Date of this Version
The Education Digest, 70:7 (2005), pp. 45-51. (editor reviewed).
In the spring of Pete's senior year, Jeri told me that he was probably going to stop keeping his secret and would likely bring his boyfriend to the prom. I exhaled a heavy combination of a laugh and a scoff. "You've got to talk him out of it," I said, matter-of- factly. My initial response had no relationship to my feelings toward the morality of homosexuality, nor did it result from any deeply held philosophical or religious views on homosexuality. The gut level response came, sadly, from a purely administrative, managerial, "try to keep the lid on" mentality. We talked about the potential reactions, mainly on the part of the students. We both had concerns about Pete's elementary-age siblings, who also attended the school. To be sure, my initial reaction was selfish, which is not something I'm proud of. Looking back, what bothers me most is that my initial reaction of self-pity has to pale in comparison to the needs of a young man who is trying to find his way in the world and who had not felt comfortable and confident enough to end his charade, even in his home school and community.