Thursday, 15 May 2014

I Person [Not Box]


No one likes to be stereotyped, and I mean anyone not just gay men and women. 

Worse, is being subjected to verbal/physical/ psychological abuse simply because we don’t tick the ‘right’ boxes; right for some people, that is.  So what can we do about it? 

As a child, I was sometimes bullied and teased (by adults as well as peers) because I had a very bad lisp. I finally confided in someone and asked what I should do. ‘Don’t do anything,’ I was told, ‘just be yourself, and when these nasty people see they are not getting to you, they will get bored and stop. Too often, we only see what we want to see in others, for better or worse. The trick is to let everyone know that what they see is what they’ll get, end of story. The chances are they will respect you for it. They may not like you, but they will respect you…’

Years later, this advice served me in very good stead when I came out as a gay man.

This poem is a villanelle.

I, PERSON [NOT BOX]

Be brave, and to the self be true
(none of this playing a part);
let others see, for looking at you

Bigots, though (relatively) few 
leave good folks sick at heart;
be brave, and to the self be true

We all run life’s gamut, it’s true,
(few of us make a good start);
let others see, for looking at you

Gossips have little better to do
(innuendo, a poison dart…);
be brave, and to the self be true

Get a life, and then see it through
(challenge the stick, try carrot);
let others see, for looking at you

Just rewards may well seem few,
(don’t let it break your heart);
be brave, and to the self be true;
let others see, for looking at you

Copyright R. N. Taber 2009


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