Friday, October 27, 2017

Queer as a Five-Dollar Bill: Chapter Eight

In Chapter Seven, Wyatt faced pushback on his thesis that Lincoln was in love with another guy -- which made him more determined than ever to prove it really happened. Only, now his parents have found out...

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Okay community, here's Chapter Eight!

Chapter Eight

Monday January 12

            20 Questions

Wyatt’s mom’s turn:
1.     “What were you thinking?”
2.     “Why would you say Lincoln was gay?”
3.     “Does this book come right out and say he was gay?
4.     “Well if it doesn’t, why would you make something like that up?”
5.     “So you, without even a ninth grade education, are suddenly a Lincoln scholar?”
6.     “You know more than all those Ph.D.s and experts combined?”
7.     “Were you going to tell us about the ‘F’?
8.     “Do you just want to fail out of school now?”
9.     “It’s like a tidal wave about to smash our boat! Did you ever stop and think what effect this could have?”
10.  “What about your father – and all of this, his dream?”
11.  “How are we going to keep our business?”
12.  “How are you ever going to get a job?”
13.  “You don’t think H.R. departments check on things like this?”
14.  “Colleges?”
15.  “You could be sued! It’s called libel. Heard of it?”
16.  “Can we erase it from the internet?”
17.  “We were right when we said you weren’t mature enough yet to be on social media, weren’t we?
18.  “Why didn’t you just give the book back to him?”
19.  “What are people going to say?”

Wyatt’s dad’s turn:
20.  “Are you gay?”

“I have a girlfriend – I’m not gay!” Wyatt managed to work up some outrage with his lie. “But Lincoln was!”
He wasn’t ready, and they were too freaked out. What if they hated him when they found out – stopped loving him? If they knew the truth, would anyone love him, ever again?
He’d thought this would be a way to break the news gently. I mean, if Abe was gay, and great, it shouldn’t be that big a deal, right?
Wrong. Look how upset they are about Lincoln. And he’s not their only son.
“Lincoln was not gay!” The pressure-cooker vein in Wyatt’s dad’s forehead stood out. “Just saying it, and on somewhere as public as the internet, is like inviting disaster – the word of mouth on this will kill us!”
Gay = Disaster. Gee, thanks, Dad.
“Why? Why is it so bad if he was?” Wyatt was getting mad, and it was safer to move the focus and defend someone else’s right to be gay – someone long dead, far from him. “If you read the letters, if you look at the facts, it’s really obvious that Abe was in love with Joshua – and that makes them gay, or bi, or whatever you want to call it, but two guys in love with each other? That’s pretty gay! Which means that history is just a bunch of lies we’re being fed. And we’re feeding them!” He turned on his mom. “And the parade, all about Abe and Mary’s romance? It’s like this conspiracy to make a famous gay person straight. I mean, who else was gay that the people in charge of history aren’t telling us about? Alexander the Great? Shakespeare? Gandhi?”
His mom frowned at him. “Sweetie… You can’t start imagining that everyone is gay.”
Wyatt’s whole face felt scrunched up. “Well, why is it okay to imagine that everyone in history is straight, when we know that can’t possibly be true, either?”
His dad measured every word. “Lincoln. Was. Not. Gay.”

“Yeah, Dad. I hear you. But you’re wrong. And I’m going to prove it.”

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Want to know why I'm serializing my entire YA novel for free right her on this blog? Click here.

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