Friday, 13 June 2014


The class was almost done for the day and, for some reason, we were all crowding around our home-made Volador models. Our sweat and blood had gone into these and, at the age of nine, one did have to admit it was perhaps the most exciting thing in the world.

I don't remember mine. I assume I worked with Robinson and my friend-who-is-a-midwife on it - we did everything together - but I don't actually recall what it looked like. I do recall the giant letter made two years earlier by Robinson and my friend-who-is-a-midwife, which had my name and address on it. This was on a slightly smaller scale, but nevertheless, I still appreciate the effort.

I turned innocently (I was 9!) to Christopher, who was poring over his own Volador, which had developed a slight droop. "Who did you do it with?" I asked.
"Er... Tony and Yusuf," replied Christopher, at which the aforementioned Tony let out a very Edna Krabappel laugh: "HA!"
"What?" said both Christopher and I together.
"He means do it, as in... ungh! ungh!", explained Tony. To prove his point, he punctuated his unghs by thrusting his crotch forward, which one might say is inappropriate for a boy of that age, but then again, Tony was always a rather forward person. He was one of the first to use the word "fuck" as punctuation in his speech. By the age of 10, everyone was doing it. (Saying fuck, not having sex with the air.)

My primary school was weird. We knew that Doing It meant Having Sex, even if most of us didn't know what Sex was (I did; I was told when I was very young and hadn't put much consideration into it), and that Sex was a Disgusting Thing our Parents Did Once. "Hey, you did it with ______!" was some sort of insult people used in the playground, and that if you even so much as touched another person, even when playing "it" or something, then that was it: they were pregnant, even when it was a boy. and it's All Your Fault. Robinson fell over in the playground once, and even as I helped him up, Tony let out another belly laugh and pointed at the star-crossed lovers.

The following year, we were shown the sex education video (I was absent on the day itself), and suddenly, Sex became less of a thing to make fun of people about. From what I picked up, it was Scary, it was Unnatural and even a Thing To Be Feared. The year after that, being Gay became the standard mock, and the year after that - my first year in secondary - I had no choice; I was the gay one. My bully made that known to everyone.

It's often said that we need better sex education in schools. I agree entirely - we need to educate children, as well as educating ourselves. But I do wonder at times who learned enough early - and who was misinformed enough to think that something I said was a veiled reference to a forbidden act, when all I was doing was standing in the corner of the room, looking at the Volador.

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