Daring to be noticed for the first time in her life, she pushed her chair back and stood up.
"Malcolm, what are you doing?" The teacher frowned slightly.
"They're not freaks," she said, quiet but emphatic. "And they're not faking for attention. It's not a disorder, and it's not an illness. It's just a way of being."
The words had been running through her head for the past twenty minutes as the teacher had started talking about gender identity disorder, in which people didn't identify with the biological sex that they were born into.
"I'm sorry, Malcolm, but it's in the DSM-IV, you know. It's not like I decided to come up with this or anything. I'm just teaching what they're already saying." The look on his face was smug, and she wanted to punch it off.
"Homosexuality was considered a mental disorder just fifty years ago. They'd use shock treatments to cure gays," she countered. The look on the teacher's face faltered. Sexuality was a touchy subject and he was not officially supposed to have a position on the matter.
"Well, that's history. As times change and people evolve, things become clearer. And while we've figured out that homosexuality isn't a disorder, gender identity disorder is still real, Malcolm. Now, would you please--"
"My name is Mallory and I'm sick and tired of being branded a freak. I'm not mentally ill, I don't have any disorder. I was just born into the wrong body."
Visibly shaking from adrenaline, Mallory left the classroom. S