alternative school, safer space, welcoming, conservative mentality, Pride, fear, out, baby queers, homophobia, education barriers
Jae: Yes, yes. So after all of the awfulness and then, Daya’s family had taken me in, they were like, “Ok, so time to go to school!” (laughs) “We’ve got to find you a school up north that you can go to!” (laughs).
Daya: There’s only one option! (laughs).
Jae: Well, only one alternative school anyway--
Daya: I know! (laughs)
Jae: Yeah, it was either the alternative school or going to the regular school, which seemed frightening (laughs) since I didn’t know anybody and (turns to Daya) you didn’t really know much people either, eh--
Daya: Also, I don’t know, yeah, I think, it was like, it made more sense for us to go to the alternative school anyway.
Jae: Yeah, definitely. Yeah, cuz, it’s not like we needed a whole, a whole bunch of credits to finish high school. We just had a few that we needed to finish which is why the alternative school would have worked out, right?
Jae: Yeah, so we went to this, it was called--
Daya: We felt safer, I think, going to alternative schools, too.
Jae: Yeah, looking back on it now, I think it would have been, kind of an issue to go to the other school there because—(Daya nods)—it just, it didn’t really seem like a very—you would see the kids there and nobody seemed very welcoming, very open, you know? (looks at Daya).
Daya: Yeah, it was just, we were afraid of the “small town mentality.”
Jae: Pretty much.
Daya: And so—(pauses to think).
Jae: Which was very alive still.
Daya: It’s a real thing, for sure.
Jae: Not so much anymore. I’ve heard that Minden has their own Pride now (laughs) which is really cool!
Daya: Oh yeah!
Jae: Such a small town (laughs) and you know, that’s really cool.
Daya: For sure!
Jae: But yeah, back then, I definitely, I didn’t really feel--
Daya: Yeah, we were scared, we were scared. Like we were not, like we’d only ever really, we hadn’t really been out, like um--
Jae: For very long really.
Jae: It was like a year or so. We were still figuring out the ropes, you know, being baby queers! (laughs).
Jae: You know, getting all the, you know, the stigmatization and all the insults, you know--
Daya: Yep! (nods)
Jae: For the first time, really. So yeah, that was hard. And we didn’t want to put up with that in a school setting because you know, then again, that would have been, you know, a big distraction and a big barrier probably in finishing school. So, it was good to go, I mean, the alternative school did have its issues, too, you know. Not everybody was open. (Daya nods). But I think it was on a smaller scale rather than if we were in the big high school cuz it might have even been a “mob mentality,” you know? There’s like, lots of kids who go there, thousands of kids, who come from all the different towns, right? There’d be like, ten different school buses from like, all over to go to the one—that’s a lot of people, you know? (looks at Daya).