Jirou was confused for a lot of her life. She didn’t understand how other boys could feel so comfortable with their bodies. She didn’t understand why she always felt so uneasy with herself. She distinctly remembered never bothering with her appearance because she felt like she could never be beautiful anyway. She remembered first hearing about trans people and not understanding what they meant. Her parents were very pro-LGBT, though, so she was taught to respect them, and, once she asked, they taught her more about how they felt. She remembered first wondering if maybe, just maybe, that’s why she felt this way. She remembers how scared she was to tell her parents. She remembers the dysphoria that would make her want to hide herself during class. She remembers how relieved she felt when UA said that they didn’t care and would treat her just like all the other girls that attended.
She remembered the day she was outed, too. All too well.
It started during lunch. Class 1A had spread out around the cafeteria, and she had decided to sit next to Sero, Ashido, and Kaminari, who were going about their normal, meme-filled discussion. Jirou was staring off into the distance (more accurately, at Momo), when she heard some of the other students from the business course behind her.
“I can’t believe Shockwave was a trap the whole time.” One of them said. He was a short, black haired boy with two differently colored eyes.
“I know, right? She was a really famous pro and everything.” Another said.
They all laughed. “Yeah, what kind of place is our country in now, where people are running around talking about what they ‘identify’ as and expecting other people to bend over backwards for them.”
“Morons.” Jirou sighed under her breath.
The boys turned to her. “What did you say?”
Jirou paused. She hardened her face, determined to put these assholes in their place. She started to stand up, but Ashido grabbed her arm to stop her. “It’s not worth it.
Jirou ignored her “I said you were morons. What she does doesn’t affect you and you shouldn’t be getting offended by it.”
The boys scoffed. “Hey, I’m not offended. I’m just not going to pretend someone’s something that they’re clearly not.”
“You don’t understand what you’re talking about.” Jirou shot back.
“What, and you do? What, are you a trap too?” He laughed.
Jirou froze. She suddenly realized how many people were staring at them. Her words got caught up in their throat. Before she could respond, the boy spoke up.
“Oh my god, you are! Did everyone hear that, Jirou Kyouka’s a trap!” The boy screamed out to the whole room. People starting whispering and murmuring around the room. Jirou felt her knees weakening, an awful pit forming in her stomach. Jirou didn’t know what to do or how to respond. She did the only thing she could think of.
A while later, Jirou was in a corner somewhere in the school, head against her knees, crying her heart out. She never thought that she would have to come out like this. It took her so long just to work up the courage to tell all the other girls in her grade, and she pretty much had to do that because otherwise, it would have been incredibly awkward to share the bathrooms with them. But this, this was wrong. This was unfair. Why was this only happening to her?
Jirou looked up. Midnight was looking down on her, with a look of worry on her face. Jirou was secretly happy to have her there with her but couldn’t admit it. She buried her face in her knees and hid from her teacher. Midnight squatted down on her knees and put her hand on Jirou’s side.
“Are you alright?” Midnight asked. Jirou shook her head. Midnight gave a heavy sigh.
“Well, I don’t think you should be in the hall once class starts. Follow me, I have a place where we can be alone. Does that sound alright?” Midnight gave Jirou a comforting smile, and Jirou slowly rose to her feet.
“I’m sorry that this turned out this way. I’m sure Principal Nezu will have something to say to that boy later.” Midnight said. She had taken Jirou to the teacher’s lounge. She must have sent a notice out to the rest of the teachers because nobody else had come in in the almost half hour since they had walked into the room. Midnight had made tea for the two of them, though Jirou’s cup lay undisturbed on the table.
Jirou only nodded. “He’s a really good principal.” Jirou had only been able to muster up similar, small statements during her time with Midnight in the room and could hardly force herself to meet her gaze.
Midnight walked over to her student and sat down on the couch next to her. “I talked to him earlier, actually. He said it would be fine if you went home early today, and if you took a few days off.” She turned to Jirou. “Does that sound okay?”
Jirou sat there, silent for a moment. She really didn’t want to bother anyone more than she had to, but still…
“I, I think I’ll be heading home soon, then. But, I. I don’t know how much time I’ll need off.” Jirou said. Midnight only nodded.
“Take as much time as you need. There’s no hurry.” Midnight smiled at her student.
