I took Jeremy out for dinner yesterday evening. Before we got to the restaurant, we stopped off at a little British shop that Jeremy desperately wanted to visit. There’s a show on YouTube called the Yogscast and one of the people eats Jaffa Cakes all the time. Jeremy, of course, had to have them and the only place around here that sells them is this British shop. I got him two boxes last night and they were gone by the time we got home. Every time I looked over, he had a cookie in his hand and was mumbling, “Sorry Mom, I couldn’t help myself”. I guess it wasn’t a surprise when I asked for a blog topic and his first response was to say, “Talk about Jaffa Cakes”.
I didn’t think I could write an entire blog post on these cookies/biscuits so asked for alternative ideas. Jeremy looked at me blankly and I laughed and told him he wasn’t being much of a help. Couldn’t he give me any ideas or maybe some advice to share? He thought for a moment.
“Umm, you could say to let people come out when they chose.”
I blinked. “I did let you come out on your own.”
He shook his head. “Mom,” he retorted. “You chased me around the living room threatening to tickle me.”
I had to admit I had, but… “You came out before that,” I replied. “This summer, on the balcony.”
Jeremy looked surprised, apparently he didn’t remember this, then he grinned. “I never came out at all. You put words in my mouth. I never said anything.”
I just shook my head. “I told a friend of mine that your closet has a revolving door. You’re in then you’re out then, whoops, you’re back in again.”
Jeremy didn’t refute this at all. His grin widened. “That makes me kind of like Superman,” he commented, waving his (thankfully empty) spoon for emphasis. I got the idea of what he was talking about. Superman needed to duck away to change, although I was pretty sure he used a phone booth and not a closet. I was also pretty sure Jeremy didn’t want a lesson on comics.
“Except for the lack of super strength, flying ability, spandex tights, alien ancestry, or job at a newspaper,” I pointed out instead, deliberately skipping mentioning Lois Lane. “And you don’t even have glasses.”
I had a bite of my own meal then added, “You know, I think I read somewhere that the Green Lantern’s gay.” So much for avoiding comic lessons.
Jeremy nodded. “I thought so, he looks gay,” he replied.
It was my turn to be surprised. I’ve never seen the cartoon (maybe movie?) and have no idea what this character even looks like. “Why do you say that?” I asked. Jeremy shrugged.
“I dunno. Just the way he talks and acts,” he said after a moment. “Him and Robin too.”
I didn’t need to ask if Jeremy thought he acted or sounded gay. A few weeks ago I wasn’t sure but we’d had a conversation earlier where I admitted that I thought one of my young coworkers might think Jeremy’s gay.
Of course Jeremy’s first question was, “Why?”
I thought for a moment. “Well, I told him about your issues trying to find the GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) at your school,” I replied.
He eyed me skeptically. “That’s it?”
I must admit, that was a good point. Straight people join the group as well, hence the S in the acronym. “I talk about you at work,” I finally said. “I talk about the things you say and how you act.”
Jeremy nodded. “That would do it,” he mused.
As for the issues with the GSA in his school. This is a group that’s run in most high schools in our area. This fall I hoped Jeremy would join the GSA at his school. I asked his teacher and was informed that they met on Mondays at lunch time. Every Monday I’d ask Jeremy how GSA went. Every Monday I’d get a sheepish look, a shrug, and an “I forgot.”
A month went by and he still hadn’t gone. I had the next Monday off work and finally snapped that if he didn’t go to this meeting, I was going to school and walking him to the next one. I hoped he wouldn’t call my bluff, I already had plans for that Monday. Instead he glared at me.
“Mom! I don’t want to go to that stupid group,” he yelled, his fists tightly clenched by his side. “I want to hang out with my friends at lunch, not get stuck with those people.”
“What are you scared of?” I yelled back, just as angrily. “That you’re going to meet kids just like you?”
He stared at me white faced then turned and stormed from the room without another word. His bedroom door slammed shut moments later. Not my best parenting moment, that’s for sure.
The next day he came up to me and quietly asked what people do in the GSA. I asked a couple of young friends (including my young coworker) then explained that they support each other and work at organizing school activities to make everyone feel more welcome in the school. He nodded but didn’t say anything else.
Several weeks went by and I didn’t mention the GSA once, to Jeremy at least. He’d commented before that he never heard any announcements for the group so he didn’t even know where to go. I did call the school and ask one of the secretaries if she knew where and when the GSA met.
“I don’t know. Bye,” came the immediate reply. Seconds later I was listening to the dial tone. I didn’t bother saying anything to Jeremy. There didn’t seem to be much point.
He came home from school one day and tossed down his backpack. “Mom,” he said quietly. “I can’t find the GSA at all. I never hear any announcements and I’ve been listening. Plus one of my friends and I walked around the school on Monday and we couldn’t see anyone meeting anywhere. And I went to the office today and asked about the GSA. The secretary said she didn’t know anything then she got up and walked away. Turned her back to me and started talking to the other secretaries.”
I wrote a note to his teacher asking about the group and saying Jeremy couldn’t find it. The next day I got the message that the group was discontinued for now because of the lack of a teacher to sponsor it. But the group would hopefully start up again in the new year. I guess we’ll find out more soon.