Disclaimer: All the normal rules apply. Do not read if you'd
be offended by material of a sexual nature; if local laws prohibit
you from reading this, read no further. Do not copy or reproduce,
in whole or in part, without permission of the author, Nicholas Nurse.
All material is copyright Nicholas Nurse 2003. All individuals
depicted are imaginary, and any resemblance to real persons or events,
express or implied, is purely coincidental.
By Nicholas Nurse
It has been a month since the attack and I am driving.
Being on the road makes me feel like I'm a part of everything, like I'm traveling along veins, or nerves, that link me to all of the other people in this world. Somewhere out there there are giant living cities of glass and steel, and in those cities are a million people, and right now I'm rushing toward them and they will welcome me as I am welcome everywhere, because I am one with them. And I'm part of this infinite living thing that is waiting for me to get there and shake those people, make them fall out of bed, take them from their torpid little lives into something brighter and greater than they have ever known.
I drive because everything around me suddenly feels so small and this helps me. It reminds me that these roads stretch everywhere and that there's never really an end, that there's always another intersection that leads to somewhere different.
And I know I need to get out. Maybe for college I'll go up to San Francisco, or even somewhere far away, to a place where no one even knows for sure where Orange County is. It won't be easier anywhere else. But I know that one way or another, I can't stay here.
The GSA club has gotten really big these days. There were a lot of kids who were outraged about what had happened, and we have three or four times the number of straight students than we do gay ones now. I like it that way. Julian's taken on the leadership role well, too. It's strange—I never would have imagined how much the fight that afternoon would have polarized things not just at school, but all over town. It was all over the papers. We were all interviewed several times; we even had to give speeches at city hall. Of course, the entire thing got dragged through court, too, and we had to be there to testify for that. As much as we'd all like to put it behind us, and as much as we have, it's taken longer than we've expected. I think emotionally, though, we've all moved on. As it turns out, the students that attacked us all got expelled, but they were able to have the criminal charges against them reduced to simple assault. They all are on three years' probation. Soon after the conviction, three of them moved out of town—I honestly think that, given all the bad press they got, they felt chased out—and that took the wind out of the others' sails.
There are still some kids who are openly hostile toward the GSA and its members. But nothing has escalated beyond the level of a few muttered or shouted insults, which we've all learned we can tolerate. If that's the worst that they throw at us, well, we have enough people that love us that anything else is small by comparison. I guess that for now we have to accept that not everyone is going to tolerate us. We have a long way to go, but every person who stands with us is one more person we can count on when push comes to shove. I still believe there will be a time when Julian's hopes will become real. That time is not now—not yet. There's still a lot of opposition out there.
But one day they'll all understand. You'll see, in time.