A tweet from a gay guy about how he used to help his teacher laminate things during recess has gone viral. It has prompted others to share their memories of how they got through their school days.
They are funny, relatable, but also sometimes a little sad: One of the common threads is the things that some young LGBTQ people do to avoid school recess, preferring to hang out in safe spaces such as libraries, music rooms, or bonding with trusted teachers rather than risk facing bullies. Other just seem to enjoy gossiping with adults!
Twitter user Jon Manganello (@jonnymangs) got the ball rolling with a tweet on Tuesday saying: “I knew I was gay when I skipped recess to help my teacher laminate things and gossip.”
I knew I was gay when I skipped recess to help my teacher laminate things and gossip.
— jon manganello (@jonnymangs) March 31, 2020
At the time of writing, it’s had almost half a million likes, over 30,000 retweets, and hundreds of comments.
Others were quick to offer their own, similar memories.
Jeremy O. Harris, the writer of recent Broadway production, Slave Play, said, “This is so true!!! I literally found so many excuses to hang out with my friends (re: my teachers).”
This is so true !!!
I literally found so many excuses to hang out with my friends (re: my teachers)
— Former Broadway Playwright Jeremy O. Harris (@jeremyoharris) April 2, 2020
“Omg I gossiped my entire adolescence with middle-aged women,” said Michael Meyer (@HoganBCMJ).
Some pointed out that there was a lesbian equivalent to helping teachers laminate: assisting the librarian re-shelve books.
just as lesbians carry on the tradition of shelving books in the library at recess
— (will not be at the event) (@uhhhhhhhmaybe) April 1, 2020
“I earned the most reading points in 3rd grade and my teacher asked what prize I wanted (anticipating candy, a book, a hw pass, something like that) and I said I wanted to have lunch with her at recess lol,” commented @celindaburb.
Educators and librarians also added their thoughts.
“This is so beautiful,” said @exlibris. “As school librarian, I was in charge of the laminator. You were my favorite kind of student.”
This is so beautiful ✨
As school librarian, I was in charge of the laminator. You were my favorite kind of student
— Bitch McConnell (@exlibris) April 1, 2020
“I’m a teacher and I had one for a year,” said another teacher. “He was 8 and fabulous. He was the youngest of 5 boys being raised by a single dad. They were all hunting and fishing and fixing the car except this boy. The family adored him for exactly who he was. It was beautiful.”
I’m a teacher and I had one for a year. He was 8 and fabulous. He was the youngest of 5 boys being raised by a single dad. They were all hunting and fishing and fixing the car except this boy. The family adored him for exactly who he was. It was beautiful.
— Robin Ryan (@Robinryan200) April 1, 2020
Damnit! We teachers just thought you REALLY liked us. Well at least we hopefully made you feel safe in our presence. Thanks for all the laminating help either way. 😍🌈
— Angela (@Petunia0909) April 1, 2020
Facts are facts, tho!
Laminating things is the easiest way to add a little extra *~*~flair~*~* to an otherwise ordinary-looking sheet of paper. 😉
— Jordy Diaz (@jordy_espero) April 1, 2020
Others pointed out other school-age clues to their sexuality.
“I knew I was gay when I put my black fur parka coat on my head and impersonated Cher during recess & my teacher played Sonny!” said @jaymathewsphoto.
I knew I was gay when I put my black fur parka coat on my head and impersonated Cher during recess & my teacher played Sonny!
— Jay Mathews (@jaymathewsphoto) April 1, 2020
Lmao I had a teacher who decorated the class every other week during two recess periods. she would only allow me to help. We would also eat chips and gossip as well 😂😂😂😂 #teachersbeknowing
— Sh’Rae Marshall (@Lifetoldby609) April 1, 2020
“I volunteered to answer the phone at the front desk while the secretary took her lunch break,” said @nickwmay.
I would spend the minutes before school opened not with my classmates, but with the office ladies asking about their cats or with the janitor/maintenance guy asking about his tools (which I could barely understand through his Appalachian accent)
How didn’t I see I was lesbian af
— (((🌺LISA🌺))) (@tapirtamer) April 1, 2020
“I hid in the library reshelfing books and gossiping with the librarian, she snuck me gummi bears every day when I finished,” said @jordnroberts.
I hid in the library reshelfing books and gossiping with the librarian, she snuck me gummi bears every day when I finished
— Good Pipe in the Moonlight (@jordnroberts) April 1, 2020
When I was 11 years old Mrs. LeVert let me bring my typewriter to school and stay in from recess because I told her it was so hard finding proper time to write.
I think of her often.
— Topher Payne (@topherpayne) April 2, 2020
Although most of those commenting appeared to do so with fondness and gratitude, others touched upon the reasons recess can be hell for some kids.
“I ate lunch in a classroom alone for two years because I got bullied in the lunch room but used to kiki with the monitor,” said @aaanderso_n.
I ate lunch in a classroom alone for two years because I got bullied in the lunch room but used to kiki with the monitor 💁🏾♂️💬
— Tony 🐙🦠 (@aaanderso_n) April 1, 2020
Numerous studies have found that LGBTQ youth are more likely to experience bullying. Last year, the US-based National School Climate Survey from GLSLEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) concluded, “schools across the nation are not safe for most lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) middle and high school students.”
A UK poll of 1,000 teachers revealed in 2019 that kids in primary school are more likely to be bullied over their sexuality than racism, sexism or religion. It found 13% of kids had been bullied because of their sexuality, and three-quarters of teachers had witnessed such bullying taking place.
Whatever the reason some kids enjoy hanging out with teachers, the tweet certainly proved relatable for many – from across the spectrum of sexuality and gender. It led the original poster, Jon Manganello, to comment: “Nice to hear from fellow queers about where they hid at recess. At risk of sounding corny, I wish we could have all been friends!”
Nice to hear from fellow queers about where they hid at recess. At risk of sounding corny, I wish we could have all been friends!
— jon manganello (@jonnymangs) April 1, 2020