i kept trying to talk to him and he wouldn’t talk to me.
on the bus he told me to ‘come here’
and then he whispered to me
“so and so said you are gay.”
i said “i’m not gay. why did he say that?”
and then my friend said
‘he said you wear gay sneakers and glasses’
i didn’t know what to say.
my heart hurt all of a sudden.
Kaish seemed so sad that his friend wasn’t talking to him or playing with him all day.
‘how do you feel about that?’
Kaish said, “I’m not gay. I love my black and white sneakers. I think my glasses are cool.”
I said “I don’t think your friend is a very good friend for not talking to you or playing with you just because someone else said that about you.”
Kaishon said “I want to beat so and so up”
(the one that said he was gay)
I told him violence wasn’t the answer. Ever.
(even though, in my head, i felt like beating so and so up too)
I said, ‘what do you like to play?’
(even though I already know)
and Kaish said ‘i like to play imagination games.’
i told Kaish that it is ok to be a boy and not play football.
it is ok to be a boy and wear black and white checked sneakers.
it is ok to have orange glasses. or plaid glasses. or pink glasses.
i told him that he is wonderful and special and i love him
no matter what.
no. matter. what.
Kaish said ‘MOM! i really am not gay.’
I said, i think the next time you see so and so,
you should say,
‘it’s ok for me to be different than the other boys in the neighborhood.
it doesn’t mean i am gay.
you shouldn’t spread rumors like that.
spreading rumors and making people feel badly about things is a form of bullying.
kaish told me that was too much to remember.
he said he is just going to say
‘i’m not gay.’
i asked him if he wanted new sneakers?
he said ‘no way.’
i asked him if he wanted new glasses?
he said ‘orange is my favorite color.’
i asked him if he had anything else to talk about.
he said nope
and he raced off to read his book:
I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly
out of all the little boys in the world,
Jesus gave me the very best one? ABC Wednesday: