Who Needs To Know?

by bdhesse

“Why don’t you tell them?” she asks me.
“I can’t,” I reply. “It’s too dangerous.”
She looks at me in surprise. “How is it dangerous?” she asks.
I shake my head. “You can’t understand,” I reply. “You don’t know what it’s like.”
She raises an eyebrow at me. “Try me,” she says.
I sigh. “There’s too much about me that people don’t understand,” I say. “People…they get angry at things they don’t understand.”
She snorts. “There’s a lot I don’t understand,” she says. “I don’t get mad.”
“Yeah, you don’t,” I say. “But just because you don’t doesn’t mean nobody does.”
“Give me one example of somebody getting mad at you because they don’t understand you,” she challenges.
“Just one?” I ask. “How will I ever choose? There are so many! Let’s see: there was that time I got followed home by a group of teenagers ’cause they didn’t know if I was a boy or a girl, there was that man who threatened to beat me and my friend up on the bus because he thought we were lesbians, there was that woman who threw a rock at me, screaming about the devil in me, because she found out that I’m not a Christian, there…”
“Okay!” she cries. “I get it! But don’t you think you owe it to them to tell the truth?”
I roll my eyes. “I’m not lying to them,” I say. “Do you think you owe it to anyone to tell them that your favorite show is Modern Family and your favorite colour is orange?”
“Why would anyone need to know that?” she asks.
“Why would anybody need to know every detail about me?” I reply.
“Oh,” she says as she blushes. “My breaks over.” She quickly rushes out of the breakroom.

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