March 1998

Kick A Little

"You've got to kick a little and cause a stir
Sometimes you got to make some noise to be heard
If anybody ever tried to hold you back
Yeah you got to kick a little and be tough
You go to let them know you've had enough
Remember that unless you want to finish last
You've got to kick a little"
-- "Kick A Little," Little Texas

It's been an OK month. I did well on all of my mid-years except for English, which I bombed (as I expected; most of my class bombed it too; at least I passed). One day a week ago, I had four studies because so many teachers were out; I read "The Old Man and the Sea" because I had nothing else to do; good book. And I've spurred my school into doing some consideration about the "James Article" as it has come to be called.

Last month, I mentioned that I had to write three essays for my application to Simon's Rock College. One of the essays was an formal letter to a public official; the letter was to be about an issue which I felt deserved more public attention. I chose the obvious: I wrote to the High School's principal about the school administration's apparent ignorance of my article. In the letter, I didn't say that it was my article and I did not say that I was gay. I did sign my name to it, however.

One morning while sitting in Algebra taking a quiz on matrices, the intercom came on; the principal asked if I was there and if he could see me. My teacher said that I was taking a quiz, but that she would send me down after I was done. Though I could have finished the quiz in about five minutes, I took my time finishing it, because I knew why the principal wanted to see me: he had received my letter. I wasn't sure what to expect and I became extremely nervous; not thinking, I began reciting the "Litany Against Fear" from "Dune" to myself: "I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."

After I finished the quiz, my teacher signed a pass for me, and I wondered the halls for a bit before I finally went down to the office. When I finally went to the office, and then got into the principal's inner office, he told me that he had received my letter, blah, blah, blah. It took him forever to get to the point and I was still very nervous. Though I did not identify myself as being gay in the letter, I think he assumed I was. Before he got to his point, he asked me if I was "James." I still hadn't figured out if this conversation was going to turn into a preaching session about how homosexuality is wrong or if the principal was actually going to do something in response to the article, so I told him that I wasn't. Anyway, he finally got to his point. His point was that he doubts there is much he can do to change the student's views on the subject (in my head, I thought: "That's why you get speakers and such to come in and at least TRY to change their views."), but at the March faculty meeting, there will be a speaker to speak to the faculty about the subject.

I think my school is taking steps in the right direction. It might still be a while before this insular, little town accepts homosexuality and diversity in general, but at least it has started down that road. Currently, the editor of the school paper (whom I am out to, though he is not gay himself) and I are trying to get information together to try to get the principal to change his mind about the inability to change the students' minds and also to get some things written into the discrimination policy.

On a side note: I saw "Good Will Hunting" today. Matt Damon is such a hottie! Anyway, I understood the story, but I didn't understand what the movie was supposed to be about! I know that sounds strange, but I walked out of the theater with the strange sense of: well, that was a good movie, but I didn't get it. Does anyone who has seen it, get it? Email, please, if you do!

Until next month,


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