Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Coming Out (March 8, 2016)

Letters swallow
In seconds.   

As I attempt
To compose myself
Before sharing
My innermost thoughts
With you.

Beyond words
How you'll respond
To this unspoken truth.

Of finding out
You eldest son is
Your eldest daughter.

You'll greet me
With an open heart
And a gentle hug.

Turn away
With a closed heart
And a frigid frown
Upon your face.

Flipping a coin.

As I open
My apartment door
To greet you

Therisa © 2016

Author's note: For many, in the LGBT+ community coming out, to a family member, is the hardest thing, we can do. Knowing, a rejection by them, can cause us, to react negative, and for some, this can mean, a suicide attempt. 

 Using, one line of the poem by Naomi Shihab Nye, Burning the Old Year , and write a new poem from it. The italicized lines are Naomi's.



  1. You showed the utmost courage! Both in speaking to your mother and also in sharing your personhood in poetry. I like how you ended this poem....leaving the reader to imagine the ending.

    1. This Canada Day, will mark the 10th anniversary of my accidental outing of myself, to my mom, and her rejection of me, as her daughter. And yes, I was one of those people, who spiralled into a dark depression that almost cost me, my life.

  2. So much courage in this and what a perfect day to show it... there is so much fear in this, and there are places where it doesn't work.. others where it put and an end of guesses...

  3. Thank you, Bjorn, for your kind and gentle words, on International Woman Day. My mom would have been more comfortable with the fact, if I told her, I was a gay man, and not a trans-lesbian.

  4. It seems that, in your case, a mother's love that is supposed to be stronger than anything fell far short. Her loss.

    1. Thank you, Victoria, for your kind words of support.

  5. Praying your mom will come to accept you as the beautiful person you are. I like the way you used Naomi's line. I felt the feeling of being swallowed up - by words, by truth, by rejection - throughout your piece. Well done.

    1. Thank you, De, my mom won't change her ways, nor do I expect her,as she'll be,77 years old, in April.

  6. This is such a heartfelt write.. Kudos!!

  7. A very heartfelt write and I hope you and your mom will come to terms again ~


    1. Sadly, Grace, it won't happen, in my lifetime. She refuses, to be seen, with me, in a public place, like a shopping mall. She has left fear rule her, in regards, to our relationship, which I pick up, triggering anxiety attacks, for me. I have played it, by her rules, and only got hurt, worse. It's time, for her, to bend and accept me.

  8. Oh that's poignant.. we've all been there, flipping coins in our mind, wondering how we will be accepted in different situations. Lots of courage in that poem.

  9. Therisa thank you for such an authentic share of a most sensitive and private experience. I'm very sorry for your mother's reaction and subsequent treatment of you, her child. More and more our society is coming to terms with the diversity of people on this planet and that we all don't come packaged neatly (and accurately) as he or she or straight. I live near a community here in Florida that embraces all those who struggle with gender identity, LGB, you name it. It has been haven for many.
    Gayle ~

  10. I applaud your courage in stating your truth and standing by it. We all have the right to be who we are. I am sorry about your mother's response. This is a wonderful poem to post on international women's day. Kinda cool.

  11. Oh, a painful story behind this poem, sorry to hear about that. But an honest, emotional, raw write!

  12. I'm so glad you rose from that depression. Life is hard sometimes so we have to make the best of it. Hoping you've found peace and joy.

  13. I remember when my brothers-in-law came out. It was so hard but staying hidden had become unbearable. The parents were unfriendly about it at first but because they had each other it was not as traumatic as it could have been. I am so thankful that you stayed here on this earth. I am also impressed by your courage! Thank you for sharing!

  14. Tender and turmoiled. Very well written. Welcome home! Walt Wojtanik

  15. Life iS best
    when wE can
    be aLL of who Me
    are.. accepted by the rest..
    but when it comes within
    therE iS nO


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