitted: January 13, 2019

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Hi, I’m Margaret Weisman, Maggie to my friends.  I live in Danberry, Il., don’t bother looking it up it doesn’t even appear on Google maps.  We don’t get many tourists and the people of Danberry rarely leave.  In many ways, Danberry is like a small town from the ‘50s with a malt shop and a mom and pop grocery.  A nice normal slice of America or that is what it looks like on the surface.  There are the things nobody talks about or even want to think about in the town.  Things that go bump in the night and hide under the bed and in the closet, well not literally but you understand.  This isn’t about the town or the dark secrets it hides, not directly at least this is about me.

I’m a lesbian, which as I understand it isn’t a big deal in most of the world, but in Danberry it is.  In Danberry were the weird happens, people like things to be a certain way and a girl that didn’t like wearing pretty dresses or playing with dolls is bad.  A girl that cuts all her hair off and announces she likes other girls is really bad.

I officially ‘came out’ when I was 15.  That is such a messed-up term, the whole thing is messed up if you don’t come out you are in the closet.  Why do I have to come out simply because I like girls, why can’t I just be?  All my dislike of the terms has nothing to do with what I want to tell you or at least not directly. 

So, I came out to my parents over the summer when I turned 15.  They were both supportive just not in the best ways.  My dad started talking sports to me and trying to teach me about things like fixing an engine.  I hate sports and I’m not into working on cars, but I guess he was trying which was good.  My mom became my biggest defender.  When she thought I was being discriminated against because I’m a lesbian she would attack like some rabid dog.  I was still her little girl and I guess she would have done the same if I had liked boys, but it was embarrassing at times.

By the end of summer, everybody knew, and I was dreading the first day of school.  The only thing that kept me from fake being sick was my best friends.  I had told them the day after I told my parents.  We were all meeting up at Brad’s house or his basement which was our hang out.

I came in through the basement door right into the middle of an argument between Brad and Mickey.  Mickey, I guess is our unofficial leader he is always coming up with some crazy plan or other.  I guess you could say he came from the wrong side of the tracks and he was following in his family’s footsteps.  His dad had been in prison several times, nothing big, but still, in Danberry, something like that isn’t good.  About three years before his mom had just run off, rumors were his dad killer her in a rage and disposed of the body, but nobody could prove it.  Mickey took after his mom physically, short skinny, but he had his dad’s temper when pushed or when his friends were in trouble.

Brad was a brain, straight ‘A’s in school he could hang with the other brains and do whatever the smart kids do, but he spent his time with us instead.  Whatever plan Mickey came up with Brad was the one to make it all work.  He like most of the people in this town ignored the weird and unusual in town.  If you pointed it out to him, he would come up with some logical scientifically explanation for it.  His mom had let him turn the basement into his own personal lab and our club house.  She was super cool with us hanging out here and even made sure we had plenty of snacks.  As far as I knew, Brad’s father was never part of his life, I don’t think he even knows who he is.

Stanley Crackle was the fourth member of our little group.  Stan was big for his age and working on his cousin’s farm outside of town had given him the muscles of a jock.  His dad would have loved for him to play football, but we his friends understood Stan wasn’t comfortable with his strength and was afraid of hurting somebody.  I guess he had taken enough poundings from his dad when he drank that he didn’t want to end up doing that to another person.  Mr. Crackle was never accused of child abuse, Stan covered for his dad, but us kids knew the truth.

Before the start of high school last year, we had a fifth member of our little group.  Susan O’Shae had been our friend for years, since grade school, but she had quit us for the popular kids.  It was only natural in a sick small-town high school way.  Her dad was mayor and her mom ran most of the social events in town.  To top it off she was blond-haired and blue-eyed, the perfect poster child for the image Danberry wanted to project.  Before you even think it, no I don’t have a thing for Sue, I liked her as a friend, but she had a thing for Mickey the bad boy.  It is kind of cliché, but I guess the mayor’s daughter liking the bad boy is just normal enough that the people of Danberry would have frowned about it but excepted it.

