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Ultimate Fantasy 20 Ultimate Fear

Let me begin by telling you my ultimate fantasy. When I was a very young girl, there was a gay boy in my school. He was a regular pupil in the chemistry department, not the best of students, who made all the right errors and often got punished for them.

One day his name was on the school register and he was suddenly ostracized and had to go home. No one would talk to him; his schoolmates didn’t want to know about it, and his parents didn’t want to accept that his sexuality was a secret. And a year later his parents sued the school for discrimination and won.

Gay boy, by the way, that’s not on. What’s it like to be the only openly gay person in a small English town?

Every day I have to adjust to the fact that my life doesn’t count as ordinary in a way that non-English-speakers don’t have to adjust to the fact that theirs does. We still don’t have the right to be “mainstream.”

Okay, let’s say I’m an outcast. That’s a much easier target. My only options are to either hide out in the most secret corners of the gay gayborhood or find a more accepting school. Which brings me to my ultimate fear…


In my experience, the isolation most often accompanies the coming out. When I was in high school, my best friend, a nurse, came out as gay at the end of the year. Before that, he had been polite but distant and self-centered. He told me he was straight when he was thirteen and that it had nothing to do with the things we loved.

It took him a long time to come around and tell his parents, who were still somewhat against his decision. I think it was a matter of being rejected so many times by so many people.

When I was growing up, there wasn’t even Blanche DuBois. I don’t know if coming out would have made a real difference to her life. Probably not, anyway. She had a very straight-White mother, and even though she was pretty open about her attraction to boys, she was perfectly content being a housewife and mother to a white kid.

Mama, there are so many stereotypes about queers out there.

My son is very open about his sexuality. He’s not ashamed of it. In fact, he’s very happy about it.

Homosexuality, in general, is still a very new thing. There are so many people queer or multiracial out there. And in many parts of the country, it’s illegal to be homosexual. It’s still illegal in thirty states! Or in the District of Columbia.

Hank and I are very much in the pro-homosexual camp.

I know. And as a lesbian myself, I’m always cautious when I shoplift.

But don’t you think it’s important for us to be out front and make our case?

I think it is. I do think it’s good public policy to be out front and to be as forthright as we can. People need to know that queers exist and that we’re not easy targets.

You could make the same case about Alan McCarthy, who in the late fifties came out as a dyke.

I wouldn’t make the same argument about a mensch.

You could theoretically.


Do you like to have anonymous sex in public rest rooms? Sex movies? Public parks? Sex clubs? On street corners with heavy hustling traffic? How many nonsexual friendships or acquaintances lasting for decades started this way? How many ways are there to love queers? How many ways are there to queer love?

Let me begin by telling you my ultimate fantasy. When I was. . .



Prompt adapted from A Queer History of Computing

· queer, boy, mother, white, gay, gayborhood, school, high school, chemistry, stereotypes, illegal, isolation, outcast, Blanche DuBois, Alan McCarthy, dyke, lesbian, homosexual, sexuality, public policy, parents, secret, GPT-2, RunwayML