Soon, Jirou had decided to leave school for home. She had called ahead to make sure her parents knew why she would be home so early. Her father had nearly thrown the phone on the ground after hearing how the boys at school had treated her. It made Jirou feel a lot better to know she had people like her parents that would always support her.
When she got home, she headed straight to her room, though her parents seemed to know what she was planning to do. They bombarded her at the door and didn’t let her go back to her room until they were very sure that Jirou knew exactly how much they both loved her. Once Jirou was in her room, she laid down and buried herself under the covers. Right now, she only wanted to be alone, to escape the judgment and hatred of all the people in the outside world.
She could only hide for so long, however, and quickly grew bored. She then quickly went to her next coping mechanism: music. She grabbed her guitar and started to pluck a few strings, playing parts of songs she knew by heart. Jirou did whatever she could to focus on the music instead of what she was feeling, focusing on the technical skill her fingers needed to move around the instrument properly. It failed horrendously, of course, and she couldn’t escape the feelings boiling up in her gut, the anger, the resentment, the fear. How could this have happened? Why was it her? How could those people be so, so, so…?
It was hopeless. Despite how much she hated to admit it, Jirou couldn’t run from her feelings. She hated that all those stupid self-help books were right about something like that, but she did need to deal with her feelings.
So, she started to sing.
Fuck you. Fuck you very, very much.
Cause we hate what you do
And we hate your whole crew
So please don’t stay in touch
Fuck you, fuck you very, very much
Cause your words don't translate
And it’s getting quite late
So please don't stay in touch
Do you get
Do you get a little kick out of being small-minded?
You want to be like your father
It's approval you're after
Well, that's not how you find it
Do you really enjoy living a life that's so hateful?
Cause there's a hole where your soul should be
You're losing control a bit
And it's really distasteful
Fuck you (fuck you)
Fuck you very, very much
'Cause we hate what you do
And we hate your whole crew
So, please don't stay in touch
Fuck you (fuck you)
Fuck you very, very much
'Cause your words don't translate
And it's getting quite late
So, please don't stay in touch
Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you
Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you
You think we need to go to war
Well, you're already in one
'Cause it's people like you that need to get slew
No one wants your opinion
She stopped after strumming the last chord of the line violently, tears she didn’t even know she had cried streaming down her face. She sat down, panting when a knock rang out from her door.
“Honey?” It was her dad.
“Yeah, come in,” Jirou said. The door slowly creaked open, and her dad stepped inside.
“You got a little loud there.” Her dad said sheepishly. Jirou reddened. “Not, uh, that that’s a bad thing, I mean, that’s what music’s all about, you know, expressing your feelings and all that good stuff. I mean, I get it. It’s just, it’s hard to hear your daughter yelling ‘Fuck you’ from the other room, it’s a little hard not to respond.” Jirou laughed, blush going away.
“Yeah, I get it.” Jirou smiled. “Thanks for understanding anyway. I… I really don’t know how I would do this if it weren’t for you two supporting me. It means a lot to me.”
Her dad smiled. “You’d find a way. You’re a strong girl.” Her father gave Jirou one last thumb up before heading out of the room.
Jirou, now emotionally exhausted, grabbed her phone from the nightstand to look up a mindless YouTube video to watch. When she unlocked the screen, however, a notification was sitting on her unlock screen. It was a bit of a conversation in the class 1A group chat. Jirou swallowed. She hadn’t even thought about that. How were they reacting to this? All the girls hadn’t said anything about it, but who knows how they really felt?
Cautiously, she unlocked her phone and scrolled up to the start of the conversation.
Momo: Jirou? Are you there?
Momo: Please answer.
Sero: i don’t think she’s going to answer momo
Deku: Yeah that didn’t look to good
Deku: God I hope she’s okay
Sero: what was that guy’s problem
Sero: you don’t just hang up someone else’s dirty laundry like that
Sero: not to imply that I have a problem with that
Sero: or whatever
Sero: you guys know what I mean right
Ashido: God it sucks so much that this had to come out this way.
Ashido: Its not fair she should be able to choose how to tell people about this kind of thing
Momo: As she did with us.
Ashido: Yeah exactly
Kaminari: wait what you guys knew this already
Momo: Yes, we sort of had to.
Momo: Considering we would be using the same facilities.
Sero: god I hope jirous okay
Iida: Not to interrupt this conversation, as I also am concerned for Jirou, but Aisawa seems to be growing frustrated by our use of cellphones during class.
