Dion and I were a little tired on Wednesday morning because we’d forgotten that infants require a late-night feeding.We had a wireless baby monitor in TJ’s room and another in our room, and it was a little after midnight when we discerned that TJ was beginning to fuss.At first, we merely heard his crib creaking, indicating he was being active and probably moving his arms and legs about.This was followed by other sounds that made us believe he was getting ready to cry, but he wasn’t actually crying yet.Maybe that was a good thing, since the nurses told us that when he cried it was a shrill and piercing noise, but the sounds we heard were enough to let us know it was time to act.
“This is one thing I haven’t missed,” stated Dion before stretching and releasing a yawn.
“I’ll go downstairs and warm up a bottle for him,” I offered.
“Then I’ll go change him.”
“Are you sure, because I can take care of him if you want to go back to sleep?”
“I’m sure, but you can feed and rock him.”
“Ok, that’s fine with me.”
Dion had finished changing TJ and was heading back to bed by the time I came upstairs with the bottle, and TJ still wasn’t crying. I picked him up, sat down in the rocking chair, and began to feed him.When he was done, I took the bulb syringe and used it to clean out his nostrils before I put him back in the crib.He started to drift off almost as soon as I laid him down.
Dion and I were still a little groggy when the alarm went off in the morning, as I went to fix another bottle so I could feed TJ again before we left for school.Dion changed his diaper and carried him downstairs as I was doing that, while Brandon was going from room to room to wake up the other boys.
I took TJ to the family room so I could feed him as everyone else was eating breakfast.Once TJ finished his bottle, I used the syringe to clean out his nostrils again.As soon as that had been taken care of, I placed him in the bassinet before I went out to the kitchen to grab a quick bite to eat.Once I finished, I raced upstairs to change.
Dion and I said goodbye to Dad and thanked him again for watching TJ, and then we herded the boys out to the SUV so we could take them to school.Before Joshie and Benny got out at the high school, they reminded me about something.
“We have a Gay-Straight-Alliance meeting after school today.Are you gonna wait for us?”
“No, we’ll take the other boys home first and you can call us when the meeting ends.One of us will come back to pick you up and take you home.”
“Ok, we can do that.”
After making it through the school day, we picked up the other boys and headed home.Dion and I then went to spend some time with TJ while the other boys were doing their homework, and Dad was in the kitchen working on dinner.When my phone rang, I saw it was Joshie and answered.
“The meeting’s over,” he said.
“Ok, I’ll be right there.”
I usually let Dion do most of the driving, but I still drive from time to time, so I went down to pick up the other two.When I got there, they hopped in the SUV and we headed home.
“So how did the meeting go?” I asked during the ride.
“Not good,” Benny replied.“We’ve got a real problem, but we were gonna wait and talk to you guys about it after we ate, because we want my dads there too.”
“Why?What’s wrong?” I nearly screamed.
“Don’t worry, cuz it really doesn’t have anything to do with us.It’s what the other kids at school are doing to a trans-girl in our grade, and then we found out that some of the GSA members are doing it too.That’s why we wanna talk to you guys about it, to see if there’s anything we can do to help her.
“Ok then, go work on your homework now and after dinner we’ll all get together after the other boys are in bed.”
When we reached the house, they went off to do as I’d suggested, and I asked Dion to join me as we went out to speak with Dad.I quickly filled them in about what Joshie and Benny had told me and that we were going to meet after the other boys were in bed.When Brandon and Danny came home, I filled them in as well, and they also thought this was a good idea.
Since TJ was awake, we decided to feed him before Dad called us to eat.I changed him first, and then Dion fed him and cleaned out his nostrils before he rocked him.He did this until Dad called us to the table, and then he laid him down in the bassinet.
Joshie and Benny were very quiet during dinner, although the other boys were eager to tell us about their day.They happily recounted things that had happened to them during the day, both in and out of class, and that took us through most of the meal.When they finished talking, we asked if they’d finished their homework, and the younger boys either said they had or they didn’t have any, except for Tristan.He said he still had a little more to do, so he went to work on it while the other boys went outside to play.Joshie and Benny also went to work on their homework, and while they were gone the rest of us sat down to chat.
“Do you have any idea as to what they want to meet with us about?” asked Danny.
“Yes, to an extent.They said it was about a transgender girl at the high school,” I answered.
“Do you know who this trans-girl might be?” followed Brandon.
“No, I just know it’s none of the students from any of my classes.”
“How about you, Dion?” pressed Brandon.
