Many students endure the (not-so-fun) ritual of moving schools mid-year. In Some Girls Do by Jennifer Dugan, this is the reality of one of the two main characters, Morgan, as she is forced to transfer schools. Morgan is an elite track star at her Catholic private high school, but is kicked out after she comes out as gay, which is against the school’s policies. Morgan has to start over, fully out at the public school in town, with many bumps along the way getting her back on the track, running in tournaments, and truly being herself. 

 

When Morgan meets Ruby, another girl at her new school, everything changes as they go from not liking each other to becoming each other’s person (secretly). Since Morgan is completely out, she can picture a future she’s excited about and ready for. However, Ruby hasn’t made the decision yet to be out with her sexuality. When they begin dating, Morgan wants them to go public, but Ruby disagrees and is afraid of what the future might hold.

 

Morgan’s new start is now intricately tied to Ruby and the journey of their relationship. Their relationship shows many realistic conversations and emotions tied to coming out and being confident in yourself. 

 

In one scene, Ruby finds out Morgan told her Pride Club about them as a couple, and gets upset that Morgan outed her without her permission. This teaches a lesson that even though you have started a new beginning, that many aren’t ready to do the same.

 

“Have you told anyone about us? Anyone? Because Everly is the only person who knew from me, and she swears on her life that she didn’t tell anyone.” Ruby takes a shaky breath. Is she going to cry? “But Everly said she heard stuff on her own and did her best to shoot it down so I wouldn’t freak out. …

“A couple friends, but they wouldn’t… A couple friends from Pride Club. That’s it. And they would never say anything. I promise.”

“Why would you do that? You knew! You knew I…” She’s practically vibrating. With anger? Anxiety? I take a step toward her, intending to wrap her in a hug, but she darts away. “Who did you tell, Morgan?”

 

Morgan goes on to tell Ruby it was about three others. 

 

“I didn’t tell them about you; I told them about us. It’s not the same thing! It’s not like I outed you or something!”

“Yes, you did!” she says, tears welling up in her eyes. (253–254)

 

Lesson

  • Taking care of other people's’ feelings is essential when choosing friends and other relationships. Morgan learns this lesson when she shares Ruby’s sexuality with her Pride Club without Ruby’s permission. Coming out is a life event for people of the LGBTQ+ community and outing another person is one of the top things you never do. 

 

In partners, have students make a list about what traits they want in a friendship and a partnership/relationship. A simple T-chart will work fine.

 

Friendship

Partnership/Relationship

  • Trustworthy
  • Good influence
  • Fun
  • Etc. 
  • Trustworthy
  • Supportive
  • Etc.

 

  • Share out traits of a healthy friendship vs partnership/relationship and make a large list on the board. Try to narrow this list down to a top 10 list as a class, asking students why they chose a particular word over the other. 

 

  • Have students think about a friendship they have and evaluate from the list on the board how many traits that friend has. Then reflect in a journal entry about a time when that friend showed healthy traits, or about a time when they didn’t have a healthy relationship and what they decided to do about it to get through that experience. 

 

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Jennifer Dryden is a high school English and journalism teacher in Des Moines, Iowa. She is a part of the LGBTQ+ community and advocates for queer youth any way she can, including running her school’s Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA). She has a passion for reading and making lame jokes to her students just to see them laugh or roll their eyes. She just concluded her eighth year teaching. Dryden graduated from Iowa State University with a BS in journalism and mass communication (2010) and BA in English Education (2013). She attended New York University’s Summer Publishing Institute (2010), and spent some time in children’s book publishing in New York.