Sero: okay but like
Sero: you could have just told us irl
Sero: instead of also using your phone I mean
Iida: That is a valid argument.
Mineta: I just want to Jirou to know that im still into her anyway
Mineta: like this is totally not a deal breaker
Ashido: god dammit mineta that’s totally not the fucking point
Mineta: but its tru tho
Kaminari: don’t make us ban you from the chat again mineta
Mineta: okay fine jeez
Todoroki: Okay but quick side thing.
Todoroki: Anyone else surprised by how pissed Bakugo got?
Ashido: I know right
Deku: Yeah I was a little surprised to honestly
Todoroki: Fucking Bakugo man.
Ashido: Fucking Bakugo man.
Sero: Fucking Bakugo man.
Kaminari: Fucking Bakugo man.
Todoroki: Oh shit did I start a thing.
Todoroki: Please tell me I didn’t start a thing.
Ashido: TOO LATE
Ashido: THING STARTED
Todoroki: Okay I’m leaving.
Kaminari: Bye felicia
Asui: Just so everyone knows I talked to Midnight about Jirou and apparently Principal Nezu sent her home for the day
Asui: Also he gave her a few days off
Uraraka: Okay so she’s okay then.
Ashido: when do you think shell be back
Kaminari: i don’t know
Kaminari: how long would you be gone if you were suddenly outed and had to deal with the crippling fear that all your friends secretly hated you the whole time
Sero: Shit man
Sero: I hope jirou’s okay
Jirou turned off her phone. It seemed like most of the class was fine with this, even Mineta (not that that little bastard’s opinion counted for much). But from how they described Bakugo’s reaction… That was going to be a hassle to put up with. He’d probably start referring to her exclusively as “tranny” or something awful like that. Jirou laid down on her bed, almost ready to go to sleep for the night until her phone buzzed. She reached over to look at the screen and saw a text from the group chat from Momo.
Momo: Jirou, are you there?
Jirou had forgotten that the app lets everyone see who had read the conversation or not. Now, Momo had seen that Jirou had seen it, and she couldn’t simply feign ignorance. So, Jirou sent Momo a text (she didn’t really want the rest of the class to see their conversation)
Jirou: I’m fine
Jirou sat there, staring at the screen for a few minutes, waiting for Momo to respond. Soon, the app showed those three dots indicating she was typing, and Jirou could swear her heart skipped a beat.
Momo: Do you know when you’ll be coming back to class?
Jirou: I don’t know
Momo. Oh. That’s alright.
Momo: You’ve been through a lot today.
Jirou: That’s an understatement
Momo: Yeah, I guess so.
Jirou smiled. She could tell that Momo was having a hard time letting Jirou know how worried she was for her.
Jirou: I appreciate you texting me
Jirou: It means a lot to me
Momo: You’re welcome.
Jirou: I think I’ll be coming back tomorrow
Jirou: There doesn’t seem to be much point in delaying the inevitable
Momo: That’s great!
Momo: Just make sure you’re comfortable coming back so early.
Jirou: I am
Jirou: I mean
Jirou: Dealing with Bakugo will be a pain
Jirou: But I’ll have to deal with his bullshit eventually anyway
Jirou: So whatever
Momo: Yeah, we all get a little tired of him.
Jirou furrowed her brow in confusion.
Jirou: I mean yeah but it’s not like this for all of you
Jirou: Just because he acts like a dick sometimes
Jirou: most of the time
Jirou: Doesn’t mean he actually hates you like he does me.
Momo didn’t respond for a while.
Momo: Why do you think he hates you?
Jirou: From the way you guys talked about him in the group chat.
Jirou: You said he got pissed when he heard I was trans.
Momo: That’s not what happened.
Jirou: Wait what
Jirou: What happened
Momo: Bakugo was mad at the two boys for making fun of you.
Momo: He tried to attack them once you left, actually.
Momo: The teachers actually had to come in and restrain him for the other students benefit.
Momo: It’s strange how things work in Bakugo’s mind.
Momo: He seems to be so egotistical and brash, but he still has unwavering beliefs that he’ll do anything to uphold.
Momo: One of which seems to be protecting his friends.
Momo: Even if he’ll never admit we’re his friends.
Jirou: Well that’s a relief.
Jirou: I think I’ll be heading to bed now.