“I didn’t even know we had any transgender students at the school. I’m aware of a few effeminate gay boys, but as far as I know, none of them considers themselves trans.”
“Then I guess we’ll have to wait and see what this is all about.”
Since the younger boys had school in the morning and it was starting to get darker earlier now, we called them in for the night.We then sent them upstairs to get ready for bed, and while they were taking their showers, Dion and I bathed TJ as well.After the other boys finished up, we let them watch one TV show with us, and I gave TJ his bottle at the same time.
“Can I do that?” Wyatt asked.
“We’ll let you do it on the weekend, but you can’t be watching TV or doing anything else while you’re feeding him, not even talking,” I replied.“You’ll have to pay attention to what you’re doing, and one of us will sit next to you while you’re feeding him.”
As soon as the TV program ended, we went upstairs with the younger boys and tucked them in bed.Once they were all taken care of, we met up with Joshie and Benny in the family room.
“Ok, do you want to tell us what’s up?” I asked.
“Yeah, the problem concerns a boy that was in middle school with us.He’s always had long hair and acted really girly, and he even hung around with a bunch of girls too, but he never dated any of them.And then this year he told us to call him by a different name.”
“Will you be more specific and tell us who you’re talking about?” asked Dion.
“Yeah, when we were in middle school his name was Tommy Kravitz, but this year he’s been telling everyone to call him Tamara.”
“So, is that the problem?” asked Pop.
“It’s what led to the problem,” replied Benny.“We’d heard the other students started calling him names and giving him grief about what bathroom he uses.He not only changed his name, but he’s dressin’ like a girl too, and he’s actually pretty cute as a girl.”
“And when we started talking to the other GSA members about this,” added Joshie, “we found out some of them were also picking on him and calling him names.”
“Like what?” Dad wanted to know.
“They call him ‘girly boy’, ‘the ball-less wonder’, and ‘dick-less Tommy’.I’ve also heard them call him ‘boob-less Tamara’ and ‘the girl with a cock’.”
“But they aren’t just calling him names,” spat out Benny in disgust.
“Why?What else are they doing to him?”
“I heard some guys were grabbing his crotch to see if he still had his family jewels, or if he’s had them cut off already.”
“That’s disgusting,” snarled Dad.
“And they’re grabbing his chest to see if he’s got boobs,” continued Benny.“And they slap his ass and make kissing sounds when he walks by.I also heard that he’s been beaten up.”
“Yeah, and he was having so many problems that he started bringing his lunch to school,” continued Joshie.“He’d take it out to the athletic fields and sit in the bleachers and eat it, all by himself.”
“But one day a bunch on older boys went out there and pulled him out of the bleachers,” added Benny, “and then they stripped him saying they wanted to find out if he had a cock or a cunt.”
“That’s horrible and disgusting,” stated Pop visibly upset.“And doing some of those things could get the kids doing it arrested and sent to jail or prison.”
“Yeah, but I guess they don’t care.”
“And you said some of the GSA members are doing this as well?” asked Brandon.
“Yes!” replied Benny.“When we brought it up before the meeting, some of them started calling him those same names and saying he made the problem for himself.”
“And what did you do when you heard this?” followed Dad.
“I told them to stop saying those awful things about him, and then I said doin’ that stuff to him wasn’t any different from what people used to do to us, just cuz we were gay.”
“I can’t understand why they would do that to another person from the LGBTQ community,” continued Joshie, “and I told them so.”
“But they didn’t seem to care,” followed Benny.“I know I wouldn’t want anyone to cut off my dick or balls, and I think that’s what he’s planning to do when he has the operation.If that’s what he thinks is best for him and what he wants, then why should anybody else make a big deal about it or try to stop him?If it’s the way he feels about himself and what he thinks is best for him, then that’s his decision and no one else’s.”
“I’m sure his parents might have a say in the matter, at least until she turns 18,” suggested Danny.
“Yeah, you’re probably right, but now we don’t know what else to do.”
“Maybe we can help you with that, but first I have another question,” offered Dad.“Do you think she’s started transitioning yet?”
“No!” responded Danny.“If her parents agree with what she’s doing, then they may have allowed her to take puberty blockers, but nothing else.She could have begun taking those when she started puberty.”
“What are the blockers for?” asked Benny.
“They delay the secondary sex characteristics from forming, and that would include such things as facial and body hair on males and the development of breasts on females,” answered Danny.“However, she won’t be able to begin hormone therapy until she turns 16.”
“Why would she do that?” wondered Joshie.
