This is the story of two boys whose love for each other conquered race, gender, and...their quest for fame. This is the story of Link Larkin and Seaweed Stubbs and their fight to be together in a world that had its blinders on. Baltimore was the center of change; with Jim Crow laws becoming a thing of the past and integration on the rise, anything and everything was possible...well almost everything. While many things were being accepted, many undoubtedly were not. Link Larkin had learned this the hard way. The "up and coming teen singing sensation" just wanted to be accepted into the wide world of entertainment. He had the looks, winning smile, and personality...just not the right sexuality. Link was never really interested in girls, he might've been the "ladies choice" but was never in fact a ladies' man. He was what you'd call a closet case, although he'd never be accepted for being gay.
Taking things one change at a time, he decided to be involved with Baltimore's rabble rouser of the year, Tracy Turnblad. She was making a statement all on her own, and he definitely wasn't going to let that opportunity pass him by. ...the whole "lovers" thing was all an image. He really hated to do that to Tracy. She really was a sweet girl, and any guy would be proud to date her...as long as he wasn't interested in guys. He was gay alright, but the man he loved would never love him back. First of all, he was straight, secondly, he had a girlfriend, but lastly, he was Seaweed J. Stubbs.
Back at Motormouth's Record Shop down on North Avenue, Miss Maybelle herself was pitchin' one of her famous platter parties. The whole Negro Day crew was there. Seaweed, Inez, Lorraine, Gilbert, hell even Tracy and Penny were there having a grand time.
"Hey Trace, where's that cracker boy boyfriend of yours?" Seaweed asked while dancing to this week's top tunes.
"I'm not sure, he wasn't feeling too well earlier." Tracy knew exactly what was up with Link, it was obvious, but it was his secret and when he was ready to tell her, he would.
"That's a shame," Seaweed replied while dancing a little close to Penny, "he said he wanted to show me some new moves." He stated in a slightly disappointed tone.
Tracy snickered. She knew exactly what kind of moves he wanted to teach Seaweed. It was like her own little inside joke. When the party was nearing its end, Seaweed pulled aside by his best friend Gilbert, with his girlfriend being a hot topic.
Seaweed wasn't in the mood to hear it.
"How many times do I gotta tell you? That's girl's a player." Gilbert told him for what had to have been the millionth time.
This is all his best friend had to tell him of late and Seaweed was damn tired of hearing it. So what if Penny was growing out her shell? So what if she talked to other guys? There were plenty of fish in the sea, and he knew that they all wanted a piece of seaweed. He wasn't the jealous type and never would be. Don't misunderstand, Seaweed was in fact a man of many trades, womanizing being one of them. Looks can be deceiving, and he was never really a faithful guy, so it was nice for a change to have a girl who -so it appeared-was as bad as he was. HIs friend was so naive, he just didn't understand.
"It's cool, let her be. Besides there's something mamma asked me to do." He then left the record shop and began heading down North Avenue. It took a while on foot, but Seaweed eventually made it to his destination: the TV studio. Sure, it wasn't Negro Day, but thanks to Tracy's efforts the Corny Collins Show was integrated and he could come and go as he pleased. He always came to flirt with the girls on the show. He was just minding his business chatting it up with Shelly when a certain somebody caught his eye. In a far corner of the studio, he saw his friend Link having what looked like an intense conversation with Corny.
"Link, don't worry about it. I'm sure things'll work out." The always enthusiastic show host told one of his star pupils.
"But Corny...it's not that simple. It's not a girl I'm after, it's a-" Link cut himself off, afraid to admit his deepest thoughts. He covered his face with his hands, trying to block out any doubtful thoughts he was having. When he removed his hand, his classic smile returned to his face. He immediately brushed off his entire conversation with Corny, and took his leave after thanking him for listening to his petty problems.
"Y'know, Link, it's not healthy to keep all your feelings bottled up like that. Remember you can always talk to me about anything." The host said before leaving. He really was a reliable source of information. After all, Corny played the role of a homosexual very well. He was obvious, yet not at the same time. He was like a god in the teen's eyes, but he could get a little corny...no pun intended. Corny was helpful, just not helpful enough; Link did feel better after talking to him, though his problem was not solved: What was he supposed to do about Sea-
Link had started to leave the isolated corner of the studio when he noticed Seaweed's presence nearby.
Link's face immediately turned cherry red, he was very insecure at the moment and it was not the time for an encounter with his long time crush.
"Yo, cracker boy, what's up? I thought you were sick." Seaweed had come up from behind the boy while he was deep in thought. Seaweed gave him a friendly slap on the back. The fair skinned boy could've died a happy death with that simple touch alone. Link could've sworn that he was going to have a heart attack. His heart was beating a million times a minute.
