My dream –

We called you in today because we are concerned.

We? You, and who else? And, concerned? What do you mean by that?

The principal, your teachers. Academically, you are undeniably the strongest student at the school, but we worry about your interactions with others. It has been observed that, except for occasional chats with girls, you are usually alone. You interactions with boys are usually hostile.

I chat with no one. Infrequently, girls will talk with me; I, with them. There is nothing frivolous in our conversations.

Yet you find nothing of value in communication with the boys?

No. Nothing. Outside of the classroom, every lesson of value that I have learned in my life, I have learned from a girl, or a woman. What little of value I may wish from most boys or from most men, I have earned in battle.

Which brings me to another topic of concern for us. Aside from your altercations in the classroom, in the lunchroom, and on the playground, we are aware of your fights after school. We know that you do not cause them, nor do you avoid them. The parents of many of the boys you fight after school report that their sons have been badly hurt, even demanding visits to the hospital.

Yes, I fight. Yes, I fight to prevail over those who would abuse me. The fight is not over until the vanquished will never fight again.

Why do you fight? Why don’t you come to us?

I hate bullies. Why do you allow bullies to mistreat others in our school? You cannot be ignorant of the torment they cause.

Have you been bullied?

No. Never. I won’t let that happen. That is why I fight.

How have those boys tried to bully you? Do they call you names? Do they make fun of you? Do they make you feel uncomfortable? Do they threaten you?

They call me names, but I don’t mind that. I don’t mind being called what I am. They can’t really make fun of me, either, for the same reason; so I am not made to feel uncomfortable. A threat to me is anything that in any way violates my space. Calling me names from a distance is fine. If close enough to hit while calling me names or making fun of me, they get hit, with a force sufficient to hurt, as badly as possible. That usually leads to the additional threat of a fight – to save the face they have lost in my striking them – to which I always agree.

What do they call you?

Queer, homo, faggot, sissy, teacher’s pet.

Why do they call you that?

Because of my long hair; because I like the things girls like; because I like boys only in that other way. They think I act like a girl.

What other way do you mean?

Some boys and men are nice. They understand why I am different from most boys, and what makes me different. I like them, because they know what I like, and they give it to me, nicely, like I was girl.

When did decide that you were homosexual, or realise that you were? I presume that is what you mean.

I was born this way. I have always liked girls, as a girl; and I have always liked boys, as a girl. Just because I am a boy in some ways, doesn’t mean I am a boy inside. If you think I am homosexual, because, as I boy, I like boys, then you are right. But what about my being a girl inside, and liking boys as the girl I am inside. What does that make me?  A sissy? A faggot?

So why do you fight?

What? Girls can’t fight? Girls are far more fierce than boys. Bullies are cowards, hiding behind the false camaraderie of their supposed friends. Girls genuinely stick up for one another.

Many girls like you, I’m sure, but as a boy. Am I right?

No, the few girls who like me, like me, because I am not like a boy. Because I have long hair; because I write poetry; because I’m smart and sensitive; because I like all the things girls like, including boys, in the way that girls like boys. They may think I’m silly, or weird, but they like me, despite and still.

So, do you have a girlfriend? A special girl?

No, no one special. The girls who like me most, like girls, themselves, in that special way, more than boys.

Do you have a boyfriend? A special boy?

There are a few boys with whom I am special, not just one boy. They are all older boys. There are also others, men.

But you’re okay? With the men, too? They don’t make you do anything you don’t want to do, do they? May I reassure the principal and your teachers that you are okay? We are lucky to have you. Every year you have been here, you have been our most distinguished scholar. That’s makes us proud, all of us, but it also makes us worry. We want to ensure that your exceptional mind is free of all that might cause it discomfort or distraction.

Yes, I am fine. I appreciate your concern, but there is no need to worry. I like my teachers very much. I am glad they like me. I am also grateful for the support of the principal.

Rest assured, except to allay their fears, I will keep all the details of our conversation here, today, private between us.

As you wish. As always, I am as I appear; I appear as I am. I don’t have to be liked. I don’t mind being alone. I’m not used to praise; I am neither motivated or inspired by it. There are only mediocrity and obsession. In my studies, as in everything else, I am obsessed. That shouldn’t sound scary to you, because it isn’t.

Thank you for opening up to me.

Thank you for listening.