I am a straight ally.
And I choose to make an oath to all that choose to hear it
I will defend the different dissonance, I will stand with
those told who to love and when to love and how to love
those told that they cannot have.
Those told that they are somehow lesser, that being gay is a joke
That being Trans* is just convenient cover for a pervert
Those told that simply being anything other than straight is not normal, Is deviant, is ‘other’
I make this oath because of the things I see
I see forty-nine threads cut short, I see the right to pee safely being ruled by fear
I see the rules of divorce still governed by straight law
I see secure employment being based on your sexual orientation
I see religion twisted into hate, I see corrective rape, I see murder
I see you, queer girl, your slip shed soul constantly bruised from unwanted advances
When a man reeking of arrogance says,
“You’ve never had a real man, bet I’ll give you a good fuck”
I see you, older gay man, not just hidden but hiding
married as the social measure, of standing. Not to stand out but stand in the crowd.
You said ‘I do’, knowing what it would cost you,
fifty years of a gold band becoming cold iron around your heart.
I see you trans teen
When your revolutionary realisation of self was met with “Grown ups know best.”
When you were told by a doctor “It’s just a phase, You’ll grow out of it.”
When you were told by your friends “You’re a freak.”
When you told your teacher about the bullying and they said “You have to change schools.”
I see those told to “Pray the gay away”, corralled in camps until they conform
I see you genderfluid asexual, I see you feminine transman, I see you pan demigirl
I see you disabled gay man, trying to date, when the first thing anyone sees, is your wheels
I see you aromantic lesbian, I see those with polyamorous connections, I see you bears and butches
I see you two spirits, I see you same gender loving, I see you gay single mother with AIDS
I see you gay Imam, I see you pagan warrior dyke, I see you, I see you
I see you bullied bisexual, labelled a greedy slut, called promiscuous profligate, powerless to prevent accusations of infidelity.
I see you trans woman of colour, I see every punch and every kick and every insult
Every look of horror and fear and anger, that you have to see
I see your funeral, I see your obituary.
And so I make an oath for everyone I see
anyone bewildered at why the world is this way
because love is love
Because I may never be on fleek, I may never be a Queen, I may never truly understand.
I may only be one voice, one breath, one hand.
But I will stand by your side, and raise my voice, and together we will shout louder.
I offer my hand to hold yours, so that you know
you don’t stand alone.
I see you.
Suzanne is an #ownvoices queer poet/writer from Derbyshire. She was a Writer in Residency working with LGBT+ communities in 2017, shortlisted for Little Tiger Groups ‘Pride’ Anthology and a #WriteNowLive workshop attendee in 2018. She loves her wife, their grumpy cat and spoken word nights.