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The Kids Issue

Gays, Straight Up!

"Gay kids are cheerful and nice. They don’t mean no harm. And straight guys… I guess they have so much anger in ’em, and they try to take it out on the gay kids. "
BM
Κείμενο Billy Miller
1.9.06

Billy: Can you tell me a little about yourself? Octavius: I’m 14 and I’m going into the ninth grade. I have a brother who’s older. I’m adopted. What does the term “gay” mean to you? Being with a person of the same sex. Do you think someone could be with a person of the same sex and not be gay? I guess if a person really loved another person. What about guys in prison—or maybe you’ve heard about some of the things that go on during military conflicts and situations like that? Yeah, you know what? I don’t know. If you’re with another guy, then you’re gay in my book. A lot of people think that homo boys act a certain way—like they just giggle all the time. Gay kids are cheerful and nice. They don’t mean no harm. And straight guys… I guess they have so much anger in ’em, and they try to take it out on the gay kids. Maybe homos are better at being smart and straights are better at beating people up? I believe they’re equally violent, but with the gay boys it’s more of a catty type of thing. Do the kids at school know your story? They probably don’t know, or just don’t notice me. Some of the kids I hang around with could be thinkin’ something. They might think that I’m just waitin’ for the right girl. It really don’t matter what they think. But do some boys pick on kids that everybody knows are queer at your school? Yes sir. What’s your take on the “down low” thing? Are a lot of these thuggy guys into some gay stuff on the side? I believe some of them are. You can’t never tell with them, unless you try. Yep, you never know. Have you ever heard of metrosexuals? Yes sir, I have. It’s like when a straight guy has feminine tendencies and dresses sort of gay. Is there anybody at your school like that? There is this one boy… Do normal boys say things to him, too? I’ve heard him get called faggot and picked on in different ways. Are a lot of kids around you into drugs? Yes. I think drugs are bad because you can use up your life with them. I see kids drinking, smokin’ weed, doing ecstasy, buying that coke, and getting into gang violence. I believe that you could be doing something better with your life than getting high all the time. What do you think you want to do when you’re older? Go to college and probably get into either choreography or dermatology. I love to dance, and I also have a lot of problems with my complexion and would like to learn more about that. I had super-bad acne as a teenager, but after going to a dermatologist it got better. I hope that happens to me too. INTERVIEW BY BILLY MILLER