When Jeremy got home yesterday he immediately wanted me to see his bedroom. He’s been working on cleaning up for several days now and spent an hour working on it that morning after I left for work.
It looked really good but he hadn’t cleaned under his bed. I got the broom and began sweeping.
“I’m in a relationship,” he blurted.
I reached the broom into the far corner beneath the bed. “Does The Doctor know?” I asked.
“Mom!” he retorted. He was probably trying to sound shocked but was laughing too much to manage. “It’s not The Doctor.”
I put the broom down. “Okay, so who is it?”
“It’s Hannah,” he replied, which wasn’t a surprise. He’s been frustrated with Hannah since late last year. She keeps picking boyfriends who have her marked as an easy lay then inappropriate behaviour ensues.
“I wouldn’t treat her like that,” he told me last spring. “I don’t know why she keeps picking assholes to date.”
This was shortly after the bus incident; one where Hannah was caught giving her boyfriend sexual favours on the bus ride home. Jeremy is in a special class and he’s quite easily the most high functioning child in the room. Hannah would be more accurately described as sweet and pliable and the boyfriend as developmentally delayed.
This incident is what prompted the school to finally offer their classes a sex ed program. Until then I’m pretty sure Jeremy was the only teen in his class who’d attended one and that’s because I sent him to the OWL program offered through our Unitarian Universalist congregation.
As an aside, I highly recommend this program to anyone with children, especially if they are or you suspect they might be LGBTQ. It’s not a religious program, Canadian Unitarian Universalists aren’t considered Christian and I’m sure a third of our congregation is atheist. It’s a comprehensive program and one which treats all sexual orientations and gender identities equal. When Emma took the program, they role played asking people out so they’d know how hard it is and be gentle with someone who’s made the effort (even if they weren’t interested). They didn’t pair the kids by gender, they drew names out of hats. Emma was paired with a girl for her turn.
Obviously sex ed for Jeremy’s classmates had come a bit too late.
Last month a friend of Jeremy, one of Hannah’s ex-boyfriends, decided to touch her inappropriately at school. She complained to one of the teachers. At first Jeremy was mad because he felt his friend hadn’t done anything and they were blaming him over nothing. Then the friend confessed. Neither teen wanted to go any further with charges so the issue was dropped. However, the school and Hannah’s parents decided it would be better if Hannah didn’t date at all anymore. Jeremy was livid.
“She wasn’t dating him and didn’t want to be touched. They’re punishing her for doing the right thing and telling someone in authority. That’s not fair.” He shook his head in disgust. “She keeps picking guys who only want her for sex and I’m not going to be like that.”
He said the last part emphatically and I believe him. That’s why he broke up with his last girlfriend. She wanted sex and he didn’t, at least not with her. And I was dancing inside because he was only 15 years old at the time. You can be sure I praised him to the sky for his decision.
Of course this is a relationship in name only. They can’t go out anywhere because she’s not allowed to date. They can’t say anything at school. I’d be surprised if they’re even able to hold hands, let alone kiss. But he can tell people outside of school that he’s dating her and I guess that’s good enough for him. As Lenny pointed out, it’s a safe relationship.
Shortly after I sat down at the computer, Jeremy appeared at my door, a huge grin on his face.
“Did you know The Doctor’s bisexual?” he asked. “There’s this guy he likes and they flirt back and forth and talk about sex. The guy can’t die either.”
“Is it Captain Jack?” I asked. I’ve only seen four episodes but Jeremy’s watched everything available on Netflix. He nodded.
“Yes, Captain Jack and the second doctor in the new seasons,” he replied.
He came back a short time later. “Mom! Mom! The Doctor went to a gay strip club,” he blurted excitedly.
One of these days I’ll have to sit down and watch the rest of the shows with him. Four episodes and some disjointed descriptions aren’t enough to know what’s going on.