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

Luna Wood
01:30 Apr 01, 2021

These are the flags I could find- -bi -pan -no binary -ace -gay Also, I love this story and I haven't been able to find that many authors who write about these kinds of things.

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Ari Berri
14:01 Apr 01, 2021

Nice job! Thank you! Most of my stories are LGBTQ+, so if you're looking for those, you can read my stories.

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Luna Wood
15:17 Apr 01, 2021

Wait why are you leaving reedsy?

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Ari Berri
15:31 Apr 01, 2021

Keep scrolling down.

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Luna Wood
15:49 Apr 01, 2021

Ohhhhhhh. Sorry I didn't see that.

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Luna Wood
15:49 Apr 01, 2021

Ohhhhhhh. Sorry I didn't see that.

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Ari Berri
15:55 Apr 01, 2021

XD

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Echo Sundar
15:35 Mar 31, 2021

This is an amazing story! I love the sweetness of it and the plot. I actually wrote a story under the same prompt along the same story line as well I was wondering if you could read it?

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Ari Berri
15:38 Mar 31, 2021

Thank you! I'd love to read it.

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Ashlyn Marie
02:26 Mar 31, 2021

I absolutely loved your story, the plot was executed excellently! It made me want to know more while not confusing me either. I especially enjoyed the pastor's reaction to his son's coming out. However, it seemed random because I hadn't previously heard of the pastor, so I'd recommend mentioning him beforehand. I also think your story would've been even better if you had used less to be verbs (were, is, was, will, are, and am). For example: "He's on my bed" changes to something like "He lays on my bed" or "He sits on my bed". Other than th...

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Ari Berri
14:07 Mar 31, 2021

Thank you! I can't change it now, but I'll definitely try to do that next time. Thanks again!

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Amel Parvez
16:57 Mar 29, 2021

just saw that u are downvoted again:( oopsie. sorry. i am gonna upvote u:)

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Meera Lakshmi
14:23 Mar 29, 2021

Hey, I was wondering whether you could create a doc that we could both edit in so we can maybe chat not so publicly? I would create it but my account only lets me view and edit different docs not create them to share. It has a firewall.

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Meera Lakshmi
17:52 Mar 30, 2021

Ari?

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Meera Lakshmi
17:52 Mar 30, 2021

I miss talking to ya

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Palak Shah
11:51 Mar 28, 2021

Lovely story Ari. I loved the description well done Could you please read my latest story. I hope that we could be friends. Have a good day :)) ~Palak Shah

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Ari Berri
13:38 Mar 29, 2021

Thank you! I will, remind me if I forget. You, too.

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Palak Shah
16:02 Mar 29, 2021

:))

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Meera Lakshmi
12:40 Mar 26, 2021

How are you???

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Ari Berri
13:21 Mar 26, 2021

I'm fine, you?

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Ari Berri
13:21 Mar 26, 2021

I'm fine, you?

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Meera Lakshmi
13:27 Mar 26, 2021

I am fine, Your thoughts on the matter I brought up? Only if you want to share, I don't want to push you.

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Meera Lakshmi
12:43 Mar 26, 2021

Honestly, I have come to have a different mindset. Yes we got downvoted, and yes it hurts, but I came to reedsy to share my writing and read from amazing authors. And it kinda spiraled away from that. I know I signed some petitions but I kinda want people to stop escalating it. Making petitions just make you realize it's still there. Let's just let it blow over and even if we still get downvoted it's ok. The more we make a big deal about it, I think the more we are going to get downvoted. If the downvoters get no attention they will stop. So...

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Meera Lakshmi
12:49 Mar 26, 2021

Sorry one more thing. Isn't reedsy supposed to just be for writing and having fun? It's blowing itself out of proportion. To quote Blixxi "You can take away all my points but you can't take down my stories." Your points don't define your writing. :)

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Ryan Lm Colli
19:54 Apr 08, 2021

What a lovly story meaningful and intense!!! Follow and like mine Lump the trump!

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Ari Berri
20:32 Apr 08, 2021

Thank you!

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Ryan Lm Colli
20:40 Apr 08, 2021

Np

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Ryan Lm Colli
20:40 Apr 08, 2021

Np Pls like and follow me pls

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