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Hi, my name’s Craig and I’m from Willow Grove, Pennsylvania.
During high school I was in the Color Guard in marching band; it’s the people in the front of the band with the flags and the guns and throwing them up in the air and being all kinds of fabulous. And I was one of the first guys to ever be in the Color Guard and the other one was my best friend, Andy, and we were both gay and we weren’t really supposed to be in the Guard. Guys weren’t supposed to be interested in it and we were, so it started out like, hey, I want to do that. So we went to an audition one time and we learned some of the moves and then we didn’t get in so we just borrowed flags and stuff from the school and we spent every waking hour outside until 11:00 at night until the neighbors were like, “Stop doing that!” because we were dropping them on the ground, making all this noise. We were obsessed with it.
When we wanted to join the Guard we had to fight to get in because the school didn’t want us to do it. We basically had to threaten a lawsuit to do it and we were really serious about doing it. My brother told me that the drum line instructors said, “We’re gonna make sure those faggots don’t get in the Guard.” My brother said, “Excuse me, that’s my brother. Fuck you.” So I was like, “No, I’m getting in.” So I went up to the director of the group and I started asking about it, I said, “I heard through the wind that these people are saying they’re going to keep us from getting in, they don’t want it to happen.” And he was like, “Well, you know, you’re going to have to meet the skills necessary when you do the audition.” I said, “I’m going to say this again. We’re gonna get in. So that’s not going to be a problem. We have all the skills and if we don’t get in, there might be a problem.” And I was 15 when I said this, so I don’t know where I got that from. But I was just determined to do it. Everyone came around eventually but initially there was a big, “We’ve never done this before! We can’t do this! This is wrong! Boys aren’t supposed to do this.” Which is ridiculous because a lot of high schools have it now. A lot of high schools have multiple guys on the Squad and stuff so we just had to kind of push our way through.
I’m From South Charleston, OH. “[The assistant principal] looks relieved. “If that EVER happens again, I want you to punch Aaron just as hard as you can in the mouth. You won’t get in trouble if you hit him, you have my word. Never let another boy kiss you again.” I leave the office, shaken, and walk down the hall towards my classroom. To this day, fifteen years later, I’ve never been able to bring myself to break that promise.”
I’m From Cannonville, UT. “Everything went smoothly until the principal found out I was gay. Being religious himself, he put his beliefs before the well-being of a student. Skipping the horrible details, I went from being a straight-A student to failing all of my classes. The worst part of it all, the teacher who gave me the most problems just so happened to be best friends with my parents. This caused a huge split in my family where my mom took my side and my dad did not.
I’m From Galveston, TX. “Mr. Robertson continued, “My wife and I were mighty impressed with your dancing though, and I never would have suspected that someone as mild-mannered as yourself could get up there in front of everyone with that – what do you call it? – and move like that.”
“M-My mace?” I asked.
“Yeah, your baton-thingy! I’m tellin’ you, boy, you need to take a look at your family tree, cause you’ve got some kinda soul and WAY too much rhythm for a white boy.”