Outside of the Box

 Society has a standard for everyone.
If you’re outside of the cookie cutter
Example, then you’re deemed as different.
As we grow up, we realize we all have our
Struggles and strides, we're all different in
Some shape or form. Though, those who
Are capable of protecting what makes them
Different are lucky. Those who are able to blend
In to the normal and can pass don’t have to worry
About discrimination.
 
As Pride Month comes to a close, I was to highlight
Those who celebrate in the month of June:
Lesbians. Gays. Bisexual. Trans. Queer. +.
Those who choose to live out and proud as well as
Those who cannot embrace who they are because
Of the circumstances they’re in.
 
People of the LGBTQ+ community
live outside of the box of societal norms.  
While they’re embraced by many,
They’re also scorned for loving someone
Of the same sex or for embracing who
They really are.
 
Living inside the box is boring.
Being a cookie cutter version of everyone
Else isn’t fun or unique.
Embracing who you are, even to yourself,
And accepting your differences is beautiful.
 
There’s no shame in being who you are,
It’s everyone else who can’t understand you
Who has it wrong.

Love Isn’t Defined by Gender

 Love isn't defined by gender.

But we live in a society where
Many people are still taught
Love between a man and a woman is natural
And everything else is sinful.

This teaching is dangerous because
It leads to shame for those who love people
Outside the heteronormative view.

Acceptance for the LGBTQ+ community has grown
Over the last couple of years
And it's delightful to see so much rainbow
Throughout the month of June.

But there are still people
Who are in the closet because they're fearful
Of how their family members will respond,
Knowing their views aren't loving.

Love is a natural feeling
between people of all sexes,
not just a man and a woman.

Anyone who feels shame and fear,
know that you are not alone.
Anyone who hates gays,
you're living in the dark age.

The Lies You Unlearn

For some people, who they love 
takes time to figure out.
They are taught by social constructs
that liking someone of the same sex is different.
As a kid, you don't want to be seen as different,
you want to fit in with your peers as best you can.
So you mask who you are for a version of yourself
who manipulates their perspective
to match how you see everyone else.
It's a protection mechanism,
keeping yourself safe during
uncertain times (aka: the teenage years).
It's only as an adult do you
begin to unlearn the lies
that have been defining your own
perspective your whole life.
Lies can make you believe
things that aren't true while
feelings you tried to suppress
tell you who you really are.
You learn that it's okay
to stand out instead of following the crowd.
The opinion you have of yourself is more important
than other people's opinions of you.
You learn that most people aren't "normal"
and telling yourself the truth
of who you are is more liberating
than you ever could have imagined
the day you put on the mask.

The Beauty of Spring

Rebirth

The earth is alive again,
the smells of recently bloomed flowers
linger thru the afternoon air.
It will fade by summer,
but at this moment, they're wild.
Reminder

Life never sits still,
it's constantly moving, whether you like it or not.
It's our jobs as humans are to evolve with the times.
Move forward instead of back,
focusing on the past will only repeat history.
Learn from their mistakes instead of making them again.
Reflect

Smile as the sun sets later in the day.
The colors on earth and in the sky reflect hope.
Hope that change will come one day.
Hope that things won't stay the same.
Admire the beauty, keep moving forward.

Before I Say Hello

Before I say hello,
I acknowledge
to myself
what will happen. 
I will stutter. 
Sometime throughout 
the string of words 
that will flow
out of my mouth, 
there will be a bump.
It’s inevitable. 
This is okay. 
A bump 
or two 
of three
won’t kill my flow. 
A big bump 
that causes me 
to use a trick 
won’t stop me 
from speaking. 
What’s important 
is that I share 
my thoughts. 
I speak for
my voice,
my voice
does not 
speak for me.
I continue to learn 
how to navigate 
the strong waters 
when there’s an uptick 
in my stutter. 
How I approach 
conversations has shifted.
I have gained
an awareness
I never could 
have predicted.
I still say 
what I want 
but I may not 
ramble on the way 
I once did 
when I was comfortable 
with the stutter I knew.
For things have shifted
and that’s okay,
It’s apart of stuttering,
nothing is certain.