To The Girl I Didn’t Really Know

Oct 24
2010

I’m seventeen and about to do something I’ve never done before.

I’m not a mean kid. I don’t do things just to hurt other kids. I’m the student that always goes to class; when I do miss class, it’s because a friend is in a crisis. I have friends, but I’m not one of the popular crowd. I’m surprised when a boy shows any interest in me. I began to find my voice in acting class, but still know that in the social hierarchy of high school students from 1 to 10 (10 being the most popular), I’m probably a five. Maybe a six.

Be tolerant. Be cool.

Sep 30
2010

Twenty-eight years ago, I sat on the school bus, second seat behind the driver, sweating as a girl-bully mildly taunted me. I didn’t like confrontation; I always felt like I’d lose. Even when the the taunter was a year younger than me. Double humiliation.

Among the things she made fun of – my unruly hair, my not-trendy clothes – she eventually called me “gay” and emphasized her disgust with a perfectly curled upper lip. I rarely felt an opening in a taunt, but this, I thought, just might be one.