Creative Global Network for the Visual Arts

“Some say she's from Mars

Or one of the seven stars

That shine after 3:30 in the morning

Well she isn't.”

The B-52’s

There were only a few months of high school left for me, an end to all of that daily hate that I faced, but also an end to my beloved art teacher, the cherished friendships that had formed and the opportunity to challenge that rigid and archaic social structure.

I did cause a small galvanizing force, one where several of the other students did make it official, still it was difficult at that time, in being courageous enough to create some kind of Gay student group. But there I was happily a member of the clan of outcasts and eccentrics. My circle encompassing all of the social classes, races and gender, it didn’t matter then and it still doesn’t, as long as we can get together and have some inspired fun. 

There were a few of my tormentors, who by that point, having witnessed all that I had been through, kids that I had first met in the 7th grade, who had had a change of heart and honored me with their respect. No real official apologies, just their voices added to the list of my defenders. These kids were also freaks in the world that we belonged to, but they all had grown into leadership positions within their subculture ranks. Then there were the kids that I had grown up with all of my life, the ones that I used to play with in grade school, we had all become young adults together, they grew even more intense in their cruelty, that was tough.

By that time I had snuck into the Gay bar, found it a terrible experience, I was so shy, was still getting the Veteran’s benefits from my dad’s death, bought my first pair of designer jeans, had some amazing acid trips, was writing, reading and drawing daily, all the while dreaming of my eventual escape. 

So the day came when the names of graduating students would be posted onto a wall in the school hallway. Everyone was anxious and nervous, their future plans in the mix, what in the world would they do without high school? My name was not on the list, I needed to speak with a guidance counselor, the first and the last time for that.  The system would cut me some slack for flunking math and never taking P.E., that algebra teacher was insane anyway, he gave out F’s to all but two of the students, and PE, no way, even the coach knew better. 

So I would not graduate with my friends, no cap and gown ceremony for me, but I only needed a quarter credit and it would all be done, would need to find some suitable summer program, I would choose a class for aspiring radio disc jockeys held at the local university radio station, no child left behind.

There were still those last couple of months of high school, plenty of partying taking place, and I gained more respect by selling joints out of that leather vintage purse, the one that I stole from grandma. We were still living in the trailer on the mesa, the one that rocked in the wind, still getting up early, going to church with Ma, the 7 o’clock mass, getting on the bus by the Boys Club, snarled at from that minute up till the end of the school day, but walking tall and knowing all the while hat I was bound for a better life.

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