I got a call at work on Tuesday. It was Jeremy’s teacher letting me know he’d been suspended for several days. She started off by informing me that a student in the class had his ipod broken accidentally by another student and Jeremy just would not let go of the situation, even though it had nothing to do with him.
“The ipod belonged to P, didn’t it,” I interjected. Note, this wasn’t a question. P is Jeremy’s best friend. Criticize him and you’re liable to have Jeremy at your throat.
“Yes,” the teacher agreed. Then she moved on to explain that she and the EA were handling the situation when Jeremy jumped in and called them “victim blaming assholes”. So he got sent to the office so the principal could explain the situation to Jeremy. He promptly called him a “victim blaming asshole” too.
Jeremy’s good at defending but really lousy when it comes to tact.
“It’s too bad he picked now to pull this stunt,” the teacher continued. “I have an LGBT group coming in tomorrow for a discussion. I asked them to come in specifically for Jeremy.”
She repeated this five times during the phone call. I didn’t have the heart to tell her neither Jeremy or I cared. In fact I was glad he’d be missing it, especially if the discussion was going to get “controversial” like his sex ed class apparently did, with students arguing that being gay was “wrong”. He doesn’t need definitions and this wasn’t his only opportunity to be around someone from the LGBTQ+ community. He was going to be hanging out with about ten other LGBTQ+ teens in three more hours, when he went to his youth group, and that’s a lot more useful for him.
I told him about the LGBT class discussion almost as soon as I got home. He sighed.
“That’s important for everyone else in the class, not for me. They’re the ones who need to learn.” His comment echoed one my friend had just made.
Yesterday, I went online before dinner. Someone in a forum I frequent had just bought a genetic test and was sharing the results. The first one he shared was a shot of the results stating he’s male. I pointed this out to Jeremy. He leaned closer to the screen, obviously interested.
“Cool,” he replied. “I should get that test.”
“Jeremy,” I said slowly. “You know they’re going by genetics, right? Like if you have an x and y chromosome. They’re not testing to see if you’re trans*. That’s something you need to figure out on your own. There isn’t a test for it.”
He looked disappointed. “Well that stinks,” he replied. “I already know what chromosomes I have.”
“Do you know what gender you are?” I asked and he nodded.
“Mostly male with a bit of female,” he replied promptly.
Over dinner he brought up the group his teacher had invited in.
“It’s someone who’s a friend of the teacher,” he commented. “They’re going to discuss gays, lesbians, and hygiene.”
Well, that was an unusual mash up.
“Wait, they’re discussing gay and lesbian hygiene?” I asked, deliberately misunderstanding. It worked. Jeremy laughed.
“Does it differ from straight hygiene? And what about bisexuals. Do they do gay hygiene half the time and straight the rest or is theirs different?”
“Well,” he drawled, dragging out the word. “You see… bisexuals need aircraft in order to practice hygiene. The plane gets attached by a hose to the toothbrush or washcloth then it gets dragged across the face or teeth.”
“Interesting,” I replied. “Speaking of hygiene. I know you slept in today but you really need to brush your teeth before we go to your counseling appointment. When are you going to brush them?”
“I just need to get that Boeing…” Jeremy’s voice trailed off and he grinned.