It's Okay, I'm Okay

The first time I heard the word gay

I was no more than eight years old

And the seed was planted.

 

I am a child of hate,

A child taught to hide

Behind the guise of righteousness

And that’s all I need to

Hate myself and

Hate others.

 

I am fearfully and wonderfully made --

And yet, God doesn’t make mistakes.

Am I a lost lamb?  Am I a leoper?

Am I wondering to find the robe

To touch, the sandals to cry on,

Begging for mercy, forgiveness?

 

We are all children of God, I was told,

God loves us, God loves you,

God wants you,

But they don’t want me.

 

When I was thirteen I said for the first time,

“It’s okay to be gay,”

Timid at first, but with more confidence

Every time:

It’s okay to be gay, it’s okay to be gay,

It’s okay to be gay!

 

I taught myself to love it, to believe it,

To tell other it’s okay, it’s okay,

It’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay --

But I never bothered to tell

Myself.

 

I’m not a sinner. I’m not a freak.

I’ve hated myself for too long.

 

Telling others they’re perfect is easy,

Telling yourself is hard.

It’s okay for you to be gay,

But it’s not okay for me.

 

Years were spent shoving it down,

Swallowing it and my pride,

Praying no one would find out,

Hoping it was all a terrible joke my

Brain was playing on itself,

That it would blow over.

 

The first time I said I was gay

My heart hammered so fast

I thought I would vomit.

 

(It’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay.)

 

Straight people roll their eyes.

“So? It’s not a big deal--”

--but it is a big deal,

It’s a huge deal to rewrite yourself,

To tell yourself you’re real,

You’re perfect,

To remind yourself that sticks

And stones may break your bones

But words can never hurt you.

 

I’m more than hate, I’m more than

Reading stories about people like me

Being murdered, being attacked,

Being told they’re sick, that they’re worthless --

 

That I’m more than just another sinner

Damned forevermore,

That

 

I AM OKAY

 

That I will be able to live the life I want,

That I can live with a few bumps and bruises,

That I don’t have to hate myself for wanting to

Kiss a boy,

Hug a boy,

Love a boy,

Even though I am a boy.

 

Being hard programmed to loathe yourself

Is hard to undo.

Every time my vision grows hazy around

A boy I want to tear my skin and

Cry, because I’m broken, because

I shouldn’t be doing this.

 

“I don’t feel anything,” I told everyone.

 

I’m in love with boys, I hid from myself.

 

God disappeared.  I pray to Him still.

He couldn’t possibly hate me,

He couldn’t possibly make me want to

Hate myself, not when I was stitched together

Perfectly.

 

It’s okay to be gay.

I’m okay (to be gay).

 
This poem is about: 
Me

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