Kaprice finds it difficult to go to school after Richard is arrested. No H8 banners fill the school, and the principal keeps reminding everyone to treat people with “compassion and tolerance.” Cherie is also hurt. Richard’s true friends don’t believe that he “intentionally” burned Sasha. “Like, ‘Oh yeah, he gay, he hecka gay, let’s burn him,” Cherie says sarcastically. What Richard did was wrong, she says, “but he is sixteen. You’re all just trying to put an opinion on something that you don’t know. Y’all don’t know.”
The No H8 movement is also the cause of additional hurt for Richard’s friends. Each time the principal reminds them to be compassionate and tolerant, he implies that Richard doesn’t possess these qualities, which Richard’s friends know isn’t true. Richard is at once a good person and a sixteen-year-old kid who made a stupid decision, which is in keeping with Slater’s overarching argument of the danger of binary thought—it is possible for Richard to be both things.