The Storyville Chronicles
Mark's Journal Entry
by Julien Gregg

April 27

It had been a week since Marty had left, and we missed him like crazy. All of our friends missed him. I missed him most of all. I didn't understand why everyone had to be so cruel to him all of the time. At least one of us, our group, had tried to make sure that we were with him all of the time at school. We just couldn't be there at all times, and he got hurt. He got hurt because of homophobia and ignorance. That's all there was to it. Marty got hurt because he was gay. That's what made me angry.

It wasn't as if he could control that part of himself. I wasn't stupid like most of the senior class. I knew that it wasn't a choice. If it were a choice, I'm sure that Marty would have chosen to be straight. I know how hard it was for him to come to terms with his sexuality. Marty and I had been best friends since we were three years old. We'd shared everything as we grew up. I was the first person he'd come out to, and I was the one who sat with him for six hours while he cried that day. He didn't want to be gay. That was what he kept telling me over and over after he came out to me.

It had taken me six straight hours to calm him down. He was scared that I wouldn't want to be his friend anymore, but I told him that being gay wasn't something that I would end my friendship with him over. I wasn't worried about him being gay. It wasn't like he was going to jump me or anything. They say that gay men are more sexually active than straight men, but I'm smart enough to know the reason for it. I knew that he would never try anything with me. For one thing, we were like brothers. I knew that to try anything with me would be like putting the move on his brother.

And the belief that gay men have more casual sex than straight men is actually based on reality. I know that, and if everyone really thought about it honestly, they'd know exactly what I know. Gay men don't try to have sex any more than straight men do. The difference is that straight men try to have sex with straight girls. Gay men try to have sex with other gay men. They're more successful because their perspective partners are also males who think about sex just as much as they do. With straight men there's the problem of girls wanting rings and papers before sex is granted. So gay men are actually only more successful at finding partners than straight men are when it comes to having casual sex. If girls were more open to it, we'd have just as much sex as gay men. Believe me.

But Marty wasn't out trying to score with the football team or anything. For the most part, no one really knew about him. It wasn't like he was over the top or anything. He was on the basketball team, and he hung out with other jocks. It was all over one little incident that someone had witnessed and then spread all over the school. Marty met Jason on Jason's first day at our school. He'd transferred in from another city, and Marty was the one assigned to help him learn all about our school. They got close, and I guess they hit it off. Marty never really told me about Jason, so I don't know how they got to where they were the day that they were seen.

It was a kiss that started the whole thing. Mandy Dennings saw Marty kiss Jason behind the dumpster the last day of school before Christmas Break. No one knew about it until after we returned to school in January. Jason and Marty's lockers were both defaced, and everyone was talking about them. Some people made threats, and Marty had to quit the basketball team. That's when the rest of us stepped up to help him out. It just wasn't good enough. On February 13th, Marty was jumped by three of his old team mates. His left arm was broken along with three of his ribs and his left ankle. His face was covered in bruises, and one rib had punctured his lung.

We'd all camped out at the hospital while Marty was in surgery, and Jason and his family were there as well. Marty came through surgery just fine, and he recovered enough to return to school shortly afterward. He just wouldn't return to school. He was too scared to come back. That made us all mad, but what could we do? We couldn't go after the three boys that had beat Marty, because he hadn't told us which of the players it was.

Gary Tabor was the one who told us about "The Day of Silence". He'd read about it on the net, and he'd even printed out an article about it. It told us all about the day of silence that was supposed to stand for tolerance, acceptance and overcoming homophobia. He said that we should hold our own little day of silence at our school. We all thought it was a great idea, and everyone in our group of friends quickly agreed. We bought shirts that advertised what we were doing and told our principal what was going to take place.

So yesterday, all six of us walked around the school without saying a single word all day long. We got taunted a lot from some students, and even a few teachers tried to make us talk. None of us spoke, though. We were all thinking about Marty and Jason. It wasn't long before people started to ask us questions that we refused to answer. I can only hope that they'll ask us again today when we go to school. We'll answer them today. We'll tell them that everyone has a right to be themselves without prejudice or cruelty. We'll remind them of Marty and Jason.

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