Written for this prompt on the glee_angst_meme:
"In the spirit of the Glist from Bad Reputation, what if someone secretly posted a list of all the closeted and uncloseted gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students in McKinley. The intention behind the list wasn't malicious, but rather an attempt to open up the student body and faculty's eyes to the reality that LGBT students face at the school. What reactions do some of the members of the list incite around school?
The list looks something like:
1. Kurt Hummel
2. Santana Lopez
3. Brittany (de Bakker, for the sake of the fic)
4. Quinn Fabray
5. Rachel Berry
6. Mike Chang
7. Matt Rutherford
10. Ms. Pillsbury ( perhaps she's transgendered)
The rest of the list is up to you. What if the massive outing(s) don't bring about the changes that poster intended? How does the poster fill about this? Let's say Kurt becomes the de facto mentor to all the outed students. It would be interesting to see him interact with the ones who were most brutal in the bullying now being treated the same as they had once treated him."
1) Kurt Hummel
Open about his homosexuality; incurs serious abuse from his fellow students due to this. He sees occasions of teachers acting in a discriminate way as well. Has struggled repeatedly with his sexuality and ability to fit into society, including a brief attempt to date a female (see 3, Brittany ?).
2) Santana Lopez
Disguises her sexuality as something to 'get guys hot', and acts promiscuously. Is more or less in a relationship with Brittany ? (3), but refuses to acknowledge any serious feelings, despite the fact Brittany ? has expressed hers many times. Essentially, a bad case of denial.
3) Brittany ?
Has feelings for Santana Lopez, her best friend, who she almost is in a relationship with – however Santana refuses to acknowledge it as such (see 2). Brittany is more or less open about being bisexual, mostly because she does not seem to understand why she should not; however, behind her back she is derided and called a 'slut' for this. Briefly dated Kurt Hummel as part of his attempt to appear heterosexual (see 1).
4) Rachel Berry
Recently came out as bisexual; was accepted by boyfriend Finn Hudson, but has faced prejudice frequently. Often accused of 'doing it for attention', as Rachel is not secretive about her dreams of stardom. Many people have called in the 'inevitable' result of Rachel being raised in an LGBT household, as she has two fathers in a homosexual relationship with each other. Rachel, so far, has stood up admirably to the discrimination she faces. Only one same-sex encounter is known of at this time (see Quinn Fabray, 5).
5) Quinn Fabray
Exact sexuality is unknown, but recently had a same-sex encounter with Rachel Berry, while Rachel was broken up with Finn Hudson (who Quinn previously dated, and who Rachel has gotten back together with. See 4). Quinn's reaction afterwards was one of panic, suggesting difficulty accepting her own sexuality. Quinn was raised in a highly religious household, and expressed aversion to homosexuality a couple of years previous. She also has been a teenage mother (see Noah Puckerman, 11).
6) Mike Chang
Mike has kept his homosexuality secret from all but best friend Matt Rutherford, whom he has sexually experimented with. However, their relationship is chiefly a friendship (see 7. Contrast Santana Lopez and Brittany ?, 2 and 3). Mike is on the football team, and knows he will have to face extra discrimination from them before acceptance – he has already been repeatedly discriminated against on the grounds of his ethnicity (for comparison, see 13).
7) Matt Rutherford
Exact sexuality is unknown, but relationships with females appear genuine. However he has indicated attraction to males. Is aware of best friend Mike Chang's homosexuality, and has experimented. Matt tries to be accepting, but seem afraid that Mike will develop feelings for him.
8) Kyle Azimio
Deep case of denial – frequently expresses hatred of and disgust with gays, often taking this out on other LGBT students – particularly Kurt Hummel, (1). Behaviour indicates homosexuality. Has sexually experimented with best friend David Karofsky (9), each time to deep regret – and occasional violence, which he usually starts.
9) David Karofsky
Not much is known about his sexuality; however, he also targets the gays of the school alongside Kyle Azimio. Their sexual history is discussed in 8. There are also slight indications of an attraction to Finn Hudson?
10) Noah Puckerman
Infamously promiscuous, runs a 'pool cleaning' business which would best be described as a front for prostitution. Behavior indicates bisexuality; however he appears to be repressing his attraction to males and fixating on females. Sexual encounter and child with Quinn Fabray (5), his best friend's girlfriend, is also of note.
