What Schools Don't Teach
Tommy was looking forward to seeing the movie about puberty with the rest of his fifth-grade class. Afterward, the boys would go to a classroom with a male teacher for a discussion while the girls met with a female teacher in another room. Tommy ended up pretty disappointed. Although the movie was interesting enough, the discussion turned out to be worthless. The kids were giggling and acting as though they already knew everything. Tommy didn't dare ask the questions that had been on his mind. He swallowed his disappointment and did his best to joke around like everybody else.
Tommy's mother tried to talk to him about sex a few months later, which was so totally gross and embarrassing that he didn't hear much. Actually, his mom seemed as embarrassed as he was. She gave him a book to read and told him to ask if he ever had any questions. He told her that he already knew all that stuff, but as soon as she was gone, he read the book from cover to cover. It explained a lot, but one thing worried him. The book said that a “queer” wasn't just “a dork” like he'd always thought.
Now when somebody called him a queer, he wished a hole would appear and swallow him up. Once he turned beet-red, and some girl said, “See Tommy blush? That proves it!” He wondered if it was true. In fact, he was very worried. He sort of liked girls, but maybe he didn't like them enough. Since his dad hadn't given him the sex talk, there was no way Tommy could just go up to him and start asking him questions.