I could not wear pink shirts
I could not wear fuzzy sweaters
I could not talk in my normal voice.
I had to change genders
When talking about my dates.
I could not keep my boyfriend’s picture
On my desk like everyone else did
Around the cluttered desks of others.
I could not talk at work about home;
I could not use the word married
I had to use words like ‘partner’
Even after years of being married.
Close friends and family talked
About him as ‘my little friend’
Even though he was older and
Bigger than a football tight end.
I had to put single on all papers
Including my tax forms in spring.
Being part of a gay household
To institutions didn’t mean a thing.
The bragging rights for gay people
Didn’t exist for anything essential.
The underscript was that gay folks
Were something vile and pestilential.
There was no recompense from god
Because we were called abominations.
Onward Christian Soldiers was a theme
That authorized the invasion of nations.
So, how were we to manage liberation
And pride in who we were as gays?
Some of us were murdered for this
Most of us harassed in ugly ways.