All of a sudden, his greatest dream and nightmare became a reality: Here he was next Seaweed, but yet that simple touch from Seaweed completely undid him.
"Hey bro, what's up?" He tried to respond in his best 'North Avenue' accent, but all he really ended up doing was sounding like he was trying too hard to fit in or impress the guy.
His black friend immediately noticed his red face, immediately blaming it on his cold. Link gladly accepted this lie as an excuse for his nervous and clumsy behavior. Seaweed loved this guy like a brother. Ever since Tracy set things on the Corny Collins Show into motion, the two have been attached to the hip; He spent more time with Link than he did Penny, which slightly scared the smooth talking ladies' man. Then a thought struck him, though he'd never believe it...ever. He ended his conversation with his red-faced friend, wishing him well in getting over what seemed to be a nasty cold. He went home, forgetting his motivation for leaving his home in the first place.
"Mom, I'm not gay." Seaweed protested irritably trying to convince his mother of his lack of homosexuality.
"Seaweed, its ok. I'm your mother, I won't love you any less for liking guys...at least not much." Motormouth muttered the last part under her breath. She knew her son very well, and he may have been a ladies man in the past, but it was clear that now when all was said and done, he was a man's man.
"Mom, I'm not gay, I'm in love with Penny. We are perfect for each other."
"Honey please," his mother started with a Southern drawl. "That was a one-time thing, can't you see that little girl has moved on. Baby you created a monster, and you're her sidekick." She scoffed at his shocked face, he finally realized it too.
"So what if Penny is cheating? I can go and get any girl I want, when I want." Seaweed was now visibly upset and aggravated, what kind of mother said this kind of stuff to her own son?
"I'm not saying you can't, and if you're so confident, why haven't you fund a new girl instead of taking your behind to the studio every day to see Link?" His mother sassed him and for once Seaweed had to agree with her, but before he could even open his mouth Inez walked into the room.
"Seaweed's got a boyfriend?" Inez asked innocently. Her irritated brother left the room in a huff.
Motormouth looked at her daughter before answering. "Mhmm."
Link sat in his room, stressed to high hell. Suddenly he stood up and stared at his reflection in the mirror. He glared at his reflection, before remembering what had happened earlier that day.
Link was in the busiest part of town, eyes closed, and very nervous. He decided that he couldn't procrastinate any longer: he had to break up with Tracy. He was the first decent girlfriend he had ever had, and he really did love her…but now more like a sister and trusted friend. He had to break things off, before he ruined his relationship with her. When she finally did meet up with him they walked to a nearby park. He confessed everything to her and apologized profusely, but instead of receiving angry shouts of protest and doubt, he received her warm acceptance. Apparently she had known everything that was going on, even why he called her out today. At that moment he realized that all women were scar, especially when it came to their male counterparts, and he was grateful that he was interested in men.
If Tracy could accept how he was now, what reason did he have to think that the object of his affections wouldn't? He hardened his resolve; he would tell Seaweed, and he wouldn't take no for an answer.
"What a bunch of bullshit." Seaweed said to himself while massaging his temple. He had been up all night, irritated at what his mother had told him. He was NOT into guys, a player like him couldn't be attracted to other men…could he? The sad thing was that he kind of believed he was in love with Link. Not that he was admitting it, but his feelings for the guy went way beyond friendship. He cursed again.
Here he was at the station, chilling out with the girls during a commercial break, he had been curiously eyeing the light skinned teen the entire time. Now was as good a time as any to talk to him and figure out just what was wrong with him. When he approached Link, the teen turned red once again. Was he still sick or something. Link was nervous and stuttering, but the words that came out of his mouth were shocking; he confessed that he had liked him for the longest time.
Fuck. Today was just not Seaweed's day. He thought, he might as well get to the point, there was no sense in beating around the bush.
"Look, I just don't know if I like you or not. I mean, bro," Seaweed stated this embarrassed as he rubbed the back of his head. "We've been best friends since Tracy changed this station, and y'know I can't help but think….that we can make a change all on our own."
"Does that mean—"
"It doesn't mean anything." Seaweed cut him off. Link looked down dejected and neither boy was aware of the audience that had gathered or the cameras that had gone back on air. "I guess…what I'm trying to say is…I'm not opposed to the idea." Seaweed struggled to say while blushing himself. "I mean if that's what you want."
Link was so happy he could kiss him!
"Please don't." Seaweed said in a monotone. Apparently Link's thoughts were expressed aloud. "Sorry to disappoint, but how bout we finish this show first?" he offered his hand out to Link, their unspoken agreement ringing loud and clear.
Link grabbed his hand and knew that this was just the beginning.