Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Poem for Gay Pride



I hold my head up, barely-
with parades in it, it's heavy.
I look at the world and know
that they're all looking at me.
They are.
I'm important.
I have to be or there wouldn't
be such a beautiful fucking parade,

At least today they're looking.
They can't really ignore the music
and the sweat, and the skin and the feathers.

Some bring their kids,
I automatically make way for strollers.
I notice lots of dogs, some very fancy.
I get tangled, briefly, in a sparkly leash
when a bulldog in a tutu
takes a turn for  a terrier.

There are beautiful, beautiful people.
Beauty, I know, a distraction from pain.
Smile, it's your day!
They smile, on cue-
they really want to mean it.
There are old people- at least fortysomething.
It's funny, they smile anyway.

Some stand back,
not really there, but they have to be.

And some, I know, are quietly holding
a heavy excuse to beat me with
(they practice on themselves, like I did).
But not today,
They're outnumbered.

Is blue the sky, or the other way round?
Today, it doesn't matter.
My eyes are clear
my back is straight,
my neck getting stronger
with every passing feathery float.

Who Is This Guy?

D Gregory Smith is a gay, HIV+ native Montanan; a Rome-educated former priest now making a living as a licensed mental health counselor and Executive Director of AIDS Outreach - a Bozeman based HIV testing, service and support organization. He is also a teacher, health educator, firm and gentle activist, poet, theologian, spiritual adventurer, future husband, interviewer, geek, opinionated and witty optimist who loves to write- and he does (when he can find time) on his blog From Here to Eternity and at Bilerico.com. He is also a contributor to several other blogs and sites, including the newsmagazine LGBTQ Nation.

As I was looking through D. Gregory Smith's blog, I came across a post of his that I wanted to share with you guys.  It's is titled "Being Gay IS a Choice." I found it to be quite fascinating, and thought that you guys might also. I wanted to post a few excerpts from it here.

Being Gay IS a Choice.

(originally posted 10/26/09 and on Bilerico.com)

Smith received a letter from someone he'd known since childhood, who read his blog and felt compelled to write to him saying, "It disgusts me that you've made the choice to be Gay and go to Hell, especially with all your theological training."

He responded by writing: 

"You are exactly right. Being Gay is a choice. It is a choice to respond with honesty, integrity and humility to thoughts and feelings that are not a choice. It is a choice to move away from the dark feelings of fear, self-loathing and dishonesty into the light of understanding, honesty, self-acceptance and respect. I have absolutely no choice about whether or not I am gay- I do have to make choices every day about faithfully following the heart that God gave me, as do you. Sometimes I fail. Sometimes I am not as kind or understanding or honest with myself or others about my thoughts and feelings. Sometimes I have thoughts of anger... 

"I don't ask you to understand me, just to accept my experience... After years of struggling with guilt, shame and fear, I finally came to the simple conclusion that being gay is my honest reality. This was an understanding arrived at through years of self examination, pain and soul searching- it was not the product of indoctrination or brainwashing.

"We all make choices. We can choose to feel better by making someone else feel bad, to condemn rather than try to understand, to be right or be happy. I'm sure you have made some choices I will never understand, but I hope I can, at least, give you the benefit of an attempt at explanation. That's what I hope. That's my goal. Because living my life in a way that's faithful to my heart- well, that is the choice I want to make every day."

Smith's sentiments mirrored my own in such a way that I could not help but sharing.


Jay M. said...

what an awesome Pride post! Thanks so much. It makes me feel really good about myself, both pieces just spoke to me.

Peace <3

dgsmith.org said...

Gracias, friend.