The argument was about Sue, I got that quick enough.  Seems Sue wants back into our group, but Brad didn’t.  Brad isn’t a jerk, he just had a few run ins with the popular kids and felt Sue should have stood up for him.  Mickey, on the other hand, was loyal to any he considered a friend, even when they turn on him.  Stan was staying out of it and I knew why Stan liked Sue and would have loved to have her back.  I wasn’t sure how I stood on the whole Sue issue, but I knew I had to stop this.

“I’m a lesbian,” I blurted out.

Brad and Mickey both turned to me.

“Yeah, so?”

“We have known for a while Maggie,” Mickey said with a smile.

“What do you mean you have known for a while?”

“It was just little things that added up to that, it is no big deal.  Or do you want us to make a big deal out of it,” Brad asked?

“I… I… I just want you two to stop arguing.”

Mickey laughed.  “If we continue will you confess anything else?”

“Stop it, Mickey.”  Stan joined in from across the room.

“Ok.  I have to go anyways.  I’m meeting Sue at the park.”

“Don’t come crying to us when she turns on you, Mickey.  She is no longer one of us.”

Mickey just walked out.  Once Mickey accepted you as a friend it took a lot for him to forget that bond.  He spent all summer splitting his time between us and Sue trying to get us all back together.  I went with him a few times, in the end, I guess I still saw her as a friend.  It was a tough summer for us all.

Word spread like it always does in a small town and soon everybody was looking at me weird.  I saw them whispering and casting glances at me everywhere I went.  I was feeling like a leper as the first day of school came closer.  I guess my mom noticed how bad it was for me because she offered to home school me, but that would have been too weird.

I’m not sure why I did it, but the night before the first day of school I cut my hair off.  I didn’t shave my head like Demi Moore in that one move, just cut it really short.  After a good night sleep, I looked into the mirror and realized how bad it looked.  I seriously considered climbing back into bed and pretend to be sick, but in the end, I got dressed, pulled up my hood and walked to school.

Walk in the front doors was the scariest thing I had done up to that point in my life.  I was still trying to keep my head down as an older boy bumped into me.  He was a senior and a member of the football team.  He gave me a half smile.

“If you give me a chance, I’ll fuck the dyke right out of you.”

All his buddies were laughing, and I was just too stunned to respond.  They continued down the hall laughing and high fiving the asshole.  I was just about in tears as Mickey came up, dear sweet Mickey took one look at my face and he was off like a bullet.  Mickey slammed into them throwing punches, but there were six of them and one of him.  If a teacher hadn’t put a stop to it, he would have been killed.

Mickey was sent to the nurse then home for three days, the other boys didn’t even get a slap on the wrist.  I came back to my locker after home room to find ‘Dyke’ written across it in bright red marker.  The teachers ignored the way I was being harassed which was bad enough, but Ms. Jameson, my math teacher told me that it was my fault.  After lunch, I spent eating with Brad and Stan behind the school to avoid the harassment and headed for gym class where I got the worse slap in the face.

Miss. Humphrey was waiting for me outside the locker room as I approached.  “Maggie, you need to report to the office.”

“Why?”

“You know why don’t make me say it.”

I felt hot all over like I was on fire as I stood there staring at her.  I guess I was just being dumb, but I couldn’t think of a reason why I had to go to the office.  I opened my mouth to ask, but the look on her face told me I didn’t want to push her.  I turned and walked to the office.

Principal Daniels ushered me into his office when I arrived.

“Maggie please have a seat I have to discuss a very delicate matter with you.”

Taking his seat behind the desk he avoided looking at me as he shuffled the papers on his desk nervously.  I waited as minutes passed until finally unable to wait any longer for him to speak, I cleared my throat.

“Maggie, we have a problem.  It seems many of your female classmates and their parents have voiced objections to you sharing the locker room and shower with them.”

“What?  Why?”

“It has become known you prefer girls.  By law, you can not be discriminated against because of this, but it also puts the school in an awkward position.  We couldn’t allow a boy to use the girl’s locker room and since you have…”

“I am not a boy!  I’m a girl and I am not going to molest another student in the showers!”

“Calm down Ms. Weisman.  I have no choice in this matter.  The school board held a meeting last week and decided we will have to make other arrangements for you to take your required gym classes.  Until such time as those arrangements can be made you will be in a study hall this period.”

“Will this affect my grade?”

“That depends on how long it takes us to come up with a solution.”

“I’m being punished because of some bigoted assholes!”

“Watch your language, Ms. Weisman.  You are the one that is causing this and if you want to continue with this you will have to be willing to deal with the concusses of your decisions.”

“Fuck you!”  I jumped up and stormed out of his office and the school.  I knew it was a bad choice, but I had enough.

I couldn’t hold the tears back any longer and started crying as I walked home.  I was a mess when I walked in my front door.  My mom was waiting for me and just wrapped her arms around me and held me as I cried myself out.

It turned out that Principal Daniels had called and explained things to my mom.  He had me marked sick for my afternoon classes and suggested that home schooling might be a better option for me ‘considering my situation’.  I could see in her eyes she wanted me to agree to home schooling, not for herself and my dad, but to protect me.  I took the next two days off and didn’t see my friends until Saturday morning when they showed up on my front steps.

I had decided to do the home schooling but looking at Mickey’s bruised face made me feel like a coward.  Mickey just gave me that cocky grin of his and said, “Mags this ain’t nothing.  Next time those guys will be the ones who get their asses kicked.”

Brad chuckled, “There won’t be a next time, everything that happened is against the law.  All we have to do is demand a hearing and show the school board that the law is on our side.  They will have to put a stop to it.”

Stan who avoided fights to the point many thought him a coward spoke up, “Maggie, you have to fight.  We got your back.  If anybody picks on you again I’ll bust their heads.”

I burst into tears and they rushed forward to hug me.  I had known they would stand with me, but to hear them say it was just felt so good.  I hugged them back and we all ended up crying standing there, even Mickey the tough guy was crying.

Finally, we broke apart and I told them I had to talk to my parents, I would meet them at the club house.  I went inside and called my parents into the living room.

“Mom, Dad, I’m going back to school on Monday and I want to fight this.”

“Are you sure honey, it isn’t going to be easy and it will get worse before it is over,” my dad asked?

“Yes.  If I don’t stand up who will?”

“If this is what you really want baby me and your father are behind you, Maggie.”

“It is, mom.  I won’t let them win.”

My dad insisted we call the family lawyer and get him involved and we ended up in his office discussing the situation.

The lawyer laid out our options and what we could expect the response would be.  It wasn’t pretty, but he said that we had the law on our side and in the end, we would win.  That was what I needed to hear.  He told my parents that he could petition for a hearing on my situation in front of the school board and it was required by law that we attempt to do that before taking it to court.  The problem was that the school board could postpone the hearing indefinitely which was what they would do, blocking us from filing a court case.  He suggested we ambush them at the next public meeting which was held at the beginning of each month.

I was feeling good about going back to school on Monday and when I saw my friends at Brad’s house later it got even better.  They had all switch their schedules around so they could be in my classes, even Brad who had to drop out of two honor classes.  They weren’t going to leave me on my own again.

“What about gym class?  I will still have to attend that study period alone.”

“Don’t.  Just go to gym class.  What can they do if you refuse to skip gym class?”

“Suspend me, expel me, Mickey.”

“Either one will dig the hole they are digging for themselves already deeper and expelling you will require a hearing in front of the school board,” Brad said.

“They must know they are breaking the law and will only push it so far.  You push back and they will back down,” Mickey stated.

“I don’t know.  I don’t want to make things worse.”

“When have I ever been wrong?”

“All the time, Mickey,” Stan said with a laugh.