Jirou: Thank you
Momo: You’re welcome
With that, Jirou tolled over in her bed and drifted off to sleep.
The next morning, Jirou rolled out of bed groggily. If she was honest with herself, she was dreading the idea of going back to school today. Even so, she had made the decision already, and she wasn’t going to be backing down now.
She got dressed in her school uniform and walked into her kitchen, where her mother was already making breakfast.
Jirou looked at her mother, her face scrunched up in shock.
Oh, I guess I never actually told them I was going back to school today.
“I’ll be fine, mom,” Jirou said. That seemed to be enough for her mother, who nodded before going back to making breakfast for her daughter. Soon enough, Jirou, her mother, and her father had gathered around the table.
A little while later, after Jirou had almost finished eating, someone knocked on the front door.
“I’ll get it,” Jirou said without hesitation. Jirou walked over to the door and opened it.
“How may I help yo-.” Jirou froze mid-sentence.
It was Momo.
Jirou was stunned, though Momo seemed to be surprised too, despite having come over to Jirou’s house. It took her a while to react to Jirou’s presence.
“Oh, hello Jirou. You see, I thought that, well, considering recent, uh, developments.” Momo broke her gaze, staring at the ground. “Maybe, you would want someone to accompany you to school?”
“You, want to walk with me. To school.” Jirou summarized. She could feel the heat rising in her face.
“Atta girl!” Her dad called in from the table.
“Shut up, dad! This is none of your business!” Jirou shouted back, only receiving an unrestrained laugh from her parents.
She turned back to Momo. “I, think I’d like that.”
Momo only nodded.
“I’ll, uh, be right out.” Jirou slammed the door closed a little too quickly, and rushed into her room to finish gathering up the last of her things. She called out to her parents to tell them she was leaving, then rushed out the door.
Jirou stared at the ground most of the way to UA. Despite the fact that no one in town was actually looking at her, she felt as if she was being watched and judged. Momo, surprisingly, didn’t have a ride to school for the two of them, which was strange considering she lived on the other side of town, but Jirou decided not to question it. Not too long into their walk, Jirou had timidly reached out to grab Momo’s hand, and couldn’t help that inexplicable feeling in her heart when Momo had silently grabbed her hand.
They arrived at UA with time to spare. Students were filing into the school left and right. Jirou and Momo silently walked up to the building, until a familiar voice called out to them.
Jirou froze. It was the boys from yesterday. Apparently, Nezu hadn’t got around to scolding them quite yet. Either that, or they just didn’t care.
Before Jirou could lose herself in a pit of anxiety, she felt a soft reassuring squeeze on her hand.
“Just ignore them,” Momo whispered to her.
Jirou nodded her head, and walked into the building, ignoring the boy shouting slurs from behind her.
Minutes later, the pair found themselves outside the door for class 1A, chatter leaking out from the students already inside. Momo stood silently next to Jirou, not wanting to pressure her friend.
“Just do it all at once, quickly, like ripping off a band-aid,” Jirou muttered to herself. Momo seemed to agree if her nod was any indication.
Suddenly, Jirou flung open the doors to the classroom. All the noise suddenly stopped. One by one, each of her classmates turned to stare directly at Jirou. Jirou once again froze like deer in headlights, trying to rack her brain for anything to say.
Before she had a chance to respond, someone screamed.
“OH MY GOD JIROU!” Mina shouted before running up to her friend and almost tackling her to the ground. “Please tell me you’re okay!”
“I’m fine,” Jirou said through a laugh. Mina always had a knack for cutting through tension. Suddenly, she felt someone putting a hand on her shoulder.
“I’m glad to see you back in class. I was worried you’d miss valuable information.” Iida said. “But, uh, mainly I was just concerned you weren’t feeling well.”
“SERO! KAMINARI!” Ashido yelled to her friends. “Come up here and give Jirou a hug!”
Sero and Kaminari didn’t move. “Uh, isn’t that, like, inappropriate?” Kaminari asked.
“NO! SHE’S OUR FRIEND AND WE LOVE HER!”
The pair shrugged and walked up to Jirou to embrace her. Soon, everyone in class 1A was up and out of their seats, all surrounding Jirou to try and make sure she felt welcome. Even Bakugo was standing near the outside of the circle, muttering about how “trash four-eyed pricks need to stay in their place”. Jirou started to laugh, and then to cry. Now, more than ever, she knew she would never be alone.