GingerSass

adding ginger to your sass

GingerSass - adding ginger to your sass

Silence

I’ve been partaking in OctPoWriMo this month. It’s been wonderful to find my voice again, and to express myself through poetry.

However, before I respond to today’s prompt, I think it’s important to express my thoughts on National Coming Out Day.

Last year at this time, I was student teaching. I struggled with whether or not I wanted to be out to my students, particularly after I started suspecting one of my star pupils was struggling with her sexuality. I ultimately chose not to come out for National Coming Out Day, a decision I still stand by to this day. (I did, however, come out to my student after she outed herself at an assembly I organized.)

This year, I didn’t even question whether I would want to come out or not. I started off the school year by deciding to remain in the closet for as long as humanly possible to teachers, and to not come out to students at all. I’ve been accidentally coming out to other teachers in conversation or over Malibu Bay Breezes (because, evidently, that’s my coming out drink). Most of the time, however, I sit in silence and listen to what others say.

I wouldn’t say the district where I work is homophobic. In fact, I’d say that students are pretty open-minded and accepting. I’d also say that my core group of friends are open-minded and accepting as well. I just remain quiet about my personal life for a few reasons: 1) my sexuality shouldn’t define who I am, 2) not everyone in the faculty room is accepting, and 3) I’m pretty damn fabulous and I don’t feel the need to explain to people all of the reasons why.

Today, however, I was exceptionally quiet. I didn’t wear my NOH8 button to school. I drew a teeny tiny purple heart next to my nail, representative of the idea of wearing purple today to support anyone coming out. I only said “No name calling!” when students referred to something as “so gay” in my classroom. I also regained my silence, which made me have an odd flashback to being a secretly-gay high school student.

20131011-200056.jpg

A teeny, tiny purple heart

I know it shouldn’t bother me after all these years of being out and about, but today I overheard some individuals talking about how freaked out they were to hear someone was gay, that “that lifestyle really freaks them out” and how they “hope they won’t get hit on.” Instead of speaking up, to avoid fueling petty drama and rumors, I chose to be quiet.

Today, I chose silence.

“silence”

no words
just a sharp intake of breath
as i feel my insides tense up
“that lifestyle”
“against my religion”
“going to Hell”
fuck this shit
i don’t need anyone’s approval
shit, i’m a Z-list celesbian
a former model
(if you can claim so after being in one show)
a performing poet
a snarky blogger
a strong, independent, outspoken
woman
yet i’m silenced
because this is my life,
this is what i have to do
to survive on a daily basis
in a world that questions
my queer femme identity–
that is, me being a girl girl
who happens to fall in love
with girls–
and whether or not
who i love
overpowers
my ability to teach
the world’s future
to be good people
because, in their minds,
finding love means
i’m not a good person
i’m just a sad, sad soul
that needs saving
from judgmental bitches like them
so, i remain silent
and remember
that their cold hearts
are closed to love
that i’m lucky enough to feel

Category: LGBT, OctPoWriMo, Poetry
  • Quinn Gifford says:

    First off, thanks for shouting out national coming out day! I completely respect everyone’s decisions surrounding coming out and I simply wish you a happy life where no matter where you are or who you’re with you’re everything you are. Poem was great, too. Especially loved, “fuck this shit.” Guess I needed a good old fashioned foul-mouthed line!

    October 11, 2013 at 11:48 pm
    • GingerSass says:

      🙂 Thanks Quinn! Everyone needs a good “fuck” once in a while.

      October 14, 2013 at 11:19 pm

Leave a Reply