Lots of high school students have a bit of a rebellious streak in them, but most don't show it in the form of incredibly thorough research papers.
That's exactly what one junior at a Missouri Catholic high school claims to have done in a recent post on Reddit. According to the original poster, who goes by the name "averagesmurf," the assignment was to write a paper tackling a "moral dilemma" between the church's teachings and modern life. In his case, he was tasked with writing about same-sex marriage.
According to another post of his, the teacher who assigned the paper is pretty virulently anti-gay, making unfounded arguments about gay relationships being unhealthy, saying that "kids need a mom and a dad," and suggesting that gay men are predisposed to be pedophiles.
So instead of writing a paper that agreed with the church's view on the issue, the student turned it in an awesomely full-throated defense of equality for all.
The paper, titled "Gay Marriage Is Fabulous," weighs in at 127 pages and is a straight-up cool passion project.
Citing books, blogs, and sources of all sorts, the author makes a strong case pushing back on anti-LGBTQ teachings in the church. But it gets even better once you learn a bit more about why the author felt it was so important to write.
You see, the concluding paragraph in the paper is a very personal paragraph, one that stands out above all.
The author needs you, the reader, to know that he is bisexual. And he needs you, the reader, to know that his sexual orientation does not make him a mistake. In the spirit of the assignment, he even cites the Bible as proof:
"God created you, and he made no mistakes, God created me bisexual, and he made no mistakes, and he creates some people gay, and makes no mistakes: 'For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected' (1 Tim. 4.4-5). Marriage is not between man and woman, marriage is between love and love. Love is not wrong, love is not a mistake, love is not an abomination, love is just love."
Four months ago, the author of the paper shared an emotional post on Reddit that gives some insight into why he refused to write the paper the way his teacher assigned it.
In that post, he wrote about coming to terms with his own bisexuality in the face of forces like school, religion, and a potentially unaccepting family.
"I'm starting to really get why people hate when other people say, 'it's a choice.' Of course it's not a choice, no one would choose to be hated or condemned by friends and family, they just want to be happy. I'm so glad I've found these friends, because I know they accept me for who I am and that no matter what they'll always love me, they're one-of-a-kind, and I love them."
The note is so relatable for anyone who's ever come out as LGBTQ or needed a bit of help from friends and loved ones. You can almost feel the odd mix of anxiety, relief, joy, and sadness in the words themselves.
This 127-page paper is so much more than a rebellious troll against a teacher who refuses to accept him for who he is.
It's a powerful statement of truth and a defense of who the author is as a person.
It is, as the title of the paper says, fabulous. Check out the full paper here.