If you are boy in Arizona (or in any other state), you play sports. It is not a question of do you play sports, it is which one. Sam has never played sports, nor has he shown any interest. When he was in 3rd grade, I got called into the teacher’s office because he had written up a casting notice for “Pippin” and had cast the class in roles and notified them of the 1st rehearsal at our house. The parents all called me, concerned as to what “Pippin” was (and secretly, some of them wanted to know if their kid got a good part!)
So, Sam has always been different in the eyes of most boys he has gone to school with. But not to the kids he does theater with. They love him, accept him, and celebrate him for who he is.
Inevitably, people always ask me, “So, do you think Sam is gay?” I guess that is the connection most people make with boys and theater. And so early on, Craig and I decided that it is perfectly fine if he is. Recently, a costume designer on a local show told me that he doesn’t think Sam is gay. And I was really disappointed. I had pictured Sam and his partner and me, out on shopping and lunch dates, decorating my home and giving me tips on my hair. The happiest, most wonderful people I know are gay. Lots of people Sam has worked with in theater, my daughter’s cheer leading coach, attorneys at my office, and our amazing nanny that we had for 5 years have all been gay.
But because he’s in middle school this year, and boys really don’t get it, they are now “teasing” Sam by calling him gay. Because that’s the only insult that they can think of in a boy who doesn’t play sports. On the bus, they throw things at him and call him “fag.” But what they don’t realize is that Sam doesn’t care. He doesn’t know who he is yet, he’s only 11, and seems to love both Broadway and Megan Fox, so I don’t think we can make that call yet.
He has asked me to pick him up from school for the remainder of the year so that he doesn’t have to ride the bus anymore. And that’s fine, but it frustrates me because the kids at school still don’t understand that what Sam does is special and amazing. Last night he had over 75 people, mostly from theater, come and say goodbye to him at his going away party. I love theater kids and how accepting they are. And there are boys and girls who love it.
Hopefully, when Sam comes back to AZ, they will figure out that he is cool, even though he doesn’t play sports. And if they don’t, that’s o.k. too. As long as he has people who love him and support him, and accept him for whoever he is, he will be fine.