Keep your head up

Submitted into Contest #86 in response to: Set your story at a park during a spring festival.... view prompt

93 comments

Gay Inspirational LGBTQ+

“Elliot...”

I turn to my boyfriend, Jace. He’s on my bed, and was reading a book, but looking at me now. His blond hair falls in his face, and he blows it back. “Yes?”

“Are you really going to do this?”

I huff. “Yes.

“Okay...but there will probably be kids there.”

“Even better!” I declare. “They need to be educated anyway. Now tell me, how do I look?”

“Good.” He says.

I sigh as he goes back to his book. I’m going for spectacular.

I’m wearing a floor length dress. The top part is white, and the skirt slowly fades to green. The sleeves are going off my shoulders, which is where my brown hair stops. I’ve always kept it long, despite my mothers protests.

Actually, this whole thing is to spite my parents. They don’t know I’m gay, and just think Jace is my best friend. I guess he is, but he’s also more.

“I look amazing.” I decide. “Right?”

“Of course you do.” Jace agrees.

“This is going to be awesome.”

“Totally.”

“I’m not going to be disowned.”

“No way.”

I squint at him. “Are you being sarcastic?”

“Not intentionally.” He says. He rolls onto his side to look at me. “But it’ll be fine. You’ve been planning this for weeks. It doesn’t matter what everyone else thinks.”

I smile. He always knows exactly what to say. “Thanks. Ready to go?”

He nods, and gets up off the bed. We’re going to the town festival, where we’ve got a huge surprise for everyone before we go to college.

He checks his phone as we go downstairs to the garage. I have the majority of my things in his car in case this goes badly, which I’m sure it will.

“Everyone else is already there.” He tells me as we get in his car. “Hannah’s making some last minute touches on things, but she should be done by the time we get there.”

I nod. “Everything else is good?”

“Yep. And Jackson says Devin decided to do it, too.”

I grin. “Perfect.”

We drive to town square, where most people are. Jace drives to an old building that’s a little out of the way, and parks in the back. A group of people come out the back door to crowd around the car.

“Gah, I don’t know if I can do this.” I say. “What if I look terrible?”

“You look awesome, El.” Jace says.

I nod, then open the car door.

“Yes!”

“It looks perfect!”

“That’s definitely your color.”

I blush as I get complimented on the dress as we walk inside. There are more people inside, and they all turn to look at us when the door opens.

The building has been abandoned for years, but we’ve been meeting here for a couple months now. There are chairs, and a few tables, some with food, some covered with the cloths we’ll be using.

“Elliot, you look awesome!”

“The dress totally works!”

“I told you you'd look great.”

“Please,” I mutter, my face warm. “You guys are embarrassing me.”

Jace laughs, and we go over to Hannah. She’s the one that made the dress.

She’s in a corner, frantically sewing. Her black hair is tied up in a bun so it’s out of her face. Her partner, Ky, is beside her, sitting on the side of the chair. Hannah looks up at us, and smiles.

“You look awesome.” She says. She bites off a thread of string, then calls, “Emma!”

It’s a flag. The lebian flag to be specific. There are all kinds of different flags in here- gay, bi, pan, non-binary, trans, demi, omni, ace, aro, and lots of other ones, too.

“I think that was the last one. The extras are over there.” Hannah says after Emma gets the flag. She drags a hand down her face. “Ugh, I’m so tired.”

Ky leans down to kiss her. “You did a great job.”

“Thanks.” She says to them. She looks at me. “When are we doing this?”

I glance at my phone. “Twenty minutes.”

“Okay.” She nods. “I’m going to sleep for a while.”

I smile. “Okay. Thanks for all this.”

She waves a hand and pulls a flag over herself, putting her head in Ky’s lap. Jace and I walk away, and we sit down. I can tell everyone’s nervous, and I don’t blame them. This is a big risk for a lot of us.

Finally, Jace gets the text that says it’s time. I announce it to everyone, and we all start gathering our things.

We start out on the street. Jace and I are near the middle so no one will see me yet. There are at least fifty of us, and most of us hold a flag of some kind. Jace’s pink, purple, and blue flag is wrapped around his shoulders, and I see Hannah with a pink, yellow and blue one by Ky, whose is yellow, white, purple and black.

When we reach the point where people can see us, I notice things quiet down. There’s loud music playing, but talking and laughing has stopped.

I see people watch us walk down the street, moving over to make way for us as we head towards the big stage in the middle of everything.

There are news crews that we all knew would be here, and they turn the cameras towards us. We march confidently through the crowds, until we get to the stage. There’s a band up there, but the music stops as we reach them. They quickly clear the stage when we walk up the stage.

I bite my lip nervously. “I don’t know if I can do this.”

“You got this, Elliot.” Jace tells me, kissing my cheek.

