Before the poem, an announcement:  IT’S OFFICIAL!  I AM A TOAD!  The site where I spent most of April, Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, invited me to be one of their circle of 20 poets.  I am extremely flattered and thrilled to be included in the Garden with so many wonderful poets.  Like Poets United, one must be invited to join, so that’s my BIG ANNOUNCEMENT for, like, the year!  Now, on we go…

Queer.

She’s queer and
wants me to
refer to her as
gender queer,
androgynous.

I could do no less
than confess:
My generation has
problems with Queer,
hearing it said in
locker rooms and
school, in sports
and retorts spat at
the skinny boys.

‘Queer’ meant
wrong, bent.
Now it means
the whole LGBT
community.
‘Queer’ has found
immunity.

She told me that
I must embrace change,
dangerous as it seems.
She dreams of
a day when ‘Queer’
simply means
‘Not Straight.’

Apples
to
apples.

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

For ABC Wednesday and also to be found on my non-homophobic hangouts, Imaginary Garden With Real Toads and Poets United.  It’s a generational thing. I remember gay pride movements in the 70s and 80s, and the cry, “We’re Here! We’re Queer! Get Over It!” Then, the word was still used as a pejorative by straights and closeted LGBTQs. The new generation, those who remember coming home from school on 9/11 like we remember coming home from school the day Pres. Kennedy was shot, have taken that word back, flipped it like a coin, say it with pride.

And I say, “Good on them!” Peace, Amy