Half In / Half Out

Over the weekend I got to thinking about some people I know who are partially out as LGBT. They have a few on-line friends who know they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, and maybe one or two non-net friends who know. Many of the most significant people in their lives do not know. Perhaps that is the best way for them right now, but I have found that living too long like that can drain us of life.

As I prayed about that I wrote the following poem.

We speak riddles to ourselves,
proclaiming,
in whispers,
“I am OK”

But strapped to our backs
We bear a wardrobe,
the opposite of that portal to Narnia,
a closet that dumps us into a smaller world,
a cramped, musty place of shadows.

“I don’t want to upset my mother.”
“My brother will never understand.”
“No need to flaunt it.”
“It’s only a tiny
part of me.”

A part muffled in a velvet-lined padded valise,
Jammed in the back of a wardrobe,
besides dusty boxes of dreams and desires,
A place where we speak riddles to ourselves.

This post has 7 Comments

  1. Anonymous on April 1, 2008 at 2:46 pm Reply

    this is 100% me. thank you for that poem, and for your empathy.

  2. Tania on April 1, 2008 at 10:18 pm Reply

    I like this very much, Peterson. Thank you.

  3. Angelia Sparrow on April 1, 2008 at 10:42 pm Reply

    *nods*
    I’m passing for straight.
    Husband, four kids,minivan, mortgage.

    Although, I think the only person who doesn’t know is my mother. That too may change. Oldest daughter and I have both taken to wearing Pride necklaces.

  4. Plain Foolish on April 3, 2008 at 5:24 am Reply

    Beautifully done.

  5. nonsequitur on April 3, 2008 at 5:29 pm Reply

    I often think about some of the folks I have known (and a few I’ve dated) who were not or only partially out of the closet. I feel bad for them because I remember how I felt while I was in… your poem reflects the feelings quite accurately. One of my current challenges is in being more caring, supportive and understanding of those going through this disparity in their lives, remembering that I was there too just over a decade ago.

    It is good for the soul and the rest of creation to be helping others across the river instead of running out of water, over the hill, and into the woods full-tilt while leaving others still struggling behind.

  6. wep601 on April 4, 2008 at 3:13 am Reply

    Very thought provoking… excellent poem

  7. Ian on July 31, 2008 at 10:11 am Reply

    Thank you. Thank you very much.

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