Like you; people.


United States
41° 52' 56.0964" N, 87° 43' 19.8732" W
United States
41° 52' 56.0964" N, 87° 43' 19.8732" W
United States
41° 52' 56.0964" N, 87° 43' 19.8732" W

What Would You Change Scholarship Slam



What would I change, you ask?

I’d say my life, but that’s a tad vague.

I’d change the prejudice I get for being comfy with me.

It just kills me sometimes.

I’ve seen a lot of reactions to who I was born to be, but hate’s so common it seems like it’s all the rage.


Let’s start with something childish.

A text from my girlfriend reading “my friend asked me ‘does ur mom know ur bf is a fag lols?’”

It burned my eyes with the fire in my heart as soon as I read it.

Isolated from a stranger. What a novel concept.

Felt like my girlfriend and I were invalid because I can check guys out just the same as I check her out.

Minimalized like a common joke because I was definitely treated as such.

But it all got downplayed.

Girlfriend says “it’s all words on a page.”


Fast forward a few months.

We all hear that junior year is supposed to be the worst one in high school.

It was for me, but unconventionally so.

I wrestled. It was the sport for me.

Heavy guy, throwing his weight and his anger around for his betterment.

Great for me if I’m alone, but factor in the other kids and things get a little hairy.

Misfit on the varsity squad. Only junior, only heavyweight, one of the few white kids…

Only queer.

Mom always told me how cruel kids can be, but I get constant reminders.

“Do you check us out?”

“Don’t look at my junk in the shower.”

“Looking for a boyfriend on the mat?”

“Just an excuse to feel guys up.”

Stigmatized, joked about, pinned mentally.

Room full of team mates but I feel like a refuge.


Now don’t read me wrong, I love myself.

I do what I want because I can because I’m free, but even that freedom can imprison you.

Gym class, junior year.

One of my friends shows up drunk.

Asks me, plain and simple the sobering question:

“You’re bi, right?”

I love that question.

I love throwing my pride around. I know myself and I love myself.

But he asked me in a locker room, full of sweaty teenage boys that just lifted weights and ran 5k’s.

All eyes were on me, as if THEY were checking ME out.

17, drunk like he’s 21, acting like he’s 12.

Act your age.


So a man that knows his emotions might get called a momma’s boy once or twice, right?

Even being who I am threw a wrench in the loving-and-caring machine I call ma.

Hurt and angry, depressed and victimized, singled out for having a queer heart on my sleeve.

Mom corners me in the kitchen and asks me questions from all angles.

Not ready to say what I need to say but out it comes anyway.

“Ma, I like boys AND girls.”

She walks away looking about as disgusted as she would if I took money from her purse.

No words for days that felt like years. ‘Cause I was going nowhere.

I was stuck feeling dirty and wrong.

Hurt the one that brought me here by being the way I was brought here.

She speaks:

“It’s just a phase, right?”

I open a door and let her in but she still ends up estranged.


Now, let’s get back to that change.

I’d change the publicity, attention, hate, love, looks, questions, gossip, responses, whatever it may be that “us queers” get.

Us boxed in, shut out, admired, despised, curiously different queers get.

Stop saying “you people” and let us be like you; people.




Amazing! I would love to see this change in the world!

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