Openly Straight (Openly Straight #1)

Acceptance is an affirmation that you’re good enough.

As I said, it wasn't even a gay thing. But it made me think how hard some kids have it with their families. Me, I could show up as Lady GaGa dressed as Little Red Riding Hood, and Mom would be like, "How was your day, honey?" That's just not the case for most kids.

Do you know how you get the urge to clean your room, and it’s no big deal? But when your mom tells you that you have to clean your room, you don't want to? That's me, anyway.

Guilt is about something you do. Shame is about who you are.

I could see he didn’t understand that knowing a person is about more than knowing whom they fantasize about. That’s the small stuff, actually. Not the big stuff. The big stuff is lying next to a guy on the floor and locking eyes and having deep conversations about philosophy. The big stuff is letting a friend know your hopes and your fears and not having to make a joke about it. That’s what matters.

I had the strong sensation that I'd underestimated my parents and their devotion to me. Of course they'd be on my side, whether they understood or not. That was just the kind of parents they were.

I knew that she was right, obviously. But part of me didn't want to. I wanted to have someone to call my own so badly that I just couldn't let it go.

I'm not getting this. How do you take a break from who you are, Shay Shay?

Is this your boyfriend?" the first nun asked.
Clair Olivia looked me up and down. “No. This is my gay friend who decided he was straight and single-handedly wrecked havoc at an all-boys school in Massachusetts this fall. He’s gay again and home for Christmas, so yay!

I think anyone who stops at a gas station at night is up to no good. I think that if cops want to stop drunk driving, they should hide out in the bushes at the Taco Bell drive-through. I think if you're a guy and you pull down your pants and the girl you're with starts texting, you have a small penis.

It needs to be said that sometimes my mom forgets important details when she talks. Like the time she told us she was considering leather (couches, it turns out), or when I was little and she said, "Here's a napkin to put your balls in" (the Atomic Fireballs that I was eating, she meant).

It’s hard to be different,” Scarborough said. “And perhaps the best answer is not to tolerate differences, not even to accept them. But to celebrate them. Maybe then those who are different would feel more loved, and less, well, tolerated.

Selflessness involves giving up your self. You become a martyr. Like the Hindu kamikaze warriors. These Japanese Hindus chose to give up their lives, and they were killed if they didn't. Imagine what their families felt. One day you have a father, and next, you're watching him fly a plane into a ship on Pearl Harbor on television. Those kids didn't do anything wrong. They just lived in an evil country. The axis of evil. That sort of evil is beyond anything you or I will experience in our lifetimes. So be glad. Be glad we live in the US of A. Be glad we get to choose, with our freedoms. Now get out there and fight!

Straight people don't have to think every time they talk, about whether they are coming out. We do. That might be hard, but that's also why we have to come out. if we don't, it's pretty much impossible to have a conversation about anything beyond the weather without lying. we really have no choice, do we ?

Straight people have it so much easier. They don’t understand. They can’t. There’s no such thing as openly straight.

That was the thing about Ben. He could get away with saying shit like that. I totally couldn’t. I wasn’t big or masculine enough. In my mind, anyway. But Ben could get all agape on your ass, and you’d just sit there like, huh. Agape. Interesting.

The hole in my heart, I can’t even begin to describe. It’s hard when you open your heart and let someone in and then suddenly they’re not in it anymore. It doesn’t matter whose fault it is; that empty spot stings so bad that you want to find any kind of relief, or wrap yourself up so tight you can’t feel it anymore. I knew it might be there a little while. Or maybe even a long while. For both of us.

Then Albie reached into his pocket and pulled out one shiny Jonathan apple.
“Hungry?” he asked us.
“How’d you do that?” I asked, wondering when he’d had time to pocket an apple.
“Oh, I have four of them,” he said, patting his megalarge pockets. “Next time you won’t laugh when I tell you to watch Survival Planet.

Then I wondered if that was what this was, like a Brokeback Mountain thing. We’d sleep in the same bed for a year, and finally we’d do it, but we’d never talk about it, ever, and then Ben would get married and I’d be killed in Texas.
Probably not, but you can never be too careful with these things.

The world needs people who are more comfortable standing still. We keep the earth on it axis when everybody else is bouncing around.

This is where we come," he said.
Albie and I look at each other. “We?”
“Me and, you know.”
Albie’s eyes got wide. “I really don’t think I want to know about this.”
I surprised myself. “I do,” I said. I guess I was tired of having to withhold the truth from Toby. Other than Ben, he and Albie we’re easily my best friends at Natick.
Toby looked a little surprised, like he’d just assumed we wouldn’t want to hear the details.
“You do?”
“Yeah.”
He looked around to make sure we were alone. We definitely were. No one came back here to my knowledge. Also it was cold. Like twenty degrees. Only three idiots would be in the woods in the winter, it seemed to me.
“Robinson” he said.
“Gorilla Butt,” I said, nodding. “I know.”
“You know?”
“Yup.”
Toby crossed his arms an then deflated into a fake pout. “You’re stealing my scene, bitch. Scene stealer.”
“Sorry,” I said. “So you and Gorilla Butt. Wow.”
He flipped me off. “He hates that,” Toby said. “But, yeah. It’s hairy.”
“Oh, look, almost anything else in the universe,” Albie said, heading back to campus and leaving us in the clearing.
“He’s such a prude,” Toby said rolling his eyes.

We hugged, and my dad cried a little. I don't have a macho-type dad, who hunts and fishes and collects guns. He's sensitive and caring. He drives me crazy most of the time, but I do admire that he's not afraid to show his "feminine side.

We were at a swap meet in Cochituate last year, and there was this Boy Scout troop with a sign that read, 'Help Boy Scouts, Blind Kids.' Toby saw it, and he grabbed my shirt collar and pulled me away. I asked what was wrong, and with this scared expression on his face, he said, "That's not right. They need to be stopped.'

I cracked up. 'Oh, no,' I said.

'When I asked him why helping blind kids and Boy Scouts was bad, Toby's whole face went white. He said, 'Forget it. Let's go.' But I had to know what the hell he was talking about, so I made him walk back over with me. We looked at the sign together, and finally he mumbled, 'I didn't see the comma.

We were dancers and drummers and standers and jugglers, and there was nothing anyone needed to accept or tolerate. We celebrated.

What do you call it when a straight person comes out? ... A conversation

Why can’t I just be bad?” I asked, figuring my mom would have no idea what I was talking about.
“Well, that’s easy, sweetie. You can be anything you want, but when you go against who you are inside, it doesn’t feel good.

Wouldn't it be nice if we lived in a world where no one thought being gay was even something to ride someone about?

Wow. Did I just write that? I didn't want who I am to come between us? How could I not have seen that?

Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.

You can be anything you want, but when you go against who you are inside, it doesn’t feel good.