I blush, then take a deep breath, and walk to the front. I get murmurs of encouragement as I squeeze through people.

There are gasps when I step out. I see cameras flash as people gather near the front of the stage. Practically the entire town is here. They’re murmuring amongst themselves, but seem to be waiting for what I have to say.

I take a breath, then get the microphone.

“Hi, everyone.” I say, my voice booming through the speakers on the sides of the stage. “We have an announcement.”

I wait for them to quiet down before I continue.

“Most of you don’t know this, but I’m gay.” I say. There are several gasps. “I like wearing dresses and makeup, and I’m here to tell you all that that’s okay.”

“It’s sinning!” Someone yells.

“It’s not, actually.” I tell them. “But whatever. Anyway, all of us,” I gesture to the group behind me. “Are coming out. Gay, trans, etc. If you aren’t going to accept us, okay. If you are, that’s even better. I hope you guys have a good day.”

“You’re going to hell!”

“It’s wrong!”

“You’re gross!”

I ignore the yells, and turn to the group behind me. I know a lot of their parents and friends are out there, and we’ve all been preparing for their reactions.

“Everyone good?” I ask. There are confident nods, but I notice some people look sad. I assume their parents contacted them.

“Elliot!”

I turn to see my little sister running onto the stage. I laugh as she jumps into my arms.

“I like your dress!” She says, grinning.

I smile. “Thanks. You can try it on when we get home.”

Esa is six. I don’t think she really understands what’s happening, but I’m glad to have her support anyway.

I can see my dad by the stage, and he nods at me approvingly. My mom is nowhere in sight, though.

I put Esa down, and feel arms wrap around me. “Nice job.”

I smile, and turn my head to kiss Jace. “Thanks.”

There are more yells, but I don't care.

“Uh, Elliot?”

I look over at Ace, a short guy with a black, gray, white and purple flag. “Hm?”

“The pastor from that one church is coming up here.”

He’s right. Everyone quiets down as he walks over to us. He’s a tall man with neat brown hair and rectangular glasses on his nose. He stops in front of me, then scans all of us.

He walks to a boy-Devin. His son. Devin has a rainbow flag around his shoulders. He takes it from his son, and to my surprise, pulls it over himself. Devin grins as his dad hugs him. I hear him murmur to Devin, “Thank you for being braver than me.”

The pastor turns to the crowd. “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”

All of us on stage cheer, and all the people who were yelling seem to be at a loss.

People come onto the stage, and some even take extra flags. The festival continues, and we clear the stage for the band.

I stop in front of my dad. He smiles sadly.

“Your mother left a while ago.” He says.

I nod. “I expected as much.”

“I love you, son.” He says.

I grin. “Love you, too dad.”

“Now, about that Jace boy-”

“Later, dad!” I say, dashing away. We can talk about that later.

This went way better than I expected. 

Hope you liked it. If you know what any of the flags I described are, write them in the comments.

March 24, 2021 21:30

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93 comments

22:24 Mar 24, 2021

I'M CRYING THIS IS SO QUEER I LOVE IT ARI- Thanks for making a smol bi cry with happiness

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Ari Berri
22:40 Mar 24, 2021

XD Glad you like it!

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22:45 Mar 24, 2021

✊🏳‍🌈

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Aww I love the flags!! I'd definitely go to this if I could. #PRIDE

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Ari Berri
16:20 Mar 31, 2021

=) Thanks!

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Leo Reynie
22:44 Mar 24, 2021

Can't thank you enough for writing this, but thank you. XD I know all the flags.

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Ari Berri
22:53 Mar 24, 2021

No problem!

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Meera Lakshmi
14:35 Mar 31, 2021

Hi! I am thinking of doing a reedsy cast story. If I end up doing one, I was wondering if you wanted to be in it. If you do please answer these questions! Thanks! Gender Hair color Eye color Any other descriptors as to what they look like Anything else you want to add :)

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Meera Lakshmi
14:46 Mar 31, 2021

Hi Ari. Miss chatting with you. Hopefully you see this and stay long enough for us to chat :)

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Meera Lakshmi
14:50 Mar 31, 2021

Can you create a doc and give me permission to edit and then we can chat?

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Ari Berri
19:14 Mar 31, 2021

Sure. Tell me if you write it! Gender: Non-binary. Hair: Curly, dyed blue. Eye: Hazel Personality: Sarcastic and likes to read.

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Meera Lakshmi
20:35 Mar 31, 2021

Awesome!!!! I miss talking to you....could you create the doc??

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Meera Lakshmi
20:35 Mar 31, 2021

Awesome!!!! I miss talking to you....could you create the doc??

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Ari Berri
20:42 Mar 31, 2021

I'll try.

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Meera Lakshmi
20:47 Mar 31, 2021

:)

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Ari Berri
20:48 Mar 31, 2021

Do you have an email?

