My Identity. My Name

Living without my identity is like slipping through the drain on the side of the road.

Flowing away with the water

Nowhere to be seen.

As if I could be seen.

 

Instead I have no ears

Eyes

Mouth

Tongue

 

And tell me, how does my first and only tongue take away my heritage?

How does my breath not count?

Or matter?

I didn’t inherit a language,

But I did inherit my history.

 

And I don’t like to have it stolen right out of my blood

Which I inherited like my hair,

My culture,

My skin.

And the last time I checked, my skin was tan and brown.

 

Not white.

 

I don’t find it appropriate to pronounce me white

Like a clean slate

When I already have words permanently written on my skin.

It can’t be whitewashed.

Nothing about my family can be whitewashed.

The number of families split by borders can’t be whitewashed.

Erased and forgotten.

 

Living without the meaning to my complexion makes me feel guilty

For not being proud of it,

For not being proud to say I’m a Hispanic male.

 

So tell me, why is it that when I explain my sexuality I feel like I’m changing my gender?

Two separate words with two separate meaning aren’t meant to meld.

Just because I’m bisexual doesn’t mean I’m both genders.

Or one at a time.

 

Why is it that everyone suddenly thinks it’s okay to call me “girl”?

“Hey girl, what’s up!”

“Oh girl that’s fierce!”

“You’re such a girl.”

“Only girls do that.”

“What a girl, fucking faggot!”

 

And I know it comes out of humor sometimes

But other times I find people looking at my chest as if something’s missing.

Maybe they’ve realized my heart stopped beating,

That taking away my identity is like taking away my breath.

It’s my single necessity to survive when I’m stranded

Alone.

Or surrounded in a crowd of people.

 

I can’t erase my identity.

I can’t turn back time.

I can’t live.

Without my name.  

This poem is about: 
Me
My community
Our world

Comments

Need to talk?

If you ever need help or support, we trust CrisisTextline.org for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741