I Told You Who I Was.

When I told you who I was –
that I was genderqueer –
you asked me for silence,
not for time to process,
but for the maintenance
of appearances.

When I told you who I was,
you showed me who you were,
showed me I was unwelcome,
showed me I was only valuable
for my appearance,
not for my authentic self.

When I told you who I was,
you showed me that your community
only welcomes the “right” kind of people,
that you want diversity in moderation,
and you regretted accepting me then
in light of my truth now.

When I told you who I was,
you asked me for silence
and I gave it to you
because, as much as I was disgusted,
I didn’t want to be removed
from your carefully cultivated clan.

When I told you who I was
and you asked for silence,
I compromised my integrity
because I loved the community,
I loved the people, my friends,
but I couldn’t live with myself or the lie.

When I told you who I was,
you asked me for silence
because people would lose respect.
They wouldn’t accept me anymore
and they’d question why you let me in
if they knew I was queer.

When we said goodbye, you asked me who I was.
You “conveniently” forgot what I’d told you
to cover your own ass.
Now we both know exactly who you are,
but you’ll never, ever know who I am
and that is your loss, indeed.

© Rylan Skelly, November 2018


About the Author: I have a B.A. in Honours Religious Studies from the University of Waterloo; I have a love for all major world religions – Eastern, Western, or in between; I’m genderqueer, and I’m comfortable with male, neutral, and female pronouns; I’m married to my dear wife Lynn, who is the love of my life, my best friend, and my muse; I think far too much, and often have too many ideas to know what to do with; and I am a doing being, just like you!

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Rylan Skelly View All →

I have a B.A. in Honours Religious Studies from the University of Waterloo; I have a love for all major world religions - Eastern, Western, or in between; I'm genderqueer, and I'm comfortable with male, neutral, and female pronouns; I'm married to my dear wife Lynn, who is the love of my life, my best friend, and my muse; and I am a doing being, just like you!

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