“Beginning hormone therapy is to help you develop the secondary characteristics of the opposite sex.This would include such things as developing a more muscular physique for anyone transitioning to male and broader hips for someone transitioning to female.Even if her parents let her do this, she can’t undergo reassignment surgery until she’s 18.”
“Is that when they cut off her dick and balls?” asked Benny.
“Basically, but what they do is convert the penis into a vagina.Before that can happen, though, she’ll have to go through some intensive psychological evaluations first, to get the surgery approved.”
“Does it hurt when that happens?” wondered Joshie.
“I believe you’re referring to the surgery, and it doesn’t hurt any worse than any other surgery.They’ll use anesthetics during the surgery and give her pain medication afterward, to lessen any discomfort she might otherwise feel.”
“Oh, ok.But what can we do to help her?”
“Has anyone told your teachers or the principal about any of this?” demanded Dad.“Or have they possibly notified the police, since some of the things the other kids are doing are against the law?They’ve committed sexual harassment and sexual assault, to name just a couple of the offenses.”
“I’m not sure, but I don’t think any of the teachers or the principal have been notified,” confirmed Benny.
“Then it’s where we should start.”
“But we can’t do that, cuz if the other kids find out we turned them in, then they’ll come after us next.”
“Yes, that’s a possibility, but there are other ways to get around that.Dion and Trey both work at the school, so they could report it.”
“But the other kids will know we told them, since we brought it up at the GSA meeting.”
“What about the club adviser.Wasn’t he or she there when you were discussing this?”
“No, we talked about it before she got there and before the meeting started.”
“Ok, then I can think of one other option.I still have contacts in the school district, so I can notify the people who are in positions to do something about this and get them to agree to keep the information and where it came from anonymous.They will be able to investigate the allegations and question Tamara and her parents about what’s been happening and see if they want to report this through official channels and then follow it up.This way, it won’t be coming from either of you.I know your intentions are good, and we all think you are doing the right thing, that’s why we’re willing to help you.The thing is, I believe you’re learning that it takes guts to stand up for another person in a situation such as this.”
Both boys hung their heads until Benny looked up and spoke.“We wouldn’t mind reporting it, but we haven’t seen anyone grabbing her junk, stripping her, or beating her up.We’ve only heard some of the comments others have made about it and we didn’t think that would be good enough to report it.”
“You’re probably right about that, because those in authority positions wouldn’t have taken you seriously just on secondhand information.Let me do this instead, and those in charge can question Tamara and her parents to get the information firsthand.”
“Yeah, that would be waaay better,” chimed in Joshie.
“I’ll make a few phone calls tomorrow to get the ball rolling.”
“We’ve never really discussed this before,” I began, “but how do you two see yourselves?Do you consider yourselves gay, bi, or straight?”
“I don’t think we’re straight, cuz we like havin’ sex with each other,” said Joshie, “but I think I’m like Dad.I’m probably bi, but I prefer bein’ with guys more.”
“Have you ever done anything with a girl?” asked Dion.
“Nah, but I’m pretty sure I could, if I wanted to.Benny and I even talked about that if we stayed together that I should have sex with a girl.I’d make an arrangement with her first and get her to agree that if she let us have the baby to raise then we’d pay for all of the hospital bills and give her a little more for the pain and inconvenience.We’d even let her be in the baby’s life, like Dad did with my mom.”
“So, does that mean you two are planning to become a couple?” asked Brandon.
“Yeah, prob’ly,” answered Benny.“I’m pretty sure I’m gay and we’re really close and like being together, so that’s what we’ve been talking about doin’.We’ve even been talkin’ about going to the same college after we graduate high school.”
“So, does this mean you already know what you want to do after college?” asked Dion.
“Yeah, I’ll probably go into the family business,” said Joshie.
“Family business?” wondered Danny.
“Yeah, I wanna become a teacher.”
“Ah, I get it.So, are you going to teach music like your dad or English like your Poppy?”
“I wanna teach history like Grandpa Josh did.I loved going on the trips with you guys when I was younger and learnin’ about all that stuff.”
“I’m glad to hear that,” commented Dad.“I sometimes wondered if you guys were just being polite and trying to humor me.”
“Nah, the trips were great and I hope we can go on more trips like that.”
“So, what about you, Benny?” asked Brandon.“What are you planning to do?”
“I wanna be a technology teacher.I’m really into computers and there will be a lot more to teach kids about that stuff by then.”
“Are you guys worried about how you might be seen by the others at the college if they find out you’re gay and cousins?” asked Pop.
