Earlier this year, I presented “He Was Weird” at a local high school. It was a Year 11 English class and what I did was read the build up to the big climax in the story where Mark travels to school on that fateful day with a ruck sack containing two guns and lots of ammo. The pupils got to hear his inner wrangle of actually going through with it and follow him right up to the point where he gets his guns out and is locked and loaded with his first targets coming into view. That’s where I stop reading and invite the class to write their own feelings as to what happens next. There were some truly great contributions but the one that stood out the most was the account written by one boy where Mark sees David Roseman. Immediately, Mark throws down his guns and he and David run towards each other and have a homo erotic encounter. Both the class teacher and I complimented this lad on his story and informed him about David’s bullying of Mark.
See, David didn’t bully Mark in the traditional sense with violence or the threats of violence. He might have been there when his eighth grade pals were beating Mark up but his participation was little or none. Furthermore, when Mark quit the American football team, he was one of the first ones to get on his case about it but he didn’t make it a big issue like some of the others. The way David bullied Mark was completely different. He did it by making Mark out to be homosexual. That is why I thought that boy’s story was so ironic.
The first instance was one lunch time in the school gym, David tells all his friends around him that Mark was his old homo buddy. He goes into some graphic details about their supposed relationship and gets a lot of laughs and questions like “How many kids did you have?” He takes great delight in humiliating Mark in front of many people and it causes great conflict with in Mark’s own Asperger’s mind. After all, he had probably been farther with a girl that previous summer than any of them had. However, his protests are ignored and his evidence is disbelieved.
After that, David constantly teases and bullies Mark stating that he is a faggot and has homosexual encounters with his friend. He is also one of the main supporters of the school newspaper when it brands him ‘gay’ and the first to accuse Mark when the parents of an unknown boy, who is also branded gay, threaten to sue the school. Still, like with any sort of bullying, it totally erodes Mark’s self esteem. This homophobic bullying becomes so bad for Mark, that he names David as one of his prime targets when he sets out to get his revenge and he does get it.
For the actual person who inspired my creation of the David Roseman character, you need to drop the “man” from the end of the surname and add “nberg.” He did call me gay, homo and faggot quite a bit and did make up the story of us being homosexual partners for his amusement and my humiliation. Some of you may now be saying that this might not all be such a big deal but remember, that was a different time. It was a big deal to be branded homosexual, especially when you know you’re not. Even worse for someone with a mindset like mine which takes things like that literally. I’m not saying it was the total cause but thinking back, I believe that it had a lot to do with my very anti- gay attitude during my teenage years and early adult life.
If said person and I were to meet, I would hope that he would see that his opinions about me were totally wrong even though I try to judge people as individuals and not their lifestyle choices and so was his homophobia. It would be hoped he would repent of his wrongdoings towards me and I could then totally forgive.
Next post: Joe Callazone
To buy He Was Weird, go to: http://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1441047880&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird