when you were little, did you ever play hide and seek? there’s always one kid who hides in the closet
if it was you, you know why
the closet’s warm and dark and quiet and as long as you stay silent, no one can tell you’re there
except from my closet I hear voices sliding under the door
“marriage is between a man and a woman”
“can’t he just act less gay”
“boy and girl are the only genders that exist and we picked yours already”
and I crawl deeper further in hiding under the dress-up clothes strewn across the floor, hoping that no one will peer behind the coats because when I peek out people nudge me back inside because that’s the right thing to do, right?
That’s what will keep me safe.
my parents are loving and accepting and my dad still encouraged me to tell a stranger I had a boyfriend when he thinks I have a girlfriend when truthfully my love resides in neither category and so do I
I’m afraid to tell him
the closet is stifling but coming out for air can get you caught
dragged into the unaccepting open
where there isn’t even a flimsy wooden barrier to muffle the voices that grow louder and louder
echoing in my pounding head
refusing to be silenced like they silence me because they don’t believe I deserve a voice