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Poem: One hundred people hear the truth

Image source: http://cltampa.com

I wanted to tell a hundred people
For the truth will set me free

For 27 years I put up a face
When people assumed their course
I chose not to reveal my true face
Lying, by not denying with force

I spoke to a friend, who had dared to tell
His folks came down so hard, he fell
“Do not try,” he said, he meant well
It was not easy, but I dared to tell

First was a friend of five years
He thought he knew me well
I told him the secret and off the chair he fell
“You’re neither pansy nor a drag queen…
…This is another prank of yours to fool me well”
He thought he knew me so well

Second, was this friend of five years
For he had disbelieved me at first
This time he said it may still be a lie
But it did not matter for a thing
He knew me too well in other ways
This would change nothing

Now that it was sorted
It felt like a burden slightly lifted
I wanted to tell ninety-nine more people
For the truth will set me free

My parents were the hardest to tell
I tried too many times but couldn’t tell
Wrote them a note in Tamil
A language so rich and tender
That has eighteen different words
To describe a leaf from bloom to wither

I looked up ‘gay’ in Tamil
And it had no synonym to offer

However, the note was done and then the deed was done
It took ten days before I met them again
Dear brother spoke to them every day till then
There was some crying and disbelief

By the time I got back
It was already OK to not to talk
On the one thing I wanted to talk
For, my parents acted as if nothing changed

I was told they were proud
Of all that I had done
And the next event in my family
Was to be my younger brother’s wedding
My parents were the easiest to tell
I never spoke but they understood

Now that it was sorted
It felt like a burden fully lifted
I wanted to tell ninety more people
For the truth will set me free

I told one person a week
I told one person a day
I told one person an hour
I told till I was left with no one to tell

Some were happy to congratulate
Some were clueless to react
Some offered advice to get treated
Some were quick to unfriend

I cared no more and told a few more
In time even some of the unfriended came around
For 27 years I’ve put up a face
Not a moment longer will I hide my true face

I told one hundred people
And the truth has set me free


Notes:
* The author wishes to dedicate this poem to the Orinam’s Quilt reading group participants who attended the meeting on 26th April 2014. Without their encouragement, this poem would have remained in a personal diary forever.
* Image source: http://cltampa.com

This post is also available in: தமிழ் (Tamil)

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  1. Courage and will is what always pushes us ahead, forge ties and embrace the change. Your story and journey should serve as an inspiration who feel ostracised and neglected within our extremely conservative society. You are a stupendous achiever in life and have accomplished so much in such little time, this challenge may have one of your toughest but you have conquered this too with supreme confidence and yet have the maintained your respect. Trust me, you have and will continue to be one of those few people that I look up to not only professionally but also at a personal level. I am positive that the clamour associated with this too will be brushed aside and you will continue to scale much bigger heights.

  2. wow. I should tell that u are really brave.
    congratulations…
    I hope everything ll turn up in a right way.
    and obviously, u can manage anything if u are this courageous.
    all the best ..

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