Metaphors

QUESTION #6: What are your gender identity and sexual orientation?

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Option #1

“When I Was a Boy”

I won’t forget when Peter Pan came to my house, took my hand
I said I was a boy; I’m glad he didn’t check.
I learned to fly, I learned to fight
I lived a whole life in one night
We saved each other’s lives out on the pirate’s deck.

And I remember that night
When I’m leaving a late night with some friends
And I hear somebody tell me it’s not safe,
someone should help me
I need to find a nice man to walk me home.

When I was a boy, I scared the pants off of my mom,
Climbed what I could climb upon
And I don’t know how I survived,
I guess I knew the tricks that all boys knew.

And you can walk me home, but I was a boy, too.

I was a kid that you would like, just a small boy on her bike
Riding topless, yeah, I never cared who saw.
My neighbor come outside to say, “Get your shirt,”
I said “No way, it’s the last time I’m not breaking any law.”

And now I’m in this clothing store, and the signs say less is more
More that’s tight means more to see, more for them, not more for me
That can’t help me climb a tree in ten seconds flat

When I was a boy, See that picture? That was me
Grass-stained shirt and dusty knees
And I know things have gotta change,
They got pills to sell, they’ve got implants to put in,
they’ve got implants to remove

But I am not forgetting…that I was a boy too

And like the woods where I would creep, it’s a secret I can keep
Except when I’m tired, ‘cept when I’m being caught off guard
And I’ve had a lonesome awful day, the conversation finds its way
To catching fire-flies out in the backyard.

And so I tell the man I’m with about the other life I lived
And I say, “Now you’re top gun, I have lost and you have won”
And he says, “Oh no, no, can’t you see

When I was a girl, my mom and I we always talked
And I picked flowers everywhere that I walked.
And I could always cry, now even when I’m alone I seldom do
And I have lost some kindness
But I was a girl too.
And you were just like me, and I was just like you

— Dar Williams

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Option #2

“Andrew” (warning: the following poem contains language that some may find offensive)

“Andrew”

When I was a kid I would sometimes
Secretly call myself Andrew
Would tug at the crotch of my pants the way
Only pubescent boys do
Ran around pounding on my bare chest like tarzan
It’s not that I thought I’d grow up to be a man
I just never thought I’d grow up to be a woman either
From what I could tell neither of those categories
Seemed to fit me
But believe me, I knew from a very young age never to say
Hey dad, this adam and eve thing isn’t really working for me
I mean, what about all the people in between?

In the third grade lynette lyons aksed me
Where all of my barbies were
I lied and told her I got in trouble
So my mom took them away
I didn’t dare say: barbie sucks, lynette!
And for that matter tommy, so does gi joe
I wanna grow into something none of us have ever seen before
And gender is just one of the ways
We’re boxed in and labeled before we’re ever able
To speak who we believe we are
Or who we dream we’ll become
Like drumbeats forever changing their rhythm
I am living today as someone I had not yet become yesterday
And tonight I will borrow only pieces of who I am today
To carry with me to tomorrow
No I’m not gay
No I’m not straight
And I’m sure as hell not bisexual damnit
I am whoever I am when I am it.
Loving whoever you are when the stars shine
And whoever you’ll be when the sun rises
Yes, I like girls
Yes, I like boys
Yes, I like boys who like boys
I like girls who wear toys and girls who don’t
Girls who don’t call themselves girls
Crew cuts or curls or that really bad hair phase in between

I like steam rising from the body of a one-night stand
I like holding hands for three months before kissing
I like wishing your body was Saturn
My body a thousand rings wrapped around you
You wanted to be a Buddhist nun once
Last night you held my cervix between your fingers
I thanked gods I don’t believe in for your changing

Tell me we’ll be naming our children beautiful and nothing else
Tell Barbie she can go now
Tell gi joe to put his gun down and find a boyfriend
Or a girlfriend
Or a girl/boyfriend
F*** it, gi joe just needs a friend, y’all
I mean, he’s plastic
And not even the kind of plastic that bends
I want to bend in a thousand directions
Like the sun does
Like love does
Like time stopped
So the hands of the clock could hold each other

And we held each other like I held these words
For too many years on the tip of my tongue
I am my mother’s daughter
I am midnight’s sun
You can find me on the moon
Waxing and waning
My heart full of petals
Every single one begging
Love me, love me, love me
Whoever I am
Whoever I become

—Andrea Gibson

 

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On to Metaphors for Circle #7

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