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An Attempt at Honesty

by Freja

I have not followed the guidebook.

I am not the person I was supposed to become:

Cannot even read her blueprints.

So here I am, a tap away from toppling—

And I cannot see what my tomorrow holds.

(This is what it is to be queer at BYU)

I do not recognize my reflection.

I experiment: different expressions, different sides of myself,

But no change—this is a stranger.

Maybe it has been so long since I beheld myself

That someone else’s reflection mistook itself for mine.

Or maybe it is the reflection which is true

And I am no longer myself.

(This is what it is to be queer at BYU)

The sweetness of her eyes is like dawn,

While dew still rests on grass-blades and all is quiet;

Her lips the salty ocean air

As the wind catches in my lungs and makes me feel alive.

I would witness a thousand such dawns,

Drink up the ocean until I could no longer breathe,

And in spite of every voice weeping the opposite,

I would know us both to be holy.

(This is what it is to be queer at BYU)

My lungs are bursting with the secret of myself,

But I do not know where to vent the pressure:

Not every ear I would tell is an ear that would hear

And some would reward my vulnerability with shame.

Besides, how do I translate the language of my Soul?

And what if, once the secret is gone,

My lungs are crushed by the emptiness?

(This is what it is to be queer at BYU)

On good days I am radiant,

The light of defiance in my eyes

And the surety of God steadying my hand.

I am a lesbian! I shout to myself, and I revel in it.

On bad days, I am drawn and quartered

By the facets of my own identity,

And I beg for them to hurry up and finish the job. This is what it is to be queer at BYU,

Yet still I would choose to have both of these,

The good and bad alike,

Because there is no part of myself I would give up

To make my life more palatable.



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