Warning: This story doesn't contain any sex. It's the story of gay teens. None of the characters are based on real people, nor are they meant to resemble any living or dead people.

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I want to thank everyone who has emailed. I also want to thank those who have read the story. It means a lot hearing from you. Please continue reading! There is a lot more to come. I own all rights to this story.

Chuck B.

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Copyright 2010, 2011, 2012

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Chapter 12


It's practice, a week after the coach's announcement about my sexuality.I very much feel like I'm not welcome. What coach said two days ago means nothing to them, because they are choosing to direct their hate at me without making homophobic comments.They're simply choosing to ignore me; to give me the cold shoulder. Not every single guy on the team is acting out against me, but there are enough that it's extremely rough on me. I just don't understand them at all.


I get the feelings that I'm not wanted around here.It's not enough that Scottie has torn away from me, now at least ten of the guys have decided to walk away from me, too. My skills haven't diminished, but with the coach's announcement, I've been singled out. Without them saying a thing, I know this mess isn't going to end well.Someone on the team is going to raise a stink and my sexuality is going to be on center stage.How do I fight against it?I can't and that stinks.


What hurts the most is being left out of the locker room discussions. Since Scottie and I are Mormons, the other guys have learned to respect us and they tend to keep the typical locker room talk to themselves. I've not been invited out for the victory pizza or to the guy's houses for our weekly movie night. I've heard at least one guy say that he's sticking around to see how the ending turns out in this little saga. Forget that he's on the wrestling team, forget that he should be here to improve his skills; instead he's here to see me either booted off or kept on the team.


For six years, I've been on this team and I've struggled with keeping my weight up to par and I've worked hard to get to the skill level that I'm at.My place on this team doesn't come from me being gay. It's my skill that landed me here. I would have quit a long time ago if I sucked at this sport. The point is that I don't suck. With the help of the other guys, this team could make it to sectionals, and then on to state. How can we make it there if we're a team divided?We won't be able to, that's for sure. How is the team going to accomplish anything for the rest of the year?I wonder how practice is going to go today. Something is wrong with this team.


Why is it okay for a girl to wrestle but not me? Three years ago, we had a girl decide that she wanted to join the team. Naomi is one tough girl.In three years, she has really come a long way. There are guys on the team who have lost in practice matches with her. Still, they would rather have her on the team than me.She has been very supportive of me while some of the guys on the team have walked away from me.


As I'm walking to my third hour class, Coach pulls me aside.I have no idea what he wants, and to be honest, I'm worried. He might be ready for me to step down from the team.


"Thompson, I need to know what your intentions are as far as your time on this team goes."


What does he mean `my intentions'? I intend to wrestle.


"Coach Stevens, I plan to wrestle."


I saw a smile come across his face. His right hand patted me on the back and I knew that I had said the right thing. He handed me a pass and sent me on my way. Coach must have had this planned. Great, what other joys await me today? I can't wait to find out.


My next joy came just before lunch. Principal Barnes got on the PA and called me down to the office immediately. My stomach and my heart both dropped. I've never been in his office and so this call to go there is a bit troubling.I entered the school office and let the office secretary know that I've arrived. She sent me into Barnes' office. He was already sitting behind his desk.


"Seth, it looks like you have a pretty clean record. I have in front of me a petition signed by members of your wrestling team asking that I remove you from the team on the grounds of your sexuality. I've wrestled with it for a couple days now, and I can't reach a sound decision.I know Coach Stevens talked to you before I called you down and I know how you answered him.Should I remove you from the team?"


"Principal Barnes, I'm not the top wrestler on the team, but I am one of the best wrestlers on the team.My skills on the mat haven't changed; I'm just as rough, just as tough. My sexuality changes nothing. It's their own fears that are causing the problems.Sir, I want to keep wrestling."


He didn't smile like Coach Stevens did, which bothered me.


"Seth, this petition is signed by at least 13 of your team members.I have looked at your stats and looked at the team's record over this year and last year. Between you and me, I don't want to pull you from this team.Coach Stevens has made it known that he will fight for you. I trust his judgment, so I'm going to let you stay for now, but if this gets bigger, then I may have to pull you. You can return to your class."


