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“Sticks and Stones”

Faggot.

Homo, queer, sissy.

Forgetting the fact that I was attracted to girls. 

These were the slurs my brother and friends used to diss me.

I lived to prove my brother wrong. 

Lacking a father I searched for a male role model.

An older boy told me it wasn’t gay if we grabbed each other’s.

Faggot.

Homo, queer, sissy.

At 15 I slept with a girl for the first time.

Excited, I ran home to tell my brother I wasn’t a virgin.

Faggot.

Homo, queer, sissy.

My brother stopped being someone I admired.

And what if I was gay? 

There’s nothing wrong with that I thought.

At 16 confused, I kissed a boy for the first time.

Arousal missing I felt as though I committed a crime.

Breaking a young man’s heart to test if they were right.

Faggot.

Homo, queer, sissy.

Words causing pain and depression.

Hatred a threat to my whole life.

My maturation hanging in the balance.

Fortunate to share my mother’s stubbornness.

Love.

Hug, smile, practice acceptance.

Where would my brother be without my forgiveness?

Love.

Hug, smile, practice acceptance.

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