Passing Clouds and Accepting Rainbows

March 13, 2023

A few weeks ago, while I was hectically making my way through Charles de Gaulle airport, my friend asked me to send her a few sentences about being queer. Without any further instruction, I began journal in my phone, creating something that I intended to take pieces from to send her and keep the rest for myself. Yet, by the end I felt that I had expressed so much vulnerability in my writing that regardless of her intentions, I knew I wanted to share it with her. So without editing, I sent it. She took my words and narrowed them, creating something beautiful for her latest publication, “Art Zine For Freedom Seekers” (you can find the edited version, Queer Kinda Feeling, here: Book Link). While I feel so grateful that she knows me well enough to concentrate my words, I think that my original offers a sense of rawness that deserves a space bigger than my notes app. 

My perspective on so many things has changed as I have explored my sexuality over the last five years. Clothes, words, and dreams feel different when you get the chance to alter the image of your future. Don’t get me wrong, it is extremely difficult, but has also positively changed the way that I think, act, and talk. It has granted me access to a new freedom. My life is uniquely mine and I have to live it authentically. There will inevitably always be people who disagree and people who do not take the time to understand. And yet, their opinions do not matter (and I am privileged that my safety does not depend on it). My sexuality is a constant reminder that I can be different and still use the raw, real, not always accepted, parts of myself to connect to more people like me. My sexuality is a superpower that allows me to see the world just a little differently.

Unless you go through the process of coming out to yourself and the people around you, I am not sure if anyone can understand the experience. But the most effective way to learn to grant grace and understanding to people different than you is by closely listening to their stories. And sharing your own. So here are some hard, yet freeing, thoughts from my innermost self. You may not understand everything, but I hope you relate to some. . . 

Ironed shirts were never my thing.

But my mom used to iron them for me before school

I paired them with subtle colored nails and plaid skirts

My style changes with my identity

Tennis shoes with tall white socks

Trying to prove my grit

Dresses shunned, not girly enough

But now it’s all I wear

Bad body days till crop tops made my pretty

Now they make me feel cheap

Subtle rainbows for only those who pay attention

Just enough for me to remember I’m worthy in or out of clothes

Clothing attracts but so does energy

Wait till I have the confidence to show it off

Ups and downs, change my surroundings

Inside jokes to make it ok

Fun flirting until you find the right type to make you nervous

I seem to lose some confidence or quick-wittedness

It hits hard, that downward spiral

Of not knowing who you are in or out of clothes

Mourning losses of a pictured life

Outside of the box it’s not as easy

But you slowly rebuild and paint a new picture

This time with rainbow

Yet black holes pop through, waiting to be colored in anew

It lets you change and choose the shade of all of your dreams

Unique colors that make some uncomfortable

But make me feel more real

Can’t control the rain, don’t know when it will come around

So I try to control other things to keep me dry

But all will pass

What is left

You can’t have a rainbow in cloudy weather

Not everyone gets to dream in color

I feel the shame for the privilege

For the uncommon color palette

Doesn’t quite fit completely in one room

Unless done intentionally to accept the shine from outside

Tornado friendships with an anxious attachment

Discomfort in one sided interested glances

Not so subtle hints that don’t replace the explicit

Sacrifices that result in surprised, stumbling responses

The clothes never did the trick but they don’t pick up on energy either

I make the rainbows too hard to see by the right people

Can’t control the rain, don’t know when it will come around

So I try to control other things to keep me dry

But all will pass

what is left

You can’t have a rainbow in cloudy weather

I want the freedom of thought

To not worry more about the glances than the glances really happen

Or maybe they do, but does it matter

If I am safe and loved and free

These personal retrains are the ones that are blocking my sun

My rainbow.

Flex the mold.

Watch the weather report or have an umbrella.

I’ll be proud of my rainbow when it clears.