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Validation

By : January 18, 2021 No Comment
I feel like a common problem for our community is that many people invalidate our sexuality. When coming out to someone, it’s a natural response for them to ask me if I’ve ever dated a woman.  “Have you ever dated a girl?” is an annoying reaction when I tell someone I’m pansexual because that’s not what pansexuality is. Although I understand many people don’t understand what pansexuality is, I’m also confused as to why they don’t just ask, rather than jumping to the conclusion that I also date women aside from men.  After I have put some thought into this, it made me notice how many people want to hear someone’s dating history in order to validate that their sexuality. It’s completely unnecessary and invasive to be forced to tell
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Liberated Love

By : January 7, 2021 Comments Off
I used to get sick to my stomach whenever I heard her name or saw the back of someone’s head with curly black hair that the sun made brown. When I was younger, I had longed for a relationship. Me and another person, totally immersed in one another. I never thought about the wheel of fortune and the downfall of love. The loss of the honeymoon phase is bitter and sudden like the winter air on my face after leaving my mom’s house.  I knew it was over before she said it. Before she was intimate with another girl on our bed. Before she had the cops send me to the psych ward, a $3,500 bill just for the ambulance ride. Before she drove away in her compact car barely
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Can We Talk About the Word?

By : January 4, 2021 Comments Off
“Can we talk about the word?” Emilia says. Zahra sits, writing in her brown, leather-covered notebook in Central Park at a round, white, steel table. Her yellow dress dances across her crossed legs as she slightly moves, habitually turning her ankle, which makes her gold sandals bounce. Beside the notebook is half a bottle of water and a peach. The day is kind and warm. The sun is shining bright. Several hummingbirds hover near a tree that cast its shadow over the small white table and Zahra. Zahra had been walking for some time before she grew tired and decided to rest. Now she writes, I need you here with me to -  “Can we talk about the word?” Emilia, again, says.  Zahra stops writing, pressing her pen on the
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The Lake: A Sestina

By : December 27, 2020 Comments Off
Amid evergreen song, Mother Earth’s voice blares enough to conceal that of the boy—events that had long defined his hide from his obscurities. Was it the painted nails on masculine digits, the slight strut in his stride, or the two personalities he wore that made faces turn to an uneven arc? The same ones that upturn upon that bible verse: leviticus, sinful, a single color. Of course, the lake he stares into is stripped of its hues. Its once glinting color now stands dull with the rest of the onlookers: black and white, not enough. And though the refracted image of the boy, in hindsight, is him, neither the arc around his belt, nor his murky skin could hide his real image. An image that strings together two narratives into
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Questioning Happiness

By : December 21, 2020 Comments Off
What does it mean to come out if you’re not sure who you are? I spent two years chasing after a boy who didn’t like me back when I was in middle school, all the way into my freshman year of high school. In my sophomore and junior year, I “fell in love” with another boy. During my senior year and in college, I experimented. In my head I kept thinking, I don’t like girls, I’m just a hormone-harboring teenager, what’s new?  I ended my freshman year of college with a girlfriend. A serious one, too. I mean, we fell in love, hard. Facetime calls never-ending, I was totally immersed in her. I thought she was immersed in me, but that’s a whole other story. Both of us were convinced
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Riding the Rails on Christmas: Helping Homeless LGBTQIA Youth

By : December 18, 2020 01 Comment
In the dead of winter in Chicago, an African-American male teen sits asleep on an L Train during an early morning rush hour commute. His clothes -  a white t-shirt which he folds his arms inside to shield them from the cold, and blue jeans - are stained with dirt. The tongues of his white laceless, well-worn gym shoes stand stiff. The muddy laces limp on the cold train’s wet rubber flooring. His dreadlocked hair is filled with lint and other debris. His face is bruised, tired, and sunk in. His skin is dry, muddied, and peeling. He is Homeless. He sits alone in the far back corner. The morning commuters board, frown at the mere sight of him, walk in the opposite direction, and sit. It is prudent to
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