“Nah, most younger people don’t have a problem with gays.It’s a lot easier than when our dads were younger and we can even get married too, and that’s not something you guys could look forward to when you were our age.It’s mostly older people that have trouble with gays, especially the guys around Grandpa Josh’s and your age, and they were probably the same jerks who made nasty comments and told jokes about gays when you and Grandpa Josh were younger.”
“Yes, your right about that, and I think we sometimes wonder about what others in the community think about us and the way we brought up your dads and uncles.We were also worried about how people would react to doing the same things with you boys, when they offered to stay here and take over the ‘Hotel’.”
“Most people around here really look up to you guys,” replied Joshie.“Yeah, there are a few guys like David Hubbard and that group, but most people admire you guys for takin’ in all of us and they don’t care that you’re gay.”
I think the rest of us were thinking about his comment when Danny asked the next question.“Benny, do you feel that you turned out to be gay because of the way your mother treated you when you were growing up?”
“I’ve thought about that a lot, but I don’t think it changed who I am.It made my life more miserable back then, but I was attracted to boys before she started doin’ those things to me.I even wondered is she suspected I was gonna be gay and that’s why she did those things to me.”
“From what I heard, she had a problem with your biological father, which she transferred to all males.I’m not sure if your sexual orientation had anything to do with how she treated you – she just despised all guys.”
“Do either of you feel the way we’ve raised you boys and that we’ve let you have sex with each other caused you to be gay?”
“Nah, I think I woulda been bi and preferred guys even if I wasn’t raised here,” answered Joshie.
“Yeah, it just gave us a chance to explore different things without havin’ to sneak around, like most other guys at school have to do,” added Benny.
“Ok, I guess that clarifies a few things for us and makes us feel better that we didn’t influence who you are,” said Brandon.
“Oh, you guys definitely influenced who we are, you just didn’t cause us to be gay,” clarified Joshie.“Me and Benny are both proud that you’re our dads, uncles, and grandpas.”
I could tell we were all deeply touched by his last comment, and since we all seemed to have lumps in our throats, we decided to end our little meeting.When it broke up, Benny and Joshie headed upstairs to get ready for bed, although the rest of us stayed behind to chat a little more.
“Do you really think you can solve the problem?” Dion asked Dad, getting back to the Tamara situation.
“Maybe not solve it, but I can get the ball rolling.I’ll contact the high school principal, and then he and the guidance counselor can speak with Tamara and see what she has to say, and they can also contact her parents.If anything substantial turns up, then they can take appropriate action against the offenders, and the local police or state police might even be called in to deal with those who broke the law.It may take a little while, but I’m sure they can deal with this fairly quickly.They can also let the rest of the student body know that anyone participating in these types of actions will be dealt with swiftly and severely.”
“It’s certainly obvious that you used to be a principal and school superintendent,” said Danny.“You broke the situation down quickly, got right to the heart of the matter, and then came up with a plan of action.”
“Well, I’ve had some experience dealing with these types of situations before, such as when you boys were first coming out.”
“Yes, we had to deal with a few situations like that as well,” they all agreed.
Now that this problem had been addressed for the time being, we started getting ready for bed.But before that happened, Dion and I discussed another situation.
“If you want, I’ll get up with TJ for his late-night feeding.”
“Let’s do it like we did last night and split the duty,” offered Dion.“That way neither of us has to lose a lot of sleep.I’ll change him while you’re getting the bottle ready, and then we can take turns feeding him and putting him back to bed.”
“Ok, if that’s what you want to do.It will probably help to keep us from getting overly tired during the day if we do it that way.”
“Yes, that’s what I thought.”
We then went through our nightly rituals before crawling into bed together.We were sleeping soundly until we heard TJ begin to fuss over the baby monitor, and then we went into action.Dion was able to get back into bed before me, but only by a few minutes, because we were getting it down to a finely tuned process.
After breakfast, we drove the boys to school, and I was the only one in the SUV with Joshie and Benny when we reached the high school, because Dion got out at the middle school today.As soon as he exited the vehicle, I moved into the driver’s seat and took us the rest of the way, but before we got out of the SUV and headed into the building, Benny spoke to me.
“You’re not going to say anything about what we talked about last night, are you?”
“No, we agreed to let Grandpa Josh handle it, so I don’t need to get involved, unless I witness something.”
“Ok, that’s good,” he said before he and Joshie raced toward the main entrance.
Nothing unusual happened during the day, and when it ended, Joshie and Benny met me at the SUV.I drove over to the middle school to pick up Dion and that group of boys, and I got out of the SUV to let Dion get behind the wheel.After driving over to the elementary school to pick up Wyatt and Xander, and we headed home.
Dad merely greeted us when we walked through the door, but didn’t say anything concerning the Tamara situation, although I figured he’d tell us what he’d done about that later.We asked the boys to do their homework first, and then Dion and I went in to spend some time with TJ.
To our surprise, he was awake when we went into the family room, so Dion picked him up, sat down in the rocking chair, and started singing to him.While he was doing that, I grabbed one of the books to read to him as soon as Dion finished, since Dad kept all of the books on the floor under the bassinet.When Dion was done, he stood up and I replaced him in the rocking chair, and then he handed TJ to me.He then went out to help Dad as I began reading.TJ was smiling and even started to coo as I did this.
Before long, Xander and Wyatt came racing into the family room, since neither of them had very much homework to do. “Can we hold him?” blurted out Wyatt.
“Wait until I finish reading to him.Sit down on the sofa and I’ll hand him to you when I’m done.”
“K,” they both agreed, and then they hustled over to sit on the sofa.
When I got to the end of the story, I stood up and walked over to the sofa.I handed TJ to Wyatt first, and I let him hold TJ for several minutes before I took TJ from him and handed him to Xander next.I let him hold TJ for the same amount of time, and then I took TJ and placed him in the bassinet, while I went to fix his bottle.
As soon as Dion saw me, he made a suggestion.
“I’ll go change TJ before you feed him.”
I merely nodded and headed to the kitchen.I grabbed one of his bottles from the fridge and heated it quickly in the microwave.After testing it on my wrist to make sure it wasn’t too hot, I headed back to the family room to give it to TJ.
After he’d drained the bottle, I rocked him briefly until he fell asleep, and then I placed him back in the bassinet before going out and joining the others for dinner.While we were eating, the younger boys told us about their day, but Joshie and Benny didn’t say very much.We weren’t sure if they’d talk to us about the other situation later, after the younger boys were in bed, or if they just didn’t have anything more to say.I figured we’d soon find out, one way or the other.
The younger boys went outside to play once they carried their dishes to the kitchen, while Joshie and Benny went to work on their homework again.We called the younger boys inside when it started to get dark and sent them upstairs to shower, and then we let them come back downstairs to watch one program with us on TV.Benny and Joshie must have still been working on their homework because they didn’t join us.When the program ended, we took the younger boys upstairs to tuck them in.
I was somewhat surprised to hear Benny and Joshie in the shower, and then they must have gone straight to bed rather than coming down to join us afterward.Since they didn’t seem interested, the rest of us went to chat with Dad and see what he might have to say.
“I know you’re all curious, so I’ll fill you in about what I did today,” he began.“I called both the high school principal and the superintendent and told them what Joshie and Benny had told us last night.The principal was going to direct the guidance counselor to call Tamara down and speak with her about the allegations.He felt that would be less suspicious than calling her to his office, since students regularly get called to the guidance office.If she verifies any, or all, of the information, the guidance counselor will go to speak with her parents, and then they’ll determine the best course of action from there.
“If the guidance counselor finds there is validity to what Joshie and Benny have told us, he’s also going to let the principal know, and then the principal will contact the superintendent.He’ll, in turn, contact the local and state police to get them involved, because they’ll have to do their own investigations.It appears this nightmare might soon be over for Tamara, if that’s actually what she’s been enduring.”
“That’s good to hear, and I’m sure this news will help Benny and Joshie sleep better,” I stated.
“By the way, where are they?” asked Dad.
“I believe they showered and went to bed.I’m not sure why, but I take it they didn’t want to know any more about what’s going on, at least until it becomes public knowledge.”
“They must feel they’ve done their job, and now it’s up to the rest of us,” added Danny.
“Yes, I suppose you’re correct,” agreed Dad.
None of us were sure when the news might spill out to the rest of the student body and their parents.That will depend on how much truth there was to any of the stories, along with what Tamara and her parents elect to do.Will they press charges, hoping it will end her problems, or will they refuse to, thinking it will cause her even more grief?It’s a personal decision that only they can make, but I was certain the school district, as a whole, will have their own response.We’re just not sure what it might be.
Dion and I kept our eyes and ears open when we arrived at school on Friday, thinking we might see or hear something that would let us know which direction this was going.Unfortunately, we didn’t pick up on anything, so either nothing was going on or it was happening behind closed doors.Whichever the case, we’d just have to wait to find out.