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The Talon House

The Gay Lowdown on High School


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In an interview to promote the movie “Mean Girls,” screenwriter Tina Fey said that the film about a girl’s efforts to fit in with the dominant clique at a new high school would definitely speak to gay men.

The movie spoke to me even before its release when I saw the poster displayed in the lobby of a local theater. The film’s star, Lindsay Lohan, stands diffidently in the foreground. A trio of girls observe her from behind. Their smug facial expressions and arrogant stances make it clear they are the inspiration for the film’s title. They’re pretty in pink but the color of their clothing is the only thing delicate about them. They’re more like sharks circling their prey, sizing her up and ready to strike if she fails to meet their standards.

Anyone who didn't “fit in” during high school would recognize these girls and probably feel just a little intimidated by them. And who, other than the cheerleaders and the jocks they usually dated, did “fit in”? High school is a weird Twilight Zone environment having more to do with socialization than education. It’s a jungle ruled by the boys and girls who best fulfill the gender role stereotypes sanctioned by society.

Not surprisingly, no one is more out of place in high school than a homosexual, especially a gay boy. Even the rare gay teenager who is interested in sports may be reluctant to try out for the football team because the games are not limited to the playing field. A gay boy’s sexuality would prevent him from fully participating in the macho camaraderie that sports minded heterosexual boys generally engage in. If he can't convincingly drool over the girl with the shapely figure, or brag about sexual adventures with girls in the back seat of cars, his secret may be out. The word soon filters throughout the school, and he won't be able to walk the halls without being called a fag.

For effeminate gay boys, high school is even worse, and it’s not surprising that many of them grow up to be “mean girls” themselves. In high school, the bitchy remark and the clever put down is often the only protection a flaming sissy has.

For most gays, high school is deserving of every put down imaginable. It is during those formative years that we first encounter a form of discrimination. Many of the important rites of passage that heterosexuals experience in high school are denied to gay youth.

It is in high school that most boys and girls officially begin dating. It’s an important step in any young person’s social and sexual maturity. But gay boys and lesbians are more likely to be isolated, unable to explore their romantic and sexual interests except on the sly. If they date at all, it’s probably with the opposite sex, in which case it’s an attempt to conform by denying their true natures. As a result, many gays and lesbians are well into adulthood before they have their first “date,” a romantic evening that may include, but isn't limited to, a sex act.

High school only lasts a few years, but much of what we experience during that time stays with us forever. More often than not, those experiences are like scars or tattoos, something we might be happier without. In his song “Kodachrome,” Paul Simon said “When I look back on all the crap I learned in high school, it’s a wonder I can think at all.” Like the movie “Mean Girls,” a lot of gay guys can relate to that sentiment. But if you can look back, and you can accurately see high school as so much crap, you've endured and survived better than most.

Take from Date.info - The webzine of Date.com

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