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The exercise was to write down the names of two people you WANT to sit by and one person you DON’T. The one person they almost unanimously did not want to sit by was me. One day when I wasn’t at school, the teacher announced to the class, “Ok I want to talk about this. Why is everyone in the room so uncomfortable with sitting next to Bob?” All my classmates were looking at the floor, squirming at their desks. Nobody could really answer.

They'd just say "He's different."

There was nothing bad to say about me. They didn’t hate me. I wasn’t a bully. I really wasn’t anything, but I was weird and they knew it. I was different and they knew it. They didn’t know what it was, and they couldn’t put words around it. But they innately knew something was different. And we’re taught that if something’s different…DANGER.


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