The 8th grade boys in my school balked when I first showed up wearing Gothic Black lipstick and Raven Dark eyeshadow blotched around my eye sockets. They whispered about my hair being wild and unkempt, they pointed at my clothes. They called me names, all the names I’ve ever heard, and a few that were new to me.

“Dude, you look so stupid.”

“What’s wrong with you, you freak?”

“You wanna be a chick, you sicko?”

“You’ve got to change your style if you want to fit in,” my teacher said.

I went home that night and ordered more makeup.




Denny Knights lives in a small town in Iowa. His published work can be found on 365tomorrows.