a psalm of rebellion

Sat, 02/21/2015 - 16:48 -- TamJeff


when i was eleven

i described something as being “so gay”

and my mother told me never

to use gay

as an insult

because i had two godfathers

and they were in love with each other

and they didn’t need their goddaughter critising

their lives

just because her peers all did it


when i was twelve

i read every book in the school’s library

and the teachers praised me

until they realised

that i never took an accelerated reader test

on anything i read

because one of the books i read that year

said that grades weren’t good measurements

of intelligence or anything else

and i figured

that accelerated reader points

didn’t need to matter either


when i was thirteen

i discovered that two men

could be intimate together

and i began writing and reading stories

where they were

and my parents didn’t know

until one day

they walked in on me watching a video

of two men

and my father got angry

and told me

what i was doing was inappropriate and

needed to stop

but the next day i got back on

and i searched up more yaoi

because it made sense to me when i was thirteen


when i was fourteen

i realised that i was not straight

and i was scared to tell anyone

because i had heard

from the yaoi artists i followed online

that being not straight was


and that i could get hurt

for wanting to kiss another girl


when i was fifteen

i actually kissed a girl

and because i considered myself a rebel

i did it in a church

and i did it again and again and again

i realised i could never be accepted

by my own father

and eventually that girl

decided she didn’t want to kiss me


and so i went back to writing

about boys kissing boys

and reading

without taking any tests

and i learned to be alone in my rebellion


when i was sixteen

i was asked whether i would date a black guy or not

and to the silent room i responded

i would not kiss any boy

regardless of colour

and though i was too shy to answer

when asked if that meant i was gay

that one action

prompted a series of coming out ceremonies

and i became confident

in my sexuality

and my friends rallied with me

and i rallied with them when they came out


when i was seventeen

i heard about a girl in a boy's body

who just wanted a dress

but instead got to walk

out across a highway and be cut off by a bus

and i mourned her

despite never knowing her in person

because something about her story hit me deep inside

because i started to wonder

am i really a girl

or is there something about my biology

that just doesn't match up with who i am


now i am eighteen

on my way to becoming an adult

i have learned through reading

that if i were a black woman i would have to say

“don’t shoot” and

put my hands up

only to get shot anyway for talking back

i have learned through reading

that gay people are still prosecuted

by those who are heterosexual

and even though they say they want equality

when they all come out together

donning rainbow capes

they beat down

and berate

those whose capes do not contain

all the colours

because bisexuals and asexuals and pansexuals

just aren’t gay enough


one day i will be nineteen

and i hope by then i will be strong enough

to kiss girls

and love all genders

because they are all attractive

and i will be strong enough

to call myself a man

because i don’t think

that my biology matches up with my mind

and even though

people say i cannot be anything other than female

i will not care

because i will be nineteen

and i will be better than a label

This poem is about: 


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