11) Emma Pilsbury
Male-to-female transsexual who had a sex change operation at nineteen. Frequently consumed with neurotic thoughts about people – especially the students – finding out. Also worries in relation to off-again, on-again romance with William Schuester, as she is unsure how he would react.
12) Artie Abrams
Also bisexual, currently in a relationship with Tina Cohen-Chang. He wishes to tell her, but appears to be scared of her reaction. Artie already faces massive prejudice on account of his disability; refuses to 'come out' because he considers himself 'freak enough.' However, he has consciously acknowledged his sexuality.
This is not happening.
That is the only thing Artie can think as he watches the people around him talk and gossip and laugh, spreading those lists around. He's got one half-crumpled in his hand, and he really ought to get out of here before anyone notices. Nobody has, which is either due to the fact he's two feet below everyone else's eye line, or the fact no-one's gotten to that part yet. It's William McKinley High School; he wouldn't be too sure about the literacy of some of these people. Out of the corner of his eye, he can see some of the jocks – not Karofsky and Azimio this time, obviously – harassing Mike and backing him up against one of the lockers, and Artie takes that as his cue to exit.
This is not happening. This cannot be happening. Despite all evidence to the contrary.
Artie doesn't understand how it can be happening; he had been working up the courage to tell Tina for the last, well, ever, and he was still pretty sure it was going to take a few months yet. He hasn't told anyone, and half the people on that list apparently hadn't told anyone either – some of them didn't even seem to be that certain about what they were. Which sort of makes him feel better about the way he has cowered in the closet all this time; it undoes some of the damage that came with Rachel coming out. Not that it was her fault she actually had guts.
Artie is frantically wheeling away – he's not sure exactly to, but somewhere they don't have eyes – when he hears someone calling out from behind him. "Artie? Artie!"
He reluctantly turns around to see his girlfriend running up to him, slightly out of breath, a piece of white paper clenched in her hand. "I've been looking everywhere for you," she says. He can only nod. She continues: "Artie, I – I heard. Read. Well, I heard, then I read."
He winces and looks away from her, as she leans down to be at his level. Well, this is it, he thinks. Accept it or not; moment of truth and all that...
"You should have told me," she says.
He looks back at her. "I'm sorry," he whispers. "I just didn't..."
"I know. I understand. You were scared and you hadn't told anyone before; I'd be surprised if you had told me," she says, smiling. "I'm okay with it. I have a cousin who's bi, and I've heard Rachel rant a lot, so I am going to say this very plainly: you are not gay, and I understand that. I'm not going to panic because I'm waiting for you to dump me for a guy. Well, I mean, that's still a possibility, but the point is: I know I'm not your beard."
He exhales heavily. He can't remember having been so relieved in his life. "Thank you," he whispers, grinning. She grins right back.
"You're welcome," she says, before she leans in and kisses him softly on the lips. When she pulls back, he wraps a hand around hers.
"No, seriously," he says. "Thank you."
She stands back up and walks around behind him, taking the handles of his chair. "Anytime, Artie."
They go to Glee club with Tina's hand wrapped around Artie's, and they haven't spoken much to anyone all day. When they get there, the awkwardness is palpable – especially with Santana scowling at everyone, Matt refusing to make eye-contact, and Finn's constant uncomfortable glancing between his ex and current girlfriends.
Mr. Schuester – and Rachel – appear masterfully determined to fail reading the room, and try and force them onto the next assignment – something about childhood? – anyway. After a few minutes of blather that no-one really pays attention to, Santana interrupts with a loud groan. "Okay, Schue, we know you plans this out and all, but no-one actually cares. Can we please talk about the huge elephant in the room?"
The room erupts into hushed whispers, and Artie frowns a little at Tina. She shrugs and squeezes his hand tighter, as Rachel straightens her body posture proudly and looks back over her shoulder.
"You mean, the list?" asks Rachel, and Santana nods.
"Yeah," she says, before looking up at Mr. Schue and grimacing. "Tell us we don't have to explain?"
Mr. Schuester shakes his head, sighing. "No, I uh... I got a copy. I read. I know a lot of you guys were on that list... I was hoping I could give you all a little bit of time where you didn't have to deal with this, but if you need to discuss it... You ahead."
