h a p p y           p r i d e 

for the theys and thems 
for the gays 
the us 
the we 

for me. 

i am a woman loving woman 

ashamed for years
haboring guilt and doubt 

family members speak of disgust 
“why do they have to broadcast it for everyone to see” 
while television thrives off the ideals of romance – but only if it’s hetero, right? 

they can’t fathom the idea of girls liking girls or boys liking boys 
and don’t get me started on how anyone can “identify” as a different gender 
disgusting, they say

but no one said anything about the grown man touching the little girl 
not a word. 

they sit and listen 
eyes dart around the room 
bending over backwards
bodies breaking in half 
doing whatever it takes not to look that girl in the eye. 

look me in the EYE 

tell me again how much of a sinner i am for loving the gender that did not hurt me 
that didn’t defile my adolescent body 
made me feel all of the things i should feel when it comes to my sexuality 
disgusting – arousing revulsion or strong indignation
a word that comes into play over and over 
a word that i’ve used to describe myself 

tell me again how your God would not approve 
but allowed such foul crimes be committed against me 

i deserve to feel worthy 
i deserve love and happiness
i deserve to stand tall 
to be free 
to be P R O U D

i am no longer ashamed.