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A Time To Speak

Then suddenly something just kicked me. I kind of woke up and realised that I was in a different atmosphere than you normally are. My immediate reaction was to back off, slow down.

Ayrton Senna


Chapter Ten

The reaction

Win

The three of us got on our own private page right after that thread ended. This page was a closed, secret group that Alecia had started a couple days before, so that the three of us could discuss things privately without having the restrictions of private messages. I started things off.

Win

Was it just me, or did that thread just get really weird?


Neither of them asked which thread I meant.

Alecia

I don't know what happened there. I thought it was a fun discussion, up until Neville chose to talk about all of his "gay" teachers in the art department.


John

I thought it was cool until Faith started in with her sermon about sexual orientation. At least Starr tried to get it back to the subject.


Win

I'm kind of on the fence about that whole thing. Some people choose their orientation, some do not. But I've noticed almost every thread that comes up, Neville says something about being gay.


Alecia

Yes, I've seen that too. It's become a constant stream lately.


John

Can you blame him? Neville had to constantly deny his orientation all the time he was at the school, and now he finally has a safe place to talk about it. Of course he's going to go on about it all the time.


Win

But then Regina gets mad at Faith when she asks about what the rules are for discussing it there, as if it's wrong to ask. I think it's a good question.


Alecia

Yes. And nobody should be surprised that Faith is surprised by a strong gay presence on the page. I wasn't expecting that either. As she said, it is a page for people who attended a conservative Christian university, one whose position on homosexuality is well known. I don't think there's a large gay presence on campus, certainly not with the faculty and staff. Perhaps Neville imagines that some of his teachers were homosexual because he was confused about his own sexuality.


Win

What is Stan's problem? He became very patronizing all of a sudden, and then very passive-aggressive with the way he told Faith that she should read what the page is for before she posts anything. The page description doesn't say anything about discussing homosexuality. It's supposed to be a fun place. That was not fun.


Alecia

How are you doing with your family, Win? Did you ever ask your dad about what we found in ED?


Alecia and John had both listened to me debate about whether to ask my dad about his first marriage or not.

Win

I don't think I'm going to say anything to him. There must be a good reason he decided not to talk about it to my brother or me. I'm not going to invade his privacy by asking about it. It's none of my business. It's none of the school's business, either. Alecia, is there a way to delete it out of his records, and mine?


Alecia

I'm sorry, Win, you know how these things go. Nothing is ever deleted. I don't even have a way to do it. Probably somebody higher up has the capability, but of course there's no way to ask about it without drawing attention.


Win

just wish Dad didn't feel the need to hide it.


John

No surprise there. Conservative Christians really come down hard on divorce, and the school is just as bad. Your dad's a major FIC, right? It would probably kill him to find out that the school has information like that about him. I remember when I was a kid, nobody who was divorced was allowed to serve in the church.


Win

Yeah, I remember how Dr. Stern, in Bible Survey, used to go on and on about not marrying someone from a divorced family. I guess if Clark had ever paid attention to that, he and I wouldn't be married now.


Alecia

Tell me exactly what Dr. Stern said. I've heard this about him before, but he stopped teaching full time my sophomore year because of his health, so I never sat in one of his classes. Why would he even bring divorce up in a Bible Survey class? It's not a major doctrine.


Win

That's what we were wondering, back then.


John

He said that divorces were against God, and that people from divorced homes bring a bunch of baggage with them into a marriage, even kids from a divorced home. So you should think twice about marrying someone from that kind of background. As if. It was such B.S.


Win

So would I count as being from a divorced home? I didn't even know my dad was married before, let alone divorced.


John

I don't know, but he said the same thing about anyone who wasn't from a Beaver Cleaver kind of background. If your parents were divorced, if you were beaten or molested or whatever, or even if you were from a single parent home, he thought you'd be messed up. So don't feel bad. You weren't the only one he would have written off.


John was typing fast; I could tell he was worked up about this.

Win

Alecia, does Dr. Stern still teach this stuff?


Alecia

No. He passed away two years ago. The cancer finally got him. His wife still teaches, though.


Win

And does anyone at the school still teach this kind of thing? Are there any other people there that still believe it?


Alecia

There may be some. I really don't know.


As it turned out, that question would be asked by more than one person, sooner than we could have imagined.