i: neither cis nor straight
For weeks, Alex had been going on about a surprise she'd got planned for the last day of term before the Christmas holidays. She'd refused to tell anyone what it was, saying that it would ruin the surprise.
The last day of school was finally upon them and Magnus, Alex, Sam, Mallory, Halfborn and T.J. were sitting around a table, eating their lunch.
“Who's hyped for my surprise?” Alex asked, a grin on her face. “I think it's gonna top all the other crazy things I've done this year.”
“Just this year?” Magnus asked, smiling. “Not counting the time you brought a shit ton of water pistols and water balloons into school and started a water fight?”
Alex laughed. “I don't think I could top that if I tried. But this is gonna be pretty great.”
“What about the time you made the speakers play All Star on repeat for two days before they found out it was you?” Sam asked, smiling at her sister.
Alex smiled wider. “That was fun, but I got detention for a week. I actually have permission for this one.”
Magnus looked at Alex. Alex had never asked for a teacher's permission to do something. She usually just did it, no thoughts whatsoever. But this time Alex had planned this a month in advance and asked for permission. This was going to be different.
Magnus glanced across the room to see two of the teachers, Mr. Hearthstone and Mr. Blitzen walking over to their table.
Alex looked up at them. “Is it that time already?”
Blitzen nodded. “Go on, Alex. We're proud of you.”
Alex stood up. “My time to shine,” she grinned, running a hand through her green hair. “Sam, could you film this? Maggie, wish me luck.”
Magnus watched her watched her walk towards the stage at the front of the hall. He turned to Sam, who had just started filming on her phone. “Sam, there's a stage involved. I fear for my life.”
Sam laughed, “She'll be fine, Magnus.”
Magnus turned around to face Halfborn, Mallory and T.J. “Does anyone know what the hell she's going to do?” Magnus asked.
They all shrugged.
Magnus turned around again to face Alex. She was sitting on the steps leading up to the stage, talking to Blitzen. Blitzen turned to Hearthstone, who handed him a microphone. He cleared his throat. “Ladies, gentlemen and people of all genders, Alex Fierro would like to say something.”
Alex jumped up onto her feet, taking the microphone from Blitzen and hopping up onto the stage.
“Hey, people,” she said, waving at her audience. “Especially my dude Mango Cheese over there.” She pointed at Magnus and winked. He hid his face and cringed as a bunch of people turned around to look at him.
“So the thing is,” Alex continued, “your buddy Alex Fierro, that's me,” she pointed at herself, “is neither cis nor straight.” She grinned.
Magnus' table clapped and cheered, causing others to join in.
Alex waited for the noise to die down. “Yeah, yeah. I'm not done yet. So I'm gender fluid. I'm queer. I don't like to label my sexuality, mainly because I have no idea what the hell it is.” A few people laughed. “But who cares? Well, you obviously do. You clapped and everything. But, honestly, why does it matter? People's reactions when I come out to them are either 'Wow I'm so proud of you' or 'Get the hell out of my house'”, she paused, “shoutout to my parents for that last one. But why? Why are people proud of me? Why do they want me out of their house? What did I do? All I did was… exist. And after existing I just told them a little bit about myself. What's the big deal? Are you proud of me for existing? Are you proud of me for reminding you that LGBTQ+ people exist? Are you proud of me for being LGBTQ+? We should all just accept each other. Gender, sexuality, race, religion… it doesn't matter. We're all human. As humans, we should make it our duty to love, support and accept each other. Even if you don't understand my gender or how it works. You don't have to understand, I'm just asking you to have enough human decency to accept me and other people who aren't straight white cis males.”
The room erupted into applause.
Alex smiled. “Now, that's when it's acceptable to clap.” She paused for a moment. “I'm here and I'm queer. Don't forget it.” She jumped off the stage, high fived Blitzen and Hearthstone, and walked back towards her friends. All eyes were on her. She sat down next to Magnus, who hadn't taken his eyes off her since she'd stepped on stage.
“What did you think, Maggie?” she asked, smiling. “Did you like it?”
Magnus smiled. “You just came out to the whole school.”
“Yes I did,” she laughed. “I'll leave you to recover from shock.”