by Rick Beck


"Tad, Bonner."

"Bonner, where the hell have you been? I've been worried sick about you. Where are you?" Tad asked. "I thought you'd been kidnapped. Coach Winger told me to stop worrying. You were fine."

"I'm at our favorite ice cream shop and I was thinking about you." Bonner said.

"I'll be there in fifteen minutes. Don't go anywhere."

Bonner had no intention of going anywhere.

Bonner went back to where his family lived twenty miles away. He'd waited for his trail to go cold before he called Tad.

His final day at Grant High School, he went to Coach Winger's office, after he received a note telling him to do so in sixth period.

"Hermann is requesting that we both go to league headquarters this afternoon. I don't know about you, but it is a meeting I'm not looking forward to. I think it is a meeting you best avoid if you aren't prepared to end up the news of the day tomorrow, Bonner.

"I've been expecting it Bonner said. I thought all along that I'd probably end up get a GED if I went through with this. There's no point in dragging you or Grant through the mud trying to justify what I did. To tell the truth I'm tired and I wouldn't mind going back home, coach."

"Your papers are in order. Without you being present, there is no evidence of any wrong doing. I guess it's the easy way out, but I've yet to see you do anything the easy way, Bonner," Coach Winger said. "As for me, I can live with what we've done and never talk about it to another soul. Although I suspect there will come a time when you are ready to talk about it. Then, when they ask me, I'll say that you were a damn good quarterback, and I'll stand up and say that to anyone who asks me. I'd just as soon not explain it to league officials today. I'd like to keep my job."

Bonner stood and reached across the coaches desk.

"We made history together, coach. I know it and you know. That's good enough for now. One day I'll probably want to tell the story, but not yet. I'm too young to spend the rest of my life answering questions about winning a football championship when I was seventeen. Maybe I'll look you up sometime, coach."

"I'd like that," Coach Winger said, walking Bonner to the door.

The coach watched Bonner walk down the hall and disappear. It was the last that was ever seen of Bonner at Grant High School.

The truth about what he did was larger than anything he could have imagine before he went to see if he could make the Grant High School football team.

Some years later in a house far from Grant High School.

"Hey, love, brought you your favorites. Rocky Road and Chocolate Almond Marshmallow ice cream," Tad said, closing the door behind him as he came into the kitchen..

Tad and Bonnie kissed whenever they were away from each other for more than five minutes. Little Tad giggled because of his parent's affection.

Tad lifted his son and shifted him around behind his neck and up to his other shoulder, setting him on the floor next to his mom's chair. This always got little Tad laughing and it tickled his father too.

"Again, again, Daddy," little Tad said, and his father lifted him up to do it all over again.

They were both giggling and Bonnie smiled at her men.

The little boy giggled delighted with the attention.

"Dinner will be on the table in ten minutes," Bonnie said. "Tad needs to wash his face and hands before dinner."

"Scoot, kiddo, or your mommy might make you wash behind your ears," his father said. "I'll get the ice cream in the freezer for later."

"Daddy, Daddy, mommy told me that you caught two touchdowns in your high school's championship game. You scored two touchdowns? Your team won?" little Tad said excitedly.

"Yes, I did. Not much to tell. We beat Duval 14-0. I caught not one but two touchdown passes that day."

"Wow! My father is a football hero," Tad said.

At eight years old Tad was old enough to watch football with his father on Sunday afternoon. His father was busy explaining the game to him. He'd figured out baseball by that time, but football was still confusing to him. There was a lot going on at the same time.

"OK, squirt, go wash your hands and get ready for dinner," his father said.

Little Tad scurried away to follow orders and Tad senior helped his very pregnant wife up out of the chair.

"How's the baby today?" Tad asked.

"Busy. George is going to be a kicker, Tad. No doubt about it."

Tad laughed. The baby had been very active. They held hands and Tad smiled at his wife.

Happiness for them was being together with their son.

"Hey, Bonner, when are you going to tell your son that his mother was the quarterback who threw his daddy those game winning passes?"

Bonnie laughed loudly.

The memory of those days were still fresh in her mind.

From my writer's desk:

Bonner was biologically a woman. Was she a woman who loved football and jumped at a chance to play the game that only boys get to play, or might Bonner be trans?

Does it matter?

Women fought and died in the Revolutionary War. Were these trans men of the day? Women also fought and died in the United States Civil War. Could they have been the trans men of the day, or were they women, every bit as determined as men to contribute to the war effort?

Does that matter?

In Europe women have always been part of the vanguard fighting in wars against dictators and tyrants.

Joan of Arc was one of these. Men burned her alive.

Men have limited the power of women in the U.S. for most of its history. They denied women the vote until 1919, when women took to the streets to demand it.

Fifty years ago it was illegal to be LGBTQ. The word homosexual covered everyone with any queer notions.

The same men who counted black men as three fifths of a person, also wrote, "All men are created equal."

It should read, 'All white men are created more equal,' women, queers, Native peoples, not so much. Asians got a law of their own to deny them citizenship.

Why do the old white men in power hate so many people who make up America?

The party dominated by old white men has made life miserable for our trans brothers and sisters. Trans citizens are treated like homosexuals were treated fifty years ago. Can you imagine the courage it takes to come out as trans? Trans women are murdered at an alarming rate.

Fifty years ago this past June, trans women decided that they'd had enough of police brutality. When the police came to arrest them, they fought back. These people were fighting for their lives. There were fires, overturned cars, and many injuries, but in the end the trans women won out, and as a result, after this battle known as the Stonewall riots, homosexuality was no longer illegal and the modern gay movement began.

When we stand together as one, we become as strong as, if not stronger than, the old white men in power.

We need to demand equal rights for everyone.

Peace & Love,

Rick Beck

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