JULIAN COMES OUT
It was a Saturday morning and Julian Claiborne was up and about. He ate his breakfast and felt giddy. His mom was busy cooking in their commodious kitchen. Julian went to his mom’s room by stealth. He quietly opened his mother’s closet. He found a pair of pink stilettos, leather wedges, silver pumps, and beige flats. Julian noticed a wide array of wardrobes lined up. From formal to casual, from corporate to cocktail. He noticed a lavender beret hanging in the closet. Julian took a silk crimson cocktail dress and felt the fabric in his hands. He ran his fingers on the dress. It was so smooth that he kept rubbing the cloth. He took the dress from the hanger and chose a pair of leather wedges. Julian put on the cocktail dress and stepped into his mom’s shoes. Julian walked over to his mom’s chest and opened a fake emerald encrusted case. It was his mom’s make-up kit. Julian put on a plum blush. There was a burnt sienna lipstick on one of the corners of the case. Julian stroked the lipstick on his tiny pink lips. He saw himself on the mirror and loved how he looked. He brushed his hair like he had long locks. An Estee Lauder green tea perfume was on the middle of the chest. He sprayed the perfume all over his body and smiled. He noticed a cerulean jewelry box on the chest. He found a pearl necklace and wore it around his neck. He rummaged through the case and found a pair of tear drop earrings. He clipped it on his ears. Julian looked at himself in the mirror and turned around with his mother’s dress twirling. His mother went up the stairs and saw Julian all dolled up. His mom was so shocked and disgruntled that she yelled,
“Julian, what are you doing?! Why are you wearing my clothes? Tale that off! Wash your face and put your clothes back on. You are not a girl.
A terrified Julian said, “I’m sorry mom.”
He changed his clothes and went to the bathroom. He lathered soap around his face. He pat his face dry and took a facial tissue to rub the lipstick off his mouth. Julian ran out of the house and went to a nearby cliff. Julian panted as he sat down overlooking the high cliffs and valleys. Julian looked down and sobbed.
Julian arrived at New Height Public Charter School at 8 am. Half of the kids in the classroom were present. Julian carried a blush pink lunch box. Eyes started to roll and the boys whispered,
“Look at Julian’s lunch box. It’s pink.”
“Hey Julian, what’s in your lunch box,” his male classmate asked.
The boys giggled while Julian pretended not to hear anything. He sat on his chair while his classmates were playing during choice time. Julian had a female blonde classmate named Geneva Hunter. She took the cars and trains out of the shelves and played with it. She saw Julian and said,
“Julian, come join me.”
Julian came to her and said, “I don’t like cars and trains.”
“What do you like? I have a hammer and a piece of wood. You want to play with that?”
“No. I will go to housekeeping and see what’s in there.”
Julian took some plates, pots and pans and pretended to cook a meal. He put on a checkered apron. Julian served the dishes to some of his classmates.
“Here’s your spaghetti with meatballs.”
There was a naked baby doll on the floor. He picked it up and held it in his arms. He rocked the baby like a mom would put her child to sleep. Mark and Stewart saw Julian and laughed.
“Look at Julian. He’s holding a baby.” Mark said.
“He plays with dolls?” Stewart mentioned.
“That’s weird. He is weird.”
Geneva heard the two boys and snapped, “Leave Julian alone. Go away!”
Geneva saw her teacher Ms. Gail in the corner of the room and said, “Ms. Gail, Mark and Stewart were laughing at Julian because he played with the doll.”
Ms. Gail looked at the two boys and confronted them, “Mark and Stewart, don’t make fun of your classmate.”
Julian saw what happened and put the baby doll down.
“Okay class, clean –up. We’re about to start our lesson.”
The children put away their toys as they prepare for their morning circle time. The children formed a circle while Ms. Gail sat at the middle.
“Class, our Halloween Costume Party is a week away. Be sure you have thought of something to wear. Be creative and use your imagination.”
Geneva and Julian were seated together and she whispered,
“Hey, do you have anything to wear to the party?”
“No. But I want to be a fairy.”
“Why don’t you come to my house this Saturday? We can choose our clothes.”
Julian and Geneva became instant friends. He felt that no one except Geneva knew how he felt deep inside. Julian is not free. Now is his chance to pour out his soul to the girl who can see through him.
Geneva was Julian’s next door neighbor. Julian never played with the boys. He was often alone playing with his mom’s clothes and accessories. The two went to her room and raided her closet. Julian saw some skirts and floral dresses.
“Wow! I like your dresses. Can I try them?
“Sure. You can wear my skirts and I’ll wear pants.”
“I don’t have anything to wear to the party.”
“That’s okay. Maybe you can find something here.”
“Mommy doesn’t like me wearing her clothes. What am I going to do?’
“Don’t be scared. You can take some of my clothes and wear it once she’s gone. I have a bag here.”
“Thank you but our classmates would make fun of me if I wear a skirt.”
“Don’t listen to them.”
“I want to dress up like you. I want to be a girl.”
“Oh! You want to be a girl?!”
“Yes. But mommy doesn’t know.”
“Then tell her. You are her son.”
“I don’t know about that.”
“Why don’t we go outside and play?”
