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Authors: James Lecesne

Tags: #Trevor, #Trevor Project, #James Lecesne, #Lady Gaga, #bullying, #LGBT, #It Gets Better, #gay, #lesbian, #bisexual, #transgender, #questioning, #youth, #young adult, #seven stories press, #triangle square edition

Trevor

BOOK: Trevor
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Text and Illustrations by

James Lecesne

Seven Stories Press

New York

Copyright © 2012 by James Lecesne

A Seven Stories Press First Edition

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including mechanical, electronic, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Seven Stories Press
140 Watts Street
New York, NY 10013
www.sevenstories.com

College professors may order examination copies of Seven Stories Press titles for a free six-month trial period. To order, visit http://www.sevenstories.com/textbook or send a fax on school letterhead to (212) 226-1411.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Lecesne, James.
Trevor / James Lecesne. -- 1st ed.
p. cm.
Summary: Bullied at school, dumped by his friends, and pressured at home, an artistic teenager struggling with his sexuality and identity makes a desperate attempt to end his loneliness.
Includes bibliographical references (p. ).
ISBN 978-1-60980-420-6 (hardback) -- ISBN 1-60980-420-1 (hardback)
[1. Sexual orientation--Fiction. 2. Sex role--Fiction. 3. Suicide--Fiction.] I. Title.
PZ7.L483Tr 2012
[Fic]--dc23
2012016377

Book design by Jon Gilbert

Printed in the USA

9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

This book is dedicated to the memory of
Randy Stone
cofounder of The Trevor Project

Trevor

One

There I was,
lying on the front lawn in plain sight with a knife in my back. Actually that was the effect I was going for, and to be perfectly honest, I think it looked pretty good—from the street. I had gone to a lot of trouble in order to create the illusion that I'd been murdered. First, I borrowed Mom's kitchen knife (the big one) and planted it firmly in the dirt. Then I positioned my body so that it looked to the people who happened to be driving by in their cars that I'd been stabbed to death. The fact that Dad was nonchalantly mowing the lawn made the whole thing seem (in my opinion) even more macabre. Imagine that you are driving past a typical suburban house on a typical suburban street in a typical suburban town somewhere in America at the beginning of the twenty-first century. A guy is mowing his lawn. You happen to turn your head and catch sight of this kid—thirteen years old, brown hair, wearing a t-shirt, jeans, and running shoes. He's lying on the grass with a knife stuck in his back. Horrors! What do you do? Do you turn your head away and pretend you didn't see it? Call 911? Stop and point out to the guy who is mowing the lawn that his kid appears to be dead? Do you stop the car, jump out, and administer mouth-to-mouth resuscitation? What?

These are a few of the questions I pondered while lying there trying to make it look like I wasn't breathing by keeping my chest and stomach perfectly still. It's hard to do, but I had been practicing this for years and eventually I developed a technique to simulate deadness. I can fool trained paramedics, which I did once when I was in seventh grade (the trained paramedic was my cousin Sara, but still). Anyway, I was doing a pretty good job of being a murder victim when I heard my Dad yell over the sound of the mower.

“WHAT?”

“MY KITCHEN KNIFE,” Mom yelled back from the porch where she was standing. “HAVE YOU SEEN IT? THE BIG ONE?”

Dad did not reply, but I imagine that by this time Mom had spotted me lying there in plain sight along with her knife. I opened one eye just enough to see her marching across the front lawn. She was coming toward me, and she did not look happy. I'd say, based on her facial expression and body language, exasperation would be a more fitting description of her mental state. The fact that she was wearing an apron made me deduce that she had been in the middle of cooking dinner and then realized that her knife (the big one) was missing. After looking high and low, the logical next step would have been to ask Dad if he'd taken it from the kitchen. He is always using her kitchen utensils for inappropriate household activities like cutting tree branches or unscrewing something on his car. Once she spotted me, I figured that I'd be receiving a good talking-to, so I shut my eyes and braced myself for her verbal onslaught.

Let me just say that Mom has never been my best audience. Ever. She has always been very busy with either housework or her job. As she often reminds me, she doesn't have the time or the energy for my “shenanigans” and she wishes to God that I would find something constructive to do with my time, something other than sitting in my room doodling for hours or lying on the front lawn pretending to be dead. What about baseball, she has asked me on more than one occasion. “Would it kill you to go over and ask that gang of boys if they needed an extra outfielder or something?” She didn't understand that in fact I
was
being constructive. I had gone to a lot of trouble in order to create the effect of my own murder on the front lawn, but unfortunately, due to her position, it was lost on her. I was really doing it for the benefit of the random people who were passing by our house. From the other angle, it must have looked as though I'd fallen asleep on the front lawn with the knife stuck in the grass beside me. I doubt she would have enjoyed having the whole thing explained to her, so I kept my mouth shut and kept on pretending to be dead. Knowing Mom, she probably was able to figure out what I was up to and just wasn't that impressed.

