The Twilight Of Our Sexually Confusing Youth

| Learning | June 10, 2015

(I am a 16-year old boy, 6’2″ but with rather androgynous facial features and relatively long, messy hair. I also have a gender-neutral name. On this particular day, I am asked to give two prospective parents (in their early 40s) and their daughter (13/14) a tour of the school. We are in an English classroom where a teacher is teaching a Year 8 class.)

Mother: “What books do you study at [School]?”

Me: “Me personally, I’ve studied To Kill A Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men, The War of the Worlds, The Crucible—”

Father: *cuts me off* “Of all the sports they could show you books of, they show you a book about snooker.” *looks at me in disbelief* “Couldn’t they at least make you read Escape to Victory?”

Me: *a little bit stunned* “Was Escape to Victory based on a book?” *it may well have been; I genuinely wasn’t sure* “And The Crucible isn’t about snooker. It’s about people being terrified of the prospect of witches.”

Daughter: “Aren’t the witches good, like in Harry Potter?”

Me: “I’m not going to spoil it for you, since you might read it.” *to the parents* “They made a film of it in the 90s with Daniel Day-Lewis and Winona Ryder in it. It’s very good.”

Daughter: “Do you read Twilight in English?”

Me: “No, but I’ve read it. Edward or Jacob?”

Daughter: *starts giggling* “Jacob, of course. You?”

Me: “I’m not really a fan, I just read them when the movies were coming out; I was curious. You like Hunger Games?”

Daughter: “YEAH!” *daughter does the three-fingered salute*

(I turn around to realise that the teacher is glaring at me and none of the class are doing the work.)

Me: “I’m sorry, Miss… We’ll leave now.”

Teacher: “It’s fine, [My Name]…”

(While we are walking down the corridor, my girlfriend comes over.)

Girlfriend: “Hey, [My Name]…”

Me: “You off to the doctors?” *to my charges* “This is my girlfriend, [Girlfriend].”

Girlfriend: *nods* “I can’t stay long, appointment in 10.”

(She gives me a quick kiss before leaving; the parents both are awkward around me for the rest of the tour. Later, I say goodbye to them and hand them over to one of the deputy heads. I overhear them saying the following as I walk to class.)

Mother: “Did you know that the otherwise lovely girl you had take us on a tour is a lesbian?”

Daughter: “Mum…”

Deputy Head: “I’m sorry?”

Mother: “The really tall pretty girl, [My Name]. She’s a lesbian. Has an equally tall girlfriend called [Girlfriend]. I assume you didn’t know?”

Father: “Do you really think that’s appropriate for a school?”

Mother: “They kissed.”

Deputy Head: *starts laughing* “[My Name] is a lovely young MAN. And we don’t try to discourage relationships; it’s healthy regardless of sexual orientation.”

Father: *speechless*

Mother: “But he knew about the Twilight!”

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