Friday, November 10, 2017

Queer as a Five-Dollar Bill: Chapter Ten

In Chapter Nine, Jonathon slams Wyatt in a blog post, Mackenzie demands Wyatt stop saying Lincoln was gay, and Mr. Guzman calls Wyatt and Jonathon out on their impending online flame war.

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Okay community, here's Chapter Ten!

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Chapter 10
Thursday January 15

            “Hello, Wyatt?” The woman had called his cell in the middle of his algebra homework.
“Yeah?” He answered cautiously. He didn’t recognize her voice.
“This is Roz from Q Satellite Radio. I’d like to interview you about your blog.”
            “Uh, wow.” Wyatt got up and closed the door to his bedroom. She sounded friendly.
            “We’re always interested in local L.G.B.T.Q. news with national interest.”
            National interest? “That… sounds cool. But, I’m not…” He couldn’t say the word.
            “We won’t even talk about you.” Roz assured him. “Just the blog and Lincoln. Okay?”
            “And, before I start recording, you’re eighteen, so I don’t need parental permission, right?”
            “Actually–” Wyatt started but Roz cut him off.
            “I’m going to stop you right there, before I hear anything I can’t un-hear.”
There was a moment of quiet that made Wyatt nervous.
            “Let me ask you this,” Roz said. “Do you think your parents listen to Q Satellite Radio: News for the Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, Questioning and Queer Community?”
            Wyatt snorted a laugh, “That’s a No.”
            “Well then. I’ll ask again. And this time, I’m recording. Hi Wyatt. Just confirming, you’re eighteen, so you don’t need parental permission?”
            Wyatt swallowed hard. Who knew, getting on this radio program and talking about his blog might even help him win the who-can-get-the-most visits contest, and then he could get those new running shoes. Get an ‘A’ in history. Be one of the grand marshals in the parade. And, more people would know the truth about Lincoln.
But his dad and mom… Well, like she said. They wouldn’t even know.
            “Yeah, I’m eighteen.” He heard himself say. “We don’t need it.”

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Q Satellite Radio: News for the Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, Questioning and Queer CommunityTranscript of Thursday January 15 Broadcast7:07 – 7:09 p.m., Pacific Time Roz: Next, we have a local news story that will warm your gay little hearts. When you were in high school, what did you want to do? Get over your acne? Get the girl? Get the boy? Get both? Oregon high schooler Wyatt has set his sights quite a bit higher… he wants to change the world.
Wyatt: I just think, if people knew the truth, things would be different.
Roz: And that truth?
Wyatt: Lincoln was gay.
Roz: That’s Abraham Lincoln he’s speaking of. And Wyatt should know. He’s something of a Lincoln expert.
Wyatt: So Lincoln wrote all these letters to this guy, Joshua Fry Speed, and they’re in this book…
Roz: Wyatt says that the 175-year old letters reveal something no one would have expected.
Wyatt: I think he loved Speed. But, they didn’t have gay marriage back then. They didn’t have any chance…
Roz: Not like today. But even today, there are still places in our world where it’s illegal to be gay. Illegal to follow your heart. Illegal to just be yourself. And Wyatt wants to change that, with his blog on President Lincoln’s love life, Queer As A Five-Dollar Bill. What do you hope happens with your blog?
Wyatt:  I hope people look at it and really think about it. If Lincoln loved another guy, it says something about who he was. About who anybody can be. It can change how everyone sees gay people. It can change... the world!
Roz: Pretty inspiring. Thanks for talking with us, Wyatt, and good luck with changing the world. It needs teenagers like you.
Wyatt: Thanks, Roz.
Roz: That was Wyatt, who attends high school, and whose family owns the ‘Lincoln Slept Here B&B,’ in Lincolnville, Oregon.

“It turned out to be a great piece.” Roz said when Wyatt called her after the show.
It had been pretty cool to hear himself on the radio, even if it was satellite radio and nobody he knew would ever hear it. “Hey, Roz?” A question nagged at him. “How did you find out about my blog?”
“Our tip line, actually.” Roz explained. “We’re always looking for stories, but this one came to us. The caller didn’t give a name, but left your website and phone number. They said it was a story that could be a big deal.”
Mackenzie? Wyatt wondered. “Was it a girl?”
“No, sounded like a boy.” Roz said. “I remember because he called it Death Star Big, which was a rather unique way of putting it.”
Death Star Big? Who the heck?
He had no idea.
“Oh well. Thanks, Roz.”

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