Quinn bites her lip. "Sorry, Mr. Schue. We should find our own time for this conversation?"
Kurt shrugs and leans forward. "My role on that list was – well, most of what was said elicited something of an 'uh, duh' reaction. Whoever wrote that, they were speaking in a formal tone, like some kind of report – this wasn't just gossip; I think whoever was doing this was trying to help. They probably didn't mean the list to get out."
"Well, it did," Puck says, groaning. "Fuck."
Rachel nods. "Well, I outed myself a while ago, but for the rest of you – except Kurt, obviously – I understand why this hurts," she says, sighing. "If someone forced me out – even by accident – I would probably kill them for it."
"How did it even happen?" Artie asks. "I mean, who could have known all that? I hadn't told anyone, so do we have a telepathic gay rights activist lurking around here or what?"
"Maybe you were just obvious?" Puck says.
Artie rolls his eyes. "Well, did you guess?" he asks, to which Puck concedes with a shrug. "Besides, you're on that list too, so if I was obvious, so were you. Which you weren't," he pauses. "Speaking of which, you couldn't have brought your sexuality up when I was twelve and like, madly in love with you, could you?"
The room fills with giggles and gasps. Puck just stares. "Wait... what?"
Artie shrugs. "I mean, I've been over you for years, but – might have been nice to know."
Puck frowns. "Dude, when you were twelve I made your life a living hell."
"You made my life a living hell for the vast majority of the time we knew each other, Puck," Artie says. "Again, twelve, all sense of rationality was a little dead. Actually, you were the first guy I had a real crush on – you were the one who made me admit it to myself."
Puck nods, and smiles a bit. "Oh," he says. "Yeah, I'm a stud."
"Make a move on him and I'll kill you," Tina says to him, blissfully cheerful.
Puck snorts. "I wouldn't. You're scary, and I can barely understand what he says half the time."
"My twelve-year-old self is heartbroken."
"Guys!" Rachel calls, curtailing this discussion. "While your issues do relate to the list, you're distracting everyone. This should probably be discussed in a more general manner."
"Uh... why?" asks Finn. Rachel frowns.
"What do you mean, 'why'?"
Finn shrugs uncomfortably. "Well, how much can you actually talk about 'in a general manner'? Because it's not like, everyone on that list was all the same. And, by the way, why am I the only straight guy in this group?"
"Hey, I haven't decided yet," Matt grumbles, surprising everyone because 1) no-one was quite identifying their sexualities yet, and 2) Matt just talked.
Finn looks confused, and points at Matt and Mike. "But, wait, didn't the thing say you two..."
Mike looks at the floor, and Matt blushes slightly. "Well, uh... Yeah, but that's not like... it's fooling around; you can't say..."
"Dude, whatever," Puck cuts him off. "Say you're what you want; nobody cares."
"Puck!" says Rachel. "You can't just stop people speaking like that!"
"Yeah, but... I didn't want to keep speaking," Matt says.
"Oh... okay?" goes Rachel.
"I think the most important detail in all this is currently being overlooked," says Kurt. "You see the way I get treated around this school; Rachel came in for a bit of it before because of her dads, and since she's come out it's gotten worse. Any ideas of how to best protect the rest of you from this kind of abuse?"
"Which... we didn't do for you. Crap, now I feel bad," Artie says. Kurt shrugs.
"Sometimes, when I feel like I'm in danger, I cover myself in cling wrap," Brittany offers helpfully. Santana sighs.
"No, seriously, what are you guys expecting to do about this?" Kurt asks.
There are room-wide awkward stares and biting of lips, because no-one actually knows. "Well, uh... who exactly are our biggest problem; the people who can ruin us? Can't we just, like, avoid them?" asks Mike hopefully. Kurt frowns and considers this.
"Well, the football team – and jocks in general – have historically been somewhat dangerous. Physically violent at points. Karofsky and Azimio always harassed me the most; I guess they..."
There is a pause. "Uh, Hummel, they were on the list," says Puck. "Like, half of us are on the football team. You used to be. If that's our biggest threat, I reckon we've got a clearer path than I expected."
"Okay, true, the circumstances have changed slightly since the vast majority of my experiences, but the point remains: Lima, Ohio is not going to like twelve LGBT individuals crowding around the local high school."
