by Maria Loutraris
On March 14th 2013, a selection of Medford High’s students took an after school field trip to go see the Boston Children’s Theater’s production of Reflections of a Rock Lobster. This magnificent play is the true story about high school student, Aaron Fricke, his struggle with being gay, bullying and eventually the battle with the court when he files a law suit against the school, fighting for the right to bring his boyfriend to prom in a very Christian town in 1980’s Rhode Island. Medford’s own Chris Nkera, Lauren Tomaszczuk and English teacher Douglass-Bowen Flynn were widely supported with friends, family and students. Mr. Bowen-Flynn had the opportunity to take on the role of the school principle, Richard Lynch, who, countless times, ignored Aaron’s bullying cases and did not want him and his boyfriend attending the prom together.
The play had a perfect balance of very heartwarming scenes, scenes that made you cry and comic relief. The actors couldn’t have done a better job, for the emotion and passion in the play was very apparent. After the play had ended, Aaron Fricke came from backstage and we had a chance to meet with him. He was enthused about the production, proud of it and was happy to share his story with all of us. He is glad that he played a major role to help make school better for LGBTQ kids and that he is a major influence in the gay rights movement among the younger crowd today. With the help of Aaron’s friends and the support of his father, PFLAG, his lawyer and his boyfriend, high schools are more open to allow same sex couples to attend prom together. This, although minor on the spectrum of LGBT rights and privileges, has allowed gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered youths to take action and join the adults in the fight for rights and equal representation.