When I graduated from Jericho High School in 1973, I shut the door behind me literally and figuratively, eager to close that chapter of my life and vowing never to set foot in that building again. Why would I ever want to return to that place of torment? Daily I was called Frizz-Bomb and Thunder Thighs. Weekly I was taunted for being “Les the Lezzie.” (My classmates clearly knew something I did not; I didn’t come out until I was 27.) Once, sitting in the small auditorium known as The Little Theatre, I felt something at the back of my neck and was mortified that a classmate had clipped off a snippet of my hair which she then proceeded to pass around the room. No, Jericho High School was a place I was glad to be rid of, once and for all.
Twenty-six years later, in 1999, I was sitting at my desk, writing, as I do every morning, when the phone rang. “This is Mr. Hoffman. Do you know why I’m calling?”~ read more ~