I was told to be ashamed.
To accept would acknowledge deprivation.
But then I sought a different frame,
Accessed more information.
Now I accept my fate, embrace what’s mine,
And love myself, love what I’ve done,
And what I’ve accomplished,
Despite how I was admonished for who I am.
My present became my present ‐
But I know acceptance is a privilege.
And I understand the plight of millions ‐
Of those who suffer every day in
Closets, torment, open graves
And punished for a different taste.
Distaste for scents of hate,
Aromatic, veiled by "holy" praise
And rituals ‐ resultant ideologies
That justify the hate and bigotry
I saw surround me:
I chase the path to happiness
Which brought me joy and solace.
I accept responsibility
Burdened with identity,
Accepting the reality, the fact that
We must stick together in the margins
Just to marginally survive.
And in order just to thrive, we must have the drive,
The willingness to contrive beauty from our dire situation.