Max thinks fighting everyone is the only way to survive being trans in Indiana. But his view of masculinity is challenged when his new teacher, an Army vet, gives him the tools to push for a GSA at his conservative school.
Jack leans against our school secretary’s desk casually and smiles at her, all dimples. “Hey, Mrs. Riley. Is Mrs. Shelley around? I want to ask her something.”
Mrs. Riley smiles back at him. Jack has that effect on people, especially all the teachers here who have known him since before we even got to high school. One of the pros of being a teacher’s kid. And he looks pretty smooth with his button-down shirt and his man-bun. Like Jonathan from Queer Eye and at least as gay. “She should still be in her office,” Mrs. Riley says, glancing over her shoulder at the principal’s propped-open door.
Surely Mrs. Riley knows what Jack’s going to ask, especially since I’m lurking behind him. We’ve been begging Shelley for a GSA since our freshman year, when Jack’s hair only curled past his ears but mine was to my shoulders and neither of us had figured out that Shelley was the kind of principal who prays in the hallways before first bell. Well. I don’t really beg. I demand. If I were asking to talk to Shelley, Mrs. Riley would either make me leave a note or just make me leave. But because it’s Jack with his earnest teacher’s-kid dimples, she says, “Go on back, sweetie.”
Jack beams. “You’re the best. See you in a minute, Max.” He low-fives me before he goes around the desk, through the hip-height swinging door, and back to Shelley’s office door. God, I hope he remembers our plan.