I can't believe this! He's really considering removing me from the team. If enough people yell "fag" then I'm gone. It's not fair, but I suppose that's the way things are around here.


"Seth, you can go back to class."


"Thanks, sir."


I refuse to drop to the level of my teammates. I'm willing to fight for my team. I would even support the guys who currently cannot support me.



A few weeks later the school paper came out. During lunch, I sat down and started reading the paper.As I reached the back pages, I found a most disturbing thing. What I found was a letter from someone on the team to the team and the rest of the school.


"Dear Wrestling Team, I am on your team, but I won't be if the gay kid stays on the team. I won't participate in any practices and I won't come to any meets. I don't care if my record gets ruined or not.I'm asking my fellow teammates to boycott the team.


Signed Someone"


I couldn't believe that someone actually wrote this for the newspaper.I should have known that this might happen; I just didn't want to admit it.Devin and Paige showed up to talk.They sat down next to me.


"Hey man, are you taking this seriously or are you blowing it off?"


I was not sure how to reply to Devin's question. On one hand, I'm pretty sure that the writer was being quite serious. Knowing what the team is like, this letter could incite major problems for me and for the team.I was scared at the moment.


"I'm taking this as seriously as I can. Come on, you know how the team has been treating me, I have to take this seriously."


Paige was quiet, but she was staring long and hard at Scottie. I wish that she would stop.


"So are you quitting the team?"


This question was pretty easy for me to answer. Apparently, it's not a popular stance around here.


"Come on, what would I get out of quitting the team. I have to stay on the team or the guys who signed the petition win and I lose big time."


"Good for you!" Paige smiled.


"You're brave, that's for sure... really, truly brave."


I think Devin is wrong. I don't feel brave. My knees were shaking when I first read the letter. I just wish that my life would return to normal.


"Thanks." I said to my best friends.


I know that they will always be there for me, no matter what happens.I saw the principal enter the cafeteria carrying a copy of the school newspaper. There are so many emotions welling up inside of me now.I want to make a run for it.


"We need to go out and do something."


Devin and Paige looked at me and just beamed. It was the first time that I had suggested going out to do something in almost three weeks. We were dismissed from the lunch room by the bell. I headed straight to my locker and then up to my next class.



I was sitting my in class when I got called down to see Principal Barnes.On the way down to his office, I kept thinking about that letter to the editor. I'm pretty sure Principal Barnes wants to talk to me about this letter. Who knows, there might be something else going on that I don't know about.I just wish that I could push a button and erase that letter and the memory of it from everyone who has read it or heard of it. When I entered the school office, Principal Barnes was standing in the doorway of his office.


"Thompson, my office, right now."


As I entered his office, I took a deep breath and sat down.He sat down behind his desk and wasn't smiling.


"Mr. Thompson, I have a problem. Apparently, I have some parents threatening to remove their child from my wrestling program if I allow you to continue wrestling. At this point I have to meet with your coach and reach a decision as to whether I will allow you to continue to be on the team or not. If he says no, then I am sorry, but I have to protect the school."


Right now, I am beyond mad. If I believed in cussing then right now I would be filling the air with swear words.How can he remove me from the program?Doesn't my devotion to the program mean anything? Shouldn't this decision be up to me?


"I've never talked back to any teachers, I've always followed the instructions of my coaches, and you, but I will fight this, even if I have to go to the school board."


He wasn't happy and that's fine with me.


"Well, if that is what you have to do, then that is what you have to do."


"It is what I have to do in order to show everyone that I haven't changed."


Apparently, I do have to prove it.Once again, I'm ready to just cave and let them win. I'm not sure what to do.Will the school board actually listen to me?


"I've said everything that I needed to say so you can go back to class."


"Thanks, Mr. Barnes."


I stood up and left his office feeling betrayed.



