The winner of the prizes of my blog hop is Madison Parker. Madison, I emailed you this morning so if you have not got my email by the time you see this, please let me know.
I know that a lot of people are still visiting the blogs so I will be making the donation this coming weekend and including comments made up until that time in the count for the donation. The current donation figure is $70 (including $25 which pays for the book to the school/library of Madison’s choice). Comments made on this post as well as the previous Hop Against Homophobia post will all count towards the total.
And now, a little free read for everyone.
Kai threw his books down onto the library table earning a scowl from the librarian for the noise.
AJ chuckled quietly until Kai shut him up with a swift kiss on the lips. The librarian rolled her eyes and returned to her duties.
“What are you doing here at this time of night?” Kai asked as he hopped onto the end of the table. “I thought you’d finished tomorrow’s assignments.”
“I have. Just wanted to get a head start on my Social History paper.”
“Bor-ing.” Kai gave an exaggerated yawn and stretched.
AJ started to pack his things away and gathered up the books he needed to check out. “Actually, it’s pretty interesting reading what things were like back then. Though I sure as hell wouldn’t have wanted to live there.”
“Why not?” Kai asked. “Because you’d miss me?”
“Even if you were with me I’d not like it. My essay topic is homophobia and it sounds awful.”
“What’s that? Fear of men?”
“Good guess. It sounds like it would be, but no. It’s fear of, or more accurately hating of gays, lesbians, transgendered people and a whole load of others. Basically anyone who isn’t in the old one man and one woman relationship.”
“Why would anyone hate someone for who they’re in a relationship with? What business is it of anyone else?”
AJ checked out his books as he thought about his answer. In all honesty, he hadn’t a clue why people would be so concerned about who someone else chose to spend their life with. “I don’t know really. Though I’m hoping by the time I’ve finished the paper I’ll have a better idea. From what I’ve read so far some of the churches were pretty vocal in their disapproval. But mostly tonight I’ve been reading some of the statistics and personal stories of people who lived back then.”
“And they make it sound that bad?”
“Oh yeah. Parents kicking their kids out of the house and cutting all ties with them. Can you imagine being out on your own at fifteen? Pretty frightening really. Then there’s the hate crimes. People attacking gays, or even just people they think might be. There are even some reports of murders, but a lot of the crimes went unpunished because of who the victims were.”
“How the hell did they get away with it?”
“Who knows? You know, we wouldn’t even be able to get married if we lived back then.” AJ held up his hand and looked at the ring Kai had placed on his finger the previous summer. They were all set to get married as soon as they graduated. “Only a few States allowed same-sex marriages and this wasn’t one of them. There were people back then who weren’t allowed at their dying soul mate’s bedside because they weren’t allowed to marry, didn’t have the rights of spouses, and the family who should have been supporting them shut them out and denied what they meant to each other.”
Kai tugged AJ close and they strolled out into the cold night air. “It doesn’t even bear thinking about.” Across the quad a group of jocks were shouting and laughing as they staggered around drunkenly. “They’ve had a few tonight,” Kai commented.
“Good job we don’t have to worry about them jumping us and beating us to a pulp, isn’t it?”
“Why would they do that?”
“Back in the past we would have been risking it just by the way we’re walking. I don’t think holding hands on campus around here would have gone down too well.”
“I’m not sure I want to hear any more about what happened back then. It sounds a horrible time.”
“I’m sure it wasn’t all bad, but we’d have had a tough time. We’d probably have been hiding our relationship from most people, and chances are one of us would have still been in the closet with our families, worried that the college funding would be cut off if they found out.”
“In the closet? What closet?”
“It’s just an expression. If someone was in the closet they were still hiding their sexuality. Coming out as it was called, was when they told everyone they were gay or lesbian or whatever.”
“You mean they had to actually tell people. Why not just bring a boyfriend home and let them find out that way, same way we did?”
AJ shook his head. “It just didn’t work that way back then.”
“Well, I’m glad all I had to do was bring you home for my parents to figure out who it was I liked.”
AJ laughed. “Yeah, it’s so much easier in this day and age. I’m just really glad we live in this time. I don’t know if I could have stuck it back then. I’d have struggled to keep my hands off you for sure.”
“Good job we don’t have to worry about that.” Kai slipped his hand into the back of AJ’s jeans.
“You do unless you want us to get arrested,” AJ scolded. “We might not live in danger of beatings and we might have the right to get married, but I think you’ll find public sex is still illegal. So cool it until we get back to the dorm unless you want to spend the night in the police cells.”
* * * *
Author Note: So when is this story set? How about you pick the year? By continuing to take a stand against homophobia a reality where it no longer exists, except in the history books, draws ever closer
And don’t forget to comment because comments on this post add to the total donation to the It Gets Better Project.