“Yeah, he is right, Mickey you are wrong more often than right.  But in this case, I think Mickey is right Maggie.  They don’t want this to go to court so they will back off.”

I felt good about all this until I reached my locker Monday morning.  Written all over it was ‘Lesbo’, ‘Dyke’ and worse.I felt like screaming as I tried to wipe it off.  I was using the sleeve of my hoody, but all that was doing was smearing it a little when Susan came over with a paper towel and started helping me.  I stopped and looked at her and she just smiled.  I felt myself smile back as she handed me another paper towel.

We were still cleaning the graffiti off when the guys showed up.  I’m not sure why but it was suddenly like Sue had never ditched us.  She had done as the others and changed her schedule.  I still heard the other kids making comments and the teacher still ignored it, but my friends were there to support me.  When a couple of the football players made a comment to me it was Stan who punched the leader in the face.  He got three days for it, but after that nobody made those kinds of remarks about me again.

When I walked into the locker room one of the other girls hurried out and Miss. Humphrey came rushing in.  “Maggie you can’t be in here.”

“Why not?”

“You know why not.  Leave and report to your study hall.”

What happened next surprised me as much as everybody in the room.  Sue walked over and gave me a kiss on the mouth.  “Are you going to throw me out also now?”

I could see it on her face, Miss Humphrey had no problem discriminating against me, but Sue was the mayor’s daughter.  She had no idea what to do.  If she kicked only me out then any case I had was won and if you sent us both out she could end up on the wrong side of the mayor.  She stood there trying to decide what to do for a minute then shouted, “Everybody better be out in the gym in five minutes or we will be running sprints.”

As she left Sue busted out laughing.  “I thought she was going to drop dead of a heart attack when I did that.”

I just stood there unsure what to do or say.

“Come on Maggie you best get changed.”

I nodded and hurry up changing.  Good to her word, Miss Humphrey made us all run sprints the whole period since Sue and me were the only two out of the locker room in time.  The other girls wouldn’t change until I left and after class, it happened again, but Sue just laughed about it and commented on how nice it was that we had so much hot water.

We were all walking home when Sue stopped.  “I need to talk with Maggie alone, girl stuff so go on ahead.”

I could see the boys wanted to stay, they had heard about the locker room kiss, the whole school had, but they continued to walk.

“About that kiss.”

“I know you aren’t into girls Sue and besides I like you as a friend, but nothing more.”

“I was just concerned after the way you acted after it.”

“I never kissed anybody like that before and it was kind of a shock.”

“I was surprised I did it also.  I mean I was ready to argue with Miss Humphrey about her throwing you out, but I suddenly just felt that was much better.”

“You know the school has probably already called your parents.”

“I know and I’ll probably get a lecture on the proper behavior of my social standing.  They will probably even warn me about choosing my friends, but I know who my friends are and hell with proper behavior.”

We exchanged a quick hug and hurried after the boys laughing.

Things changed slowly after that day, but they did change some for better and some for worse.  By the time of the school board meeting, many of the teachers were stepping in when they saw me being harassed which saved Mickey, Stan, and even Brad from getting suspended more.  The graffiti on my locker got worse and after a while, we stopped cleaning it.  The school janitor would paint over it on the weekends, but by Friday it was covered again.  Most of the girls in my gym class stopped being such stuck-up bitches.  A few ended up changing their schedules so they wouldn’t have to shower with me.A few people tried to get on Sue after our locker room kiss, but she knew how to handle them and soon it was all but forgotten.

The school board beat us to the punch and at the meeting announced a reversal of their earlier decision.  A few parents weren’t happy about it, but many didn’t seem to care, and in typical Danberry fashion ignored the whole thing.  By the time Christmas break had rolled around three other girls and two boys had come out.  The biggest shock was when I saw Miss Humphrey wearing a gay pride wristband on the street one day.  She never wore it at school and never came out, but I think she was just scared of the reaction that would have caused.

 

 


© Copyright 2019 Ian D. Mooby. All rights reserved.

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