I found myself struggling with the feelings of anger in me.Doesn't he know that I'm an asset to the team? I know that I don't make or break the team, but I am co-captain. There is no way in hell that I'm going to lose my spot on this team just for being gay.I feel bad for the people who hate me at the moment, because while they're hating me, they're hurting themselves. Hopefully, Principal Barnes realizes that I am going to the school board if I get removed from the team. All I can do now is wait for him and Coach Stevens to come to an agreement.I hope that their agreement allows me to stay on the team. I just don't want to deal with any more hate.



I'm sitting in my gym class when one of the guys in my class taps me on the shoulder.


"Are you really going to talk to the school board?"


What the heck? The only person who knows about that is Principal Barnes. Who else was told about my decision?


"Yeah, if I get kicked off the team, then I am going to take my case to the school board."


With any luck, they'll listen to me. I wonder who else knows my plans.


"Best of luck, man!" the kid in my class said to me as he finished getting ready for class.




I just wanted to get to the end of the day.



The day ended and I can't wait to get to practice. I'm going to assume that no news is good news.Man, I hope that I'm right.I make the walk down to the wrestling room.When I get there, Coach is already in the room. He didn't look happy as he stood there looking at a paper. There are only 5 other members of the team in the room. I wonder what the other guys are doing. Coach didn't leave us wondering for long.


"I'm sure you've noticed the absence of a few of your teammates.They decided to boycott practice as long as Thompson stays on the team. Personally, I say more power to Seth. By the way, if you talk to your missing friends, you can tell them that they aren't welcome at tomorrow's meet."


We went through practice and even with us missing teammates, Coach led us through our regular two hour practice.After practice, Coach sent us home after we showered. I couldn't get over the fact that members of the team actually joined with the sender of the letter.


When I arrive at home, I walked into the kitchen to grab something to eat, but I can't erase the struggles in my mind from my face. Of course, Mom sees it, but there is also a look of aggravation on her face.


"Mom, what's wrong?"


She walked into the living room and then called me to join her.Her voice sounded like she meant it too, and I wasn't about to ignore her. Mom was standing near the phone. She had her finger resting on the answering machine's play button. I watched as she put pressure on the button.


"Do you want to hear what I've heard today?"


It was too late for me to walk away or pretend that I wasn't interested in what she had heard. The digital recording was already beginning to play.

The first one came in at 1:47 pm, today.


"Seth, you little faggot quit the team or the team will end up paying the price."


It was hard to pinpoint the voice exactly, but I knew that it belonged to one of the guys on the team. The expression on my mom's face sank when she heard that message. It was followed by another message this one coming in at 1:55 pm.


"Thompson, you've ruined the team. Good job, gay boy!"


Mom seemed to be even more upset.


"I already know your answer, but I want to hear it from you.Do you really want to stay on the team?Is it important enough to go through this harassment?"


"Mom, I want to stay on the team."


"I guess I've heard all that I needed to hear."


She picked up her car keys and walked to front door.


"Let's go, young man, I want to have a word with someone at your school."


I followed right behind her. Mom is hot and I can see it both in her face and in her body language.



Mom drove me back to the school, determined to talk to someone about the phone calls. Once we got to the school, Mom got out and walked up to the front doors. The doors are locked and no one is in the office, but as we turned to walk to the car, I heard someone approaching us.I turned around to see who it was and saw Coach Stevens. Turning back to my mom I said, "Coach Stevens is right behind us."She turned around and faced Coach.Her face said it all and I think Coach Stevens could see the rage building up inside of her.


"Mrs. Thompson, can I help you?"


Thank goodness mom didn't jump all over him.


"Yes, you can, Mr. Stevens. I received a couple of phone calls today in which Seth was called several names and each one asked for him to quit the team."


Coach Stevens looked at me and gave me a questioning look.I knew what he wanted to know.He wanted to know if what my mom said is true.


"Sir, I wasn't sure about both voices, but one of them was Trent Rivers."




"Yes sir!"


Mom wasn't ready to go home just yet.


"Coach Stevens, I am coming to school tomorrow to talk with Principal Barnes.I want these boys punished and I won't allow my son to quit your team."


