Sunday, June 14, 2015

The last time somebody called me a "fag"...

...was about an hour ago.

I wasn't doing anything particularly queer at the time -- unless you count deadheading marigolds while wearing a shirt with a rainbow coloured heart that reads Kill it with Kindness across the front.

Oh, and I had on that Egale Human Rights Trust rainbow wristband.

And the shirt.

And, of course, I was gardening.

I used to hear that word all the time -- daily in fact -- a little over forty years ago in an all-boys Catholic middle school. That word and "queer," "fairy," and "gay boy," pretty much everyday for two years. It was mostly because I stood out: soft spoken, polite to teachers, Protestant (in name only), good at drama and music, and bad at sports. 

The last one was a killer: Not only was I bad at hockey and football in a school that was as passionate about sports as it was about Catholicism; I had the temerity not to particularly care. 

That's right. A red-blooded Canadian boy who didn't care about hockey. That went over, as they say, like a fart in Church.

And it's a good reminder to me of what kids face everyday at school and in the community and, sadly, even in their homes. The difference between my days and their days is that the school I teach in has a GSA.

Which I co-founded.

To give kids a place to talk about stuff like this. 

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