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Meera Lakshmi
23:08 Mar 25, 2021

#StopDownvotingNow Share this with 10 friends!

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Meera Lakshmi
18:59 Mar 25, 2021

New story!! Can you leave some feedback?

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Meera Lakshmi
18:03 Mar 25, 2021

HELLOOOOO!

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Ari Berri
19:15 Mar 25, 2021

Hi!

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06:29 Mar 25, 2021

owww, awesome story! Bet the dress was cool

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Ari Berri
14:35 Mar 25, 2021

=)

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Kelly Dennison
00:26 Mar 25, 2021

What a lovely story about inclusivity and bravery and the spectrum of acceptance. Brilliant!! And I bet he looked smashing in that lovingly hand-made dress ;)

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Ari Berri
00:31 Mar 25, 2021

Thank you! =) I hope so!

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Ellie Yu
22:55 Mar 24, 2021

This is the least straight story I’ve ever read and I’m totally in love with it. More rainbow-ness please!

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Ari Berri
23:10 Mar 24, 2021

Thank you!

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Sunny 🌼 🖤
21:55 Mar 24, 2021

I knew most of the flags except omni, never heard of it before. AND LET'S GO HANNAH! POWER TO THE PANS! Also also ALSO. The fact that his name was Ace and he was carrying an Asexual flag is eVeRyThInG.

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Ari Berri
22:08 Mar 24, 2021

PAN! Omni is like pan, and they like all genders, but the gender has to do with the attraction. I didn't even do that in purpose. XD

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Sunny 🌼 🖤
22:19 Mar 24, 2021

💗💛💙 Oh ok that makes sense! It's a total coincidence? That's hilarious-

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Ari Berri
22:22 Mar 24, 2021

XD

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21:37 Mar 24, 2021

I haven’t seen a boy in a dress in a looong time. Great inclusivity! This hits pretty hard too! (And close to home so uh maybe bias)

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Ari Berri
21:38 Mar 24, 2021

=) Thanks! I haven't either, so I figured why not. Glad you like it!

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Sydney Coates
20:45 May 24, 2021

aw im literally in love with this!! ty so much for writing itttt

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Ari Berri
21:45 Jun 06, 2021

Thank you! No problem, glad you like it.

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Ant Man 🐜
16:26 Apr 13, 2021

OMB I love your profile pic! Is that Alex?

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Ari Berri
16:27 Apr 13, 2021

Yes! My favorite character ever.

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Ant Man 🐜
16:30 Apr 13, 2021

Awesome! That's great! 😲😀 What's your favorite Rick Riordan book? It's tough, but mine is Magnus Chase and the Ship of the Dead 😁

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Ari Berri
16:38 Apr 13, 2021

Ship of the Dead, definitely. Probably because of Magnus and Alex getting together. Have you read Heroes of Olympus or Trials of Apollo?

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Ant Man 🐜
16:42 Apr 13, 2021

I know, that book was really good! I did like those parts 😁! He should do an all-book crossover! 😁😀 I have read all the books Uncle Rick wrote except for like 3 mini books and the 39 clues, though I've read part of book 1 😁

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Ari Berri
16:43 Apr 13, 2021

Oh, that would be cool. Did you like Percy Jackson, Trials of Apollo, or Magnus Chase better?

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Cookie Carla🍪
13:15 Apr 06, 2021

Heyyy guess what??!!! I wrote a story long time ago and it's called "'Hop In,' Says My Coffin" I don't know if you've read it or not but if you haven't you most definitely should!!!!!!!!!! XDDDD

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Ari Berri
13:59 Apr 06, 2021

I read it, it's great!

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Jay D Mer
17:25 Apr 05, 2021

I liked this story. It was different and cool. NICE JOB, ARI!! Just a few things: "It’s a flag. The lebian flag to be specific." Lebian-> Lesbian I also didn't get why in the beginning El said "Actually, this whole thing is to spite my parents. They don’t know I’m gay, and just think Jace is my best friend. I guess he is, but he’s also more." But then at the end his dad smiles approvingly. That means he finally excepted right? Yeah, I'm guessing that's correct :)

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Ari Berri
18:11 Apr 05, 2021

Thank you! Gah, I can't believe I didn't see that, thank you, even though it's too late. Yeah, the dad accepted him, but his mom didn't.

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Jay D Mer
12:25 Apr 06, 2021

No Problem! I think it's fine;) Ah, ok.

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02:34 Apr 02, 2021

👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈

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Ari Berri
13:05 Apr 02, 2021

Thank you!

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Angel {Readsy}
20:26 Apr 01, 2021

Oh Yes please read my story too and comment

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Ari Berri
20:28 Apr 01, 2021

I'll read it.

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Angel {Readsy}
20:24 Apr 01, 2021

Excellent writing skill

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Ari Berri
20:28 Apr 01, 2021

Thank you!

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