In any case, she reached down and quickly snatched the knife from the lawn. Then she wheeled herself around and headed back toward the house without a word. She didn't even bother to yell at me. Maybe she thought I was doing this as a ploy to get attention, but I was just trying to keep myself entertained. It's fun to be pretend-dead and then lie there as the world goes on without you. In my opinion, this is a much better use of my time than playing baseball.

The mower started up again, but I could hear Dad's voice shouting over the sound of the revving motor.

“TREVOR,” he yelled. “GET UP. I HAVE TO FINISH THE LAWN AND YOU'RE IN THE WAY . . . TREVOR!”

Two

I
don't want
to give you the impression that Mom and Dad are uncaring people who are insensitive to my needs; they are merely busy. Mom works as an administrator processing applications for insurance claims—or something like that—at the local hospital. Dad is a regional manager for a company that distributes products designed to make things that stick, like tape and industrial-strength glue. As an artist, I am not exactly inspired by the type of work they do, but I totally appreciate the fact that ever since I can remember they have kept a roof over my head and sent me to school fed and fully dressed. As their only child, I have always had pretty much everything I need. We are not rich by any means. I guess you could say that we are comfortably well off. Mom and Dad are tired at the end of the day—the result of their hard work—and they like to relax in the evening by parking themselves in front of the TV and watching some dumb game show or a televised talent contest in which people are pitted against one another until one of them wins a chance to be recognized by strangers in shopping malls across the country.

One night, while they were watching TV, I walked into the living room and fell dead to the floor. I held my breath a good long time. No response from them. That was when I decided that their ability to spontaneously respond to their environment (and me) had been compromised by the television. Unless I happened to be dancing with a star, I don't think they would notice me—and I have never danced with a star in my whole life.

Sometimes instead of hanging around in my room surfing the net, drawing, or just being ignored to death by my parents, I sneak out of the house and go over to Zac's house, which is just four blocks away. Zac and I have been friends since second grade, but now that we're in high school and we don't do kid stuff anymore, we have been working on more grown-up activities. For example, one night Zac asked me if I wanted to come over and check out his new microscope. I said yes, hopped on my bike, and went upstairs to his room without his parents knowing what was up. And wow! Let me tell you, we saw a lot of crazy activity through the eyepiece of that microscope. His sperm was amazing! Zac said that people used to think masturbating could cause a person to go totally deaf. Apparently he had read all about this and, according to the Internet, it was something they told to young boys in order to get them to stop “abusing” themselves.

“I am no expert,” I told Zac, “but I've never heard of a single case where someone went deaf due to masturbation.”

“What'd you say?!” Zac asked, pretending to be deaf.

We had big laugh over that one.

Then things got ugly.

He asked me if I was planning to dress up for Halloween, and I told him that I was considering going as Lady Gaga.

“Why?” he asked, and I could tell that he disapproved of my idea.

I explained to him that Lady Gaga was (a) my absolute fave, (b) an icon, and (c) an original who knew how to upend people's expectations of normalcy. He wasn't convinced, and announced that he was going to be a superhero for Halloween. He suggested that I join him, or at the very least consider something “less gay.” I informed him that Lady Gaga was certainly not gay.

“You're missing the whole point,” he told me.

Before he could say anything further, I jumped in: “No, Zac,
you're
missing the point. Because anyone who knows anything about Lady Gaga knows that she has had to overcome plenty of obstacles to become the artist that she is today. And in order to be myself and achieve my goals, I will have to do the same.”

He rolled his eyes and said, “Whatever.”

End of discussion.

After that I was even more determined than ever to be the most awesome, gender-bending version of Lady Gaga for Halloween. Mom dropped me at the mall, and with my birthday money, I purchased the following items:

One full-body leotard (black): $14.95

One wig (blond): $18.45

One sequined cape (silver): $19.99

One pair of oversize sunglasses (black): $8.00

One pair of platform slouch boots (black): $27.99

2-lb bag of glitter (silver): $10.00

TOTAL: $99.38

BOOK: Trevor
8.25Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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