I’ve been here before Way too many times. I’ve spent countless nights in terror Letting out frantic cries. I’ve plotted my death Again, again, and again. I’m willing to give up this fight, After all, it seems to have no end To you, to him, to her I’m gay, homosexual, a faggot. It doesn’t matter if I’m really straight That person, you’ll never let me be him Because I twerk, gyrate, and shake. I’m far from your average guy. Yes, I’m flamboyant and androgynous, But to you I’m a target, why? You say I’m not living my truth, That I’m not what I claim to be. Hmm... that’s funny, For a second there, I actually thought you were me. Oh, wait, I forgot, You are, you know how I truly feel! You know how battered I’ve been; You’ve seen the scars that may never heal. You know that every time I close one wound Another one seems to sprout. You know that all these accusations Fill me with so much doubt. You felt that pang of fear When my mother questioned me, And the inescapable torture I felt When my own brother disowned me. You felt the soreness of my throat That day I bawled through the middle school halls. You empathize with my entrapment, The suffocation of brick walls. You understand the mortification I endured When I seen “you’re gay” smeared across a mirror. And the tightness of that noose I fashioned As inevitable death inched nearer. You felt my bruised forearms, After I spent an hour on the floor, Pounding, beating to the devil to stop; I don’t want this anymore. You know the depression I was in: The bullying, lies, rumors, and pleas, Or that faithful night I spent praying For god to end this all, please! I can’t be straight. That’s what you think, right? Because I have a higher pitched voice And my outfits are tight. Because Beyoncé is my role model And all my closest friends are girls. Well, duh, LeTrae, duh! Those traits make you gay in this world! Stop being different! Fit in and conform! Be masculine, be manly! Femininity gets you scorned! By your family, your friends Your friends’ family too. Isn’t that funny? All those people know more about you than you. Well, thanks for the realization, Thanks for knowing me, Thanks for telling me who, And how I should be. Le Trae, guess what? You’re a faggot, can’t you see? They don’t care if you’re attracted to girls. Don’t be who you want to be! Get some guy friends, you weirdo! Go play basketball and have fun! Stop hanging out with girls, you embarrassment! I don’t need a sissy, be a better son! Well, you know what I say to that? NO! Don’t make me feel ashamed. Don’t berate me with your brutal words In an attempt to make me “brave.” As I’ve said before, I’ve spent too many nights in a fuss. This suffering has got to end, No, not has, must! I’m sick of being scared To show who I really am. It’s a constant battle being in my skin, But, no more, I will stand. So go ahead, use your words, Write me down on paper as gay Because from now on I AM happy, and I will see a better day. Believe me when I say, “I’m heterosexual and forever unafraid.” I will continue to stand out, And yes, this is what makes me brave! Not giving in to your malice, Your hate, and your assumptions! I’ll forever be Le Trae. I don’t mind being the topic of discussion. I’ll be androgynous, feminine; I’ll be sassy and I’ll dance. And if you think I should be different, Here’s your answer: no, not a chance!