Queer Youth: a poem by Holly Stamp
This poem was created during our Proud Words LGBTQ+ writing projects, which took place at Heaton Manor and Benfield Schools in 2017.
When I cut my hair they said ‘you look gayer’
When he wore a pink shirt they called him ‘a fag’
So why is it that the length of your hair
Or the clothes that you wear
Determines your sexual preference
It just doesn’t seem fair
That I should be judged on your predetermined standards