May 24, 2013

I grew up in an apartment just off Main Street in Lewisville, Texas. The sign in front of my school, just three blocks away, boasted for all the city’s 80,000 residents to see “Lewisville High School, Home of the Fighting Farmers.” The logo features Farmer John holding a pitchfork and riding a mule, steam coming out of its flared nostrils. And I, the black boy whose name literally means “happy” in Arabic, was hopelessly gay. You’ve met kids like me before: the ones who, despite any and all efforts to blend-in, switch when they walk, perfect the art of eye rolling and eyebrow arching way too early, and just happen to feel more comfortable with a hand on their hip. Saeed and the Fighting Farmers. I was on medication for anxiety and depression for most of my teens.