Tuesday, March 5, 2013

When I Was


In the ninth grade
my friends who I use to sit with at lunch
many of which went to the same Sunday services as I
handed me a note
as I went to sit down with them
holding my lunch tray uneasily in my hand
One sat it on the brown plastic
next to my single slice of pizza and looked away
As did they all

I read the note alone
Too ashamed to let them see me read it
or to let anyone see
in case they knew
what it meant to read a note
huddled in the hall where no one ate
They said I could not be their friend
That I made them uncomfortable because
I was gay
But I was not gay

And as middle school children often are
they were mean
They did not leave it alone
and let me simply cram the letter in my pocket and shuffle away
in silent
tear filled silence

No

They took the wrinkled and ripped paper from me
and read it aloud
for all of my peers to hear
And what could I do but listen as I got shoved back
while trying to take it
These scars run deeper than any others that stain my body

When I was a senior in high school
I dressed myself in black
I felt that this was who I was
And secretly
when no one was around
I worried that I might be gay
You see
I liked the way men dressed
I liked how they looked
and tried to look
as they did
The men on band posters and in magazines
I would see them and know they were
attractive and what I wished to be

And I'd silently wonder
if I was gay
After all
what does it mean to be attracted to someone

Was I

I could not tell anyone
I was too scared
Too ashamed of what they may think
or say
Was the note true
I could not bare to know
Society told me that it was not natural
And so
I kept quiet
all the while remembering that I had a girl friend
That I was attracted to them as well
And this was different in some ways
I did not want to be them
but wanted to be with them

But there are others
whose rights have been taken
Whose childhoods
are filled with similar stories as these
but at the same time
nothing at all the same
They walk the halls as I have
alone in the gray lockers that make up time and stories
and memories
that will inevitable shape us into the person we are today
And although the laughter may be hidden
it is there
biting and hating and drowning

There are those who are denied the love of another through marriage
There are those
still called names by men
who are more like the adolescent middle schooler
than the wise
seasoned adult
There are those who still fear their own truth
for fear of many who they themselves
have come victim to abuse
name-calling and the scars that come with

growing up.

But some
still stand with hope
and conviction that a day will come when men unite together
in a common understanding of good
and truth
and moral rightness
Where we will embrace our brothers and sisters
and daughters and sons in loving arms
Taking hold of their dreams and pushing them forward
Showing them the things that a future brings
where tolerance and acceptance are given
with the simplest touch from another human being

1 comment:

Topsy said...

love this. Thanks.