We had a creative writing assignment in my English class about the intangible things that we carry. Most largely for me is the fight between my timid nature and my desire to help other people, and get the message out there that gay people are not evil, terrible people. A gay life is not a bad life. But sometimes my lack of a loud voice, and my lack of confidence in the voice I do have keeps me from helping spread this message in a more powerful way.
I thought about the lives the we lose because of bullying, because of stereotypes, because of judgments, from the people we often care most about. I thought about the responsibility we have to "gay it forward" to the kids who are always listening. I thought about don't ask, don't tell. I thought about the fear that I still have when I meet new people and they find out that I'm gay. We all carry things like that, I'm sure.
So this is what I wrote, and I thought I'd share it with you.
I carry silence,
the fearful silence that is made of scars
and a history written
with the ink of emotion,
entertaining thoughts without a voice
while trying to find a voice.
I carry the knowledge
that silence and change
do not often meet at the same table
or shake hands in greeting.
I carry the responsibility
that is given with the discovery of truth,
to be honest when asked
and to tell those who will listen
that too many go missing in the silence,
and too many hide their voices,
and too many lose their belief
that a new day is just beyond the horizon.
I carry the conflict
between heart and mind,
between silence and voice,
knowing that if someone could listen,
a new day could be written
and even the quietest voice could be heard.