Being Cruel For All The Wrong Reasons
High school kids can be cruel and for such fucked up reasons too, but everyone can be cruel and the reasons never seem to get any better, do they? No wonder so many people have low self-esteem regarding their body or their sexuality when you consider that most types of cruelty, the ones that come in the form of teasing, rumors, and sometimes down right harassment tend to focus either on your physical appearance or on your sexuality.
My two best friends in high school stopped talking to me for a few months. They stopped coming over to my house and they stopped sleeping over. During this period, they even had this game, which pretty much came down to “running away form Olga” when I approached. It wasn’t exactly subtle, but I didn’t know why and the thought that was the most natural to me at the time was that being de-valued or eventually left out was just par for the course in terms of who I was. I never questioned it and I never wondered what was at the root of it.
Eventually, when we started being “friends” again, they told me it was because they thought I was bisexual and that they thought I was in love with one of them. More specifically the girl who not only started the rumor in the first place, but who because of this thought started to turn the whole school against me. I didn’t exactly become a social pariah, since you know there’s nothing insulting about being bisexual, but they did manage to outcast me from their inner circle of girlfriends, but that isn’t exactly comforting, because in the end it’s not that they lied, or that they spread a rumor about me, it’s that they thought being bisexual somehow made me “wrong”.
I wasn’t mad when they told me this, in fact it kind of explained a lot of things that had happened, but that’s before I knew the extent of their hateful attempts to cast me and by extent bisexuality as something wrong. I mostly held a grudge against the leader of this mission of theirs, you know the girl who was supposed to be my best friend, but since she had convinced herself that I was bisexual and in love with her that made it OK for her to try and turn people against me. As for the rest, we all continued to be great friends, well at least until graduation day when I got the hell out of that small minded town.
The other girl and I stayed best friends for the better part of a decade after high school, but recently that friendship has self-destructed (for a host of other reasons) and I suppose that is what brought this to mind in the first place. We all have things in our past that I am sure we are not proud of, and most of the time we discount these types of events because of the context: I was young and I didn’t know better, but the thing is a lot of people do know better even when they are young and in high school. Granted, people change, I can with all certainty say that those two girls are now two woman who would never judge someone based on their sexual orientation, but… I’m not sure what my point is in retelling all of this, take from it what you will.
P.S. Perhaps, it’s that people should be instilled with the idea of being accountable for what they do and think from a much younger age or in a more pro-active way, that sexuality should be part of everyone’s discourse when growing up as to make it harder to stigmatize any part of it. High schools should have sex-educators on calls all the time! Maybe I should do that or then again, maybe I’ll just keep writing about it from the confines of my own home.