"Mrs. Thompson, I won't let your son quit my team either, and I have and will fight for him. Each of my boys is worth fighting for."


"Thank you, I greatly appreciate your time and dedication to my son and this team."



The rest of the night was spent with my family. We had dinner and relaxed. I worked on my homework. Spent some time just jamming with my CD collection and sang at the top of my lungs.It wasn't a picture-perfect day, but I came away from it with a very different view of my coach.I've got no doubts that the team will rebound and go on to do great things.


The next day, the world smiled at me. Mom must have called early and set up an appointment with Principal Barnes.I'm slightly amazed that Barnes agreed to this meeting. Perhaps he is just as eager to remedy the situation; either that or he doesn't want another angry parent on his case. Around 9:15, the office secretary came on the PA and called both Mr. Stevens and me to Principal Barnes' Office. I entered the school office only to see my mom sitting in one of the chairs. Together, we entered Principal Barnes' office.Principal Barnes stood up and greeted us.


"Mrs. Thompson, Seth, come in and sit down."


We sat down and then he sat down too. A few seconds later Coach Stevens entered the room.


"Seth, would you close the door please?" Principal Barnes asked.Mom didn't say a thing as she pulled out the digital recorder. She pushed play and instantly the recordings filled the room. After the first message, Coach Stevens looked at me and said, "Seth, you're right; that is Mr. Rivers."


Principal Barnes picked up the phone and pushed a button.


"When my meeting is over I want you to call Trent Rivers down to my office."


I wonder what will happen when Trent comes down to the office.


"Mrs. Thompson, I promise you that the members of the wrestling team involved in these phone calls will be dealt with."


Principal Barnes said it and meant it. Student cell phones in my school are off limits to students from 7:55 in the morning till 3:00 in the afternoon. The calls were placed at 1:47 and 1:55 in the afternoon, well before 3:00 pm.


"I want both of you to understand that I will not allow my son to quit this team and I will not allow my son to be kicked off the team.I can tell you that my son is one tough cookie, and you will hear from our lawyer if Seth is cut for any reason other than his grades or his skill."


Principal Barnes smiled and nodded his head.


"There is no need to do that. Seth isn't being cut."


Coach Stevens looked at Principal Barnes and agreed with him.


"I appreciate that, Mr. Stevens, Principal Barnes. Thank you for your time."


"Thank you, we appreciate you meeting with us. We didn't realize that our wrestlers had called your home and we will deal with them."


Mom and I were excused from the office while my fellow team member, Trent Rivers, was called down to the office.



Practice was amazing. It started with Coach letting loose on the team.


"It told you boys that homophobia would not be allowed on my team.I have a couple of boys who have been suspended from the team until they apologize to Thompson.Does anyone else want to test me?I have no problems kicking people off my team. Now get your backsides out on the mats. You're going to scrimmage today. I want to see where you're at, so get out there."


As I walked out to the mats, I caught a glimpse of Scottie's face as he looked at me with compassion. Sadly, we only had five guys here today. Doesn't matter, I was able to unleash some pent up anger on my opponent. I don't think coach was prepared for my new attitude, but he seemed pleased.I think we're ready to grab our wins on Friday.



It's Friday and we have our second-to-the-last meet before we can even think about sectionals. I am feeling all the anger that has been coming up to the surface. Wrestling has given me an outlet to deal with my anger responsibly.I wrestled two opponents tonight and I pinned both of them. It's not that I pinned them, it's about my skill and the points that I earned.The guys on the team were certainly impressed. Coach approached me.He pointed out a guy in the audience.


"See him? He's here from the University of Michigan. He came to see you wrestle. I think you might be hearing from him."


I couldn't believe it! A school is actually interested in me?!?I've never thought of wrestling in college, but I guess if they'll help me pay for school, then anything is possible.All the guys in attendance from our team pinned their opponents. We had seven guys total tonight representing our team.During the past week, ever so slowly, the team fell back in line. It's pretty ironic how it took a wrestling meet to get the guys behind the team again.


= = =


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