Filling this pen with ink made from tears (of joy, love)
spilling it across this page in the hope that
my words will act as some form of protection—
a talisman for you, my dear friend. A talisman
for anyone who has been told they are not enough
as they are. Brown, transgender, bisexual,
Christian. The parts that are sum,
but not the whole. For those of us whose voices
are hoarse from speaking, whispering, screaming
into the void of squeaky wheels determined
to keep all the grease for themselves.
Teal taffeta, ball cap tilted just so,
sporting a goatee, eyeliner flicked
to perfection. You look like you
and you’ve never looked better. Thank you
for letting me in. My friend, share who you are
with the world—in the places you feel safest. Real talk,
that should be everywhere without restriction.
Your well-being is a currency worth going to battle for.
So, I will. Tell me about the monsters hiding
under your bed and I will stroke your hair
until you fall asleep at night.
Anyone who knows you and turns a blind eye,
lacks vision. Find the friends who smile
at your penchant for corny jokes, sing along
to Kelly Clarkson at karaoke, and cry at the ending
to Bring It On. You know, people who honour you
for all that you are. Be that voice for yourself
when you can. When you can’t, mine is yours
for the taking. I will keep writing for the day
when living in your identity does not force
you into bravery, but is simply a given. After all,
you’re the best at being you, so why
would you be anyone else?
You are not to be filtered through the lens
of brazenly displayed ignorance. Here,
we celebrate genders and sexualities
expanding beyond the notion of binary.
Here, we see colour and laud every shade there is,
applaud those with faith who use it to support,
not exclude. We live out loud and find each other,
embracing in our individuality. The dangers are real
so please rest up, my friend, knowing that I will keep
speaking, whispering, screaming. Beside you,
in front of you, behind you, you are not alone.