Inspired by real events
Sitting in a circle with ten strangers, Avery made eye contact with another teenager wearing a baseball cap, white hoody, and jeans. “I’m Jordan. I’m 16. Sophomore. I’ve been coming here for a few months now. Hey, everyone,” Jordan said with a quick thumbs up.
When it was Avery’s turn to share, she stared at the classroom floor and mumbled, “I’m a freshman.” Her face was burning up. She hesitated. “Hi,” she said in an almost whisper.
The facilitator leaned forward with a smile. “And what’s your name?”
“Oh, right, sorry. Avery.”
The support group conversation began with a ‘mental wellbeing’ check-in. Quickly, Jordan started a deep-dive, voice loud and animated: “Before my family knew about my gender identity, I kinda understood people were gonna be resistant. Resistant to who I am. I had to bring a whole lotta strength to stand up and be myself. From some people, all I got was tolerance.” Jordan said ‘tolerance’ with sarcasm and a few people around the circle nodded their heads. Jordan continued, “I want more than tolerance. I deserve acceptance!”
Avery was transfixed on Jordan’s every word. Jordan’s entire presence exuded pride. But when Jordan made eye contact with her, Avery wanted to disappear. She threw her gaze back to the floor. She’d never encountered anyone so confident.
What’s happening here?
What is a ‘mental wellbeing’ check-in?
What is Jordan saying?
What does Jordan mean by tolerance?
Why do some people nod along?
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