Pride Weekend, 2014

“Queer,” by Frank Bidart


Lie to yourself about this and you will

forever lie about everything.


Everybody already knows everything


so you can

lie to them. That’s what they want.


But lie to yourself, what you will


lose is yourself. Then you

turn into them.                  




For each gay kid whose adolescence


was America in the forties or fifties

the primary, the crucial




forever is coming out—

or not. Or not. Or not. Or not. Or not.




Involuted velleities of self-erasure.




Quickly after my parents

died, I came out. Foundational narrative


designed to confer existence.


If I had managed to come out to my

mother, she would have blamed not


me, but herself.


The door through which you were shoved out

into the light


was self-loathing and terror.




Thank you, terror!


You learned early that adults’ genteel

fantasies about human life


were not, for you, life. You think sex


is a knife

driven into you to teach you that.



Neon sculpture by Lili Lakich, “Pray the Gay Away/Way”


Judy Garland (from Judy At Carnegie Hall), “Over the Rainbow


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