DECLARATION OF AN ALLY OF THE QUEER COMMUNITY
Queer. That word stops
folks from my generation
dead in their tracks.
We don’t say that word.
Always an insult, the word shouted
by football players before stuffing a
loafer-light boy into a wastebasket.
Not right. Wrong.
In Matthew Shepard’s case, dead wrong.
The word my daughter uses
in identifying her orientation.
She dresses boyish but loves women.
They’re here. Your accountant, your dentist,
your kid’s teacher (not the one with the
porn on their computer, either).
Homophobes use it to describe
boys other than their own sons, who
ship out in the Navy to prove they are “real men.”
Mom explained it when I was five.
No graphic descriptions of sex,
just, “Uncle John loves Uncle Tony.”
People are people.
Half the sexual acts straight couples do
could get them arrested in Mississippi.
They’re here. Get over it.
They are committed couples.
They adopt kids straight couples don’t want.
They rehabilitate crack babies.
They are wonderful neighbors.
They shop; they pay taxes.
Some are slobs, some are fashionable.
Some drink wine, some drink beer.
Some go to church, some don’t.
They are human beings who are
capable of love, of compassion,
of snottiness, of loyalty.
They deserve life, liberty,
and the pursuit of happiness.
Just like you.
Just like me.
Just like everybody else.
© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
For ABC Wednesday, brought to you by the letter Q.
And no, that is not a picture of me. It’s me in 20 years or so!