Aaron was the perfect choice to help me with Byron.
His coming out process hadn't gone as smoothly as I would have liked. The main problem was his resistance to accepting who he was.
Luckily, that was something my former student experienced as well.
AARON: We're going to hold hands.
BYRON: Excuse me?
ME: Hands, Byron. You're going to hold hands.
BYRON: But I just met this guy.
AARON: Are they all this dense?
ME: Oh yeah, and your class was a regular TED conference.
Aaron took Byron's hand, and started walking.
BYRON: Whoa, wait a minute. Where are we going?
AARON: We're going to take a walk downtown.
BYRON: I'm not holding your hand while we--
I thought he was going to put up a fight.
That's why I brought the handcuffs.
BYRON: I hope you have keys for these.
ME: Brad does.
BRYON: I'm screwed.
I let Aaron do the talking.
AARON: You need to realize that you, luckily, live in a fairly tolerant state where it's okay for you to be who you are.
BYRON: Oh really? Is that why you and I can't get married?
AARON: Nothing gets better with fear. Things only get better with courage.
BYRON: Fine, but why do I have to be the courageous one?
AARON: Some men are born great and some have greatness thrust upon them.
BYRON: Can't I just have money thrust upon me?
I could see this was going to have to be a team effort, so I took Byron's other hand.
ME: Let's do this.
BYRON: Great. Now it looks even gayer.
We went for a walk around town. I'd love to say we caused a big commotion, but I think most people just thought we were RISD kids doing a piece of performance art.
By the time we made it back to Aaron's place, Byron was laughing and having a great time. He didn't even realize he was still handcuffed.
And I didn't realize that Brad was in Atlanta.
But I decided to wait until we got inside to let him know just how successful our bonding experience was going to be.