Here’s Hoping That Train Of Thought Gets Derailed

, , , , , , | Learning | June 17, 2021

I’ve just moved to a new school. Neither of my parents is able to consistently pick me up after school, so I’m given money for a train ride. After school, I walk up to the train station, sit on the bench, and wait for my train to arrive.

This is my second time riding the train, so I’m a little bit nervous. Cue [Classmate]. This guy comes up and sits next to me. There aren’t a lot of benches, so I think nothing of it and continue to draw in my notebook.

Classmate: “So, you go to [School]?”

Me: “Oh, yeah, you?”

Classmate: “Same, it’s my first year.”

I’m feeling pretty good, and we start chatting about school stuff. I’ll admit, I think he is pretty hot at first. After a bit, he starts talking about all his previous girlfriends, the one that got away, the one from another country that still loves him even though she had to move away, etc. He goes on for a bit, and I am thoroughly uninterested in this topic.

Me: “Yeah, I don’t really relate. I’m gay, so…”

Classmate: *Chuckles* “Yeah…”

He then continues with his line of thought. Being the young little innocent queer that I am, don’t know a lot about South Africa’s very homophobic opinions despite how our constitution says it, so I shrug it off and continue to mildly chat with this guy from time to time.

A bit into the year, I’m walking to the train station, and a bit up ahead I see [Friend] and [Classmate]. [Friend] and I were friends before coming to this school and she admitted to me after I came out that she’d had a bit of a crush on me, but this didn’t affect our friendship. I rush over to them and we start a conversation. After a while, [Friend] asks me:

Friend: “So, did you end up asking that guy out?”

Me: “Yeah, I did, but he said no because he’s straight.”

[Classmate] does a dramatic turnaround. I can hear the reality show stinger as he opens his mouth.

Classmate: “Wait, you’re gay?!”

Me: “Yeah… I said so when we first met.”

Classmate: “I thought you were joking!”

Alarm bells in my head that young queer baby me has never heard and doesn’t understand are going off, and the gods decide that this divine comedy is not yet over. Next, my dear [Friend] leaves because she takes a bus and her stop is just on the way to the station.

I’m trapped. I’m sitting on the bench, my drawing book firmly in my bag so I can leave quickly. I still don’t know why I’m feeling such dread when [Classmate] speaks.

Classmate: “So, like, when did you decide to be gay?”

My school is very liberal, so I have not yet had to deal with ignorance like this, so it takes me a second.

Me: “I didn’t. I was born this way.”

Classmate: “Ah, I see… Are you a virgin?”

Oh, so that’s what my gay spidey sense is for.

Me: “Dude, you can’t ask someone that. How would you feel if I asked you that?”

Classmate: “Nah, dude, it’s not the same.”

Me: “Yes, it is. It carries the same emotional weight and the STDs. Pregnancy isn’t what makes sex special.”

[Classmate] brushes it off and continues to ask me some more personal questions.

My prayers answered, the train arrives and [Classmate] drops this dazzling gem.

Classmate: “By the way, don’t have gay sex. One of my friends from my old school died of gay sex.”

I’m just all for getting away from this guy now, and I hurriedly go to my usual cart. He tries to get me to sit in a different cart with him, which I refuse. Yeah… not so hot anymore.

A few weeks later, I’m still processing this whole thing, and then I realise how homophobic he was being. I share it with some of my friends and they are shocked, but I never go to the administration because I feel I took too long to realise what happened.

We share a drama class, and we end up getting assigned to be partners for an activity. Done with this man, I refuse to work with him, and I am forced to sit in silence in the drama room while others do trust activities. He confronts me about it after class.

Classmate: “What was that?!”

Me: “You said a lot of homophobic things to me and I refuse to work with you”

Classmate: “I can’t be homophobic; my sister’s gay! Name one thing I’ve said.”

I then went on to recap everything he said and left. He tried to act like he was going to defend himself, but he heroically shrugged it off like he was being the bigger man and letting it go. I didn’t see much of him afterward. Apparently, he got expelled because he was caught stealing a phone before an exam. Self-inflicted karma is sweet.

1 Thumbs
304