"Well, it was kept under thirteen," says Mr. Schuester, reminding everyone he's still there. "So you just missed 'unlucky'. Relatively speaking."
Everyone glares at him. "Thanks for jinxing us, Mr. Schue," Quinn says. The said teacher looks sheepish.
"Anyway," Kurt says, calling back everyone's attention. "Despite Karofsky and Azimio being on that list with us, I still wouldn't say they're not a problem. The report says they have been violent to one another over this, particularly Azimio – while David Karofsky is a disgusting cretin, I would not say he is deserving of abuse."
"The staff are having meetings with their families about that," Mr. Schuester says. "Karofsky looked terrified, last time I saw him."
Finn frowns. "Are you allowed to tell us that?"
"...I'm not sure... Probably not..."
"Good job, Schue."
"Anyway," says Kurt. "If these two have violent reactions to their less-than-heterosexual thoughts, and the file says Karofsky might like you, Finn – I'd watch out."
"You know, if a straight guy said that, I'd kinda call homophobic bullshit," says Finn. "Then again, I know you, and I know Karofsky, so you might have a point. But dude, he slushied me – doesn't he hate me? And I was kind of a prick to him when I was like, not a loser, so..."
"Didn't we already go over this with me and him?" Artie asks, indicating Puck.
"And besides, it's Karofsky," says Kurt. "You expected him to grow out of the pulling-pigtails stage?"
Finn pouts. "I don't have pigtails." Everyone rolls their eyes. "Actually, when I think about it... You liked me. Karofsky might like me. My girlfriend has, apparently, hooked up with my ex-girlfriend. Even my best friend is... something. Do I just, like, repel heterosexuality or something?"
Santana snickers as everyone looks around, shrugging. "Guess so," says Mercedes. "Luck with that one."
"Do I... have to apologize for that?" Rachel asks, biting her lip nervously.
"Uh. Maybe," Finn says uncertainly. "I mean, like, you said you hooked up with someone, and that was okay, because we were broken up. And you said it was a girl, and that was okay, because I'm not a dick. But my ex; that's... kind of weird."
"Sorry," Rachel says. "It wasn't a planned thing, we just..."
"Hey, it's okay," Finn says. "It's not that weird. Am I allowed to think it's hot?"
Rachel gets caught between wanting to laugh and death-glare him. She tries to do both, which isn't very effective.
"You two? Really?" asks Mercedes curiously, looking to Quinn on her right. Quinn blushes.
"You read the thing," Quinn mumbles, and Mercedes shrugs.
"Oh, yeah, I know but... I kinda thought you two hated each other."
"I... really don't need to hear this," Will says to himself, drawing everyone's attention again.
"Er, sorry, Mr. Schue," says Rachel. "However, you did give us free reign to discuss, well, the situation."
Will sighs. "Yeah... I did."
"Well, dude, it's not like none of this affects you," says Puck. "Your girl used to have a dick? Dude, sucks."
Rachel glares. "Puck. Wait half an hour, and the rant I will give you on transgender rights will set your ears on fire."
"You are involved in this too; your sexuality has been forcibly outed and held up to mockery by the entire school, and I would expect you to be more respectful of Ms. Pilsbury's struggle."
Puck blinks. "...Is that it?"
"No, but I can't figure out how to word the rest of it right now."
"Anyone notice how most of the people on that list were in this club?" Artie asks. "It's a bit stereotypical, really. I mean, let's go through who we have here: we have two gay guys – no lesbians. Rachel, myself, Brittany and Santana are the bisexuals–
"No, dude, I fall under that one too," Puck says.
"Okay," says Artie. "Five bisexuals. Finn, Mercedes and Tina are straight – as far as we know – Matt calls himself undecided, and, uh – Quinn, what are you?"
And then everyone is looking at her. Quinn goes bright red.
"Uh, I don't... I don't know – I have to go," she says, sprinting out of the room. Tina glares at Artie.
"Yeah, that was sensitive!" she says. "Let's put a girl who is confused and stressed about her sexuality on the spot and demand she identify what she is; that will end well."
Artie grimaces. "Okay, fair point," he says. He would kind of freak at someone doing that to him. "So... another one down for undecided?"