“Good idea. Want to see a cliff. I go there when I’m alone.”
“Cliff? There is a cliff?”
“Yes, near my home. Let’s go.”
Geneva got a bird’s eye-view of the cliff Julian was talking about. The olive green grass covered the hills while the canary yellow sun shone bright. The air was fresh and crisp. The kids felt the zephyr in the air as the two sat down to talk.
“It’s so nice out here.” Geneva said.
“I come here when I’m sad.” Julian uttered.
“Why are you sad?”
“I get sad when I can’t be myself. Sometimes I feel like jumping off the cliff.”
“Don’t do that. You will hurt yourself.”
“I’m already hurt.”
’I want to be your friend Julian. Just be strong.”
“I want to be a girl, but I can’t.”
“Be yourself Julian. I’m here for you.
Seven o’clock was dinner time for Julian and his mom. They had cauliflower patties and brown rice. Right after Julian took his last spoonful of his dinner, he felt the need to talk to his mom.
“Mom, I want to tell you something. Please don’t get mad.”
“Why? What did you do?”
“Mom, I’m gay and I want to be a girl.”
His mom was flabbergasted. She couldn’t believe what she just heard. Tears rolled down Julian’s cheeks.
“Mom, I’m sad because you got angry when I wore your dress.”
“Julian, are you sure about that?”
Julian’s mom gulped the water from her glass and said,
“Julian, I love you for who you are. You are my one and only child. You are God’s gift to me. If that’s how you feel, then I have to accept that.”
“Thanks mom. I love you.”
“I love you too.”
Julian gave his mother a big hug.
Julian and Geneva tried on some clothes for their Halloween party. Julian picked a flowing tulle skirt and a white sequined tank top. He saw himself in the mirror and said,
“Wow! I’m a fairy. All I need is a wand.”
“Don’t worry. Mom can help us make a wand.”
“Cool!” Julian turned around and played with his skirt.
He was grinning from ear to ear. He never felt this way before. Julian is making a huge step in his life by coming out.
It was October 31st and New Heights was as busy as ever. The children were euphoric and excited for their costume party. Some children were dressed up as superheroes while some boys wore scary masks. A few girls were dressed up as princesses. One of the boys pretended to be Darth Vader. He even had a saber tooth on his hand. Some children were carrying pumpkin baskets to fill them up with candies. Julian and his mom drove to school. Julian’s mom asked,
“Do you like how I look Julian?”
“Yes mom. I like my dress.”
“Julian, your classmates might make fun of you. I don’t want that.”
“Mom, it’s just a costume. I’ll dress up later.”
“All right. Take care Julian. I love you.”
“I love you too. Bye!”
Julian walked on the hallway and Geneva saw him. She had a pilot uniform on.
“Hey! How do you like my look?”
“You’re awesome. Let’s go.”
Upon entering the classroom, their classmates turned their heads and looked surprised. They couldn’t believe that Julian was in a dress.
“Julian is wearing a skirt!” One boy said.
“What’s up with that?” The second boy mentioned.
“He looks silly.” A girl said while the others laughed.
Julian pretended not to see or hear anything.
“Hey, we have a fairy godmother in the house!” Mark said.
“Will you mind your own business! Leave me alone” Julian snapped back.
A deafening silence filled the room. His classmates looked at him and stood still. Ms. Gail entered the room with the other teachers.
“Class, today we would be giving away prizes for the best costumes. Before we do that, we want you to come to the front one by one to explain why you chose your costume.”
Ms. Gail called her students one by one. They had different reasons for picking their costumes. Julian’s turn came. He went to the front while his classmates were chuckling.
“I chose to be a fairy godmother because I want to be like one. I want to grant wishes. I like this costume because I want to wear skirts and feel comfortable.”
“Okay. Thanks Julian. Very well said.” Ms. Gail said.
The teachers deliberated on the contest. There were five prizes to be given away.
“We have made a decision. Our first award is for Best Dressed Person. The winner is Mark Smith”. He was wearing an astronaut’s costume. The child went up and Ms. Gail pinned the prize on his right chest. Three more prizes were handed out. Ms. Gail is about to announce who got the last award.
“Last but not the least, our award for the Most Creative Costume is…. Julian Claiborne. Let’s all give him a round of applause.
His classmates clapped while the others were amused. He never felt so happy. He was proud of himself for the first time.
During dismissal time, his mother walked into the room to pick him up. Julian rushed to his mom and said,
“Mom, I won. I got the Most Creative Costume Award.”
“Wow! Really? I’m proud of you.”
Geneva came up to them and introduced herself.
“Hello ma’am! I’m Geneva, Julian’s friend.”
“Oh hello! Nice to meet you. Thanks for being kind to Julian”
The mother and child drove themselves home and called it a day.
The next day, Julian looked different. He walked into the room with a new hairdo. He dyed his hair purple. His classmate stared at him. One boy noticed his hair and said,
“Look. Julian’s hair is purple.”
Julian didn’t mind the comment.
“I like your hair Julian.” Geneva said.
From then on, Julian didn’t care what other people thought or said. He is just being himself. For him that is the most important thing he has done. At last, Julian is free.