2016-03-27 – When I was 14, I had an erection in the boys’ shower at a summer camp I attended. This became a topic of derision and I spent the rest of the summer trying to take my showers when no one was around.
I didn’t experience the derision as particularly homophobic, but it could have been. I just had no clue about those things at the time. This was 1965. I specifically remember first learning about homosexuality for the first time when my ninth grade literature class read the Edward Albee’s play The Zoo Story. At the time of the shower incident, I knew nothing.
No, the shower room bullying was just generic meanness. And it wasn’t limited to summer camp. Twice a week through high school, I had to endure the nude showers after gym class. By then, my penis was under control (and no one knew about my camp experience). The problem in high school was simply that I was a nerd, not a jock. So I was fair game. The bathrooms were scary as well.
As it turned out, I am straight. What must it have been like for those who are not?
So it is with complete amazement that I read about the campaigns across the country to make bathroom bullying the law. Don’t people know what goes on in locker rooms and bathrooms?
And they say they are doing it in the name of safety. What was safe about my experience? And I was straight!
I say that these people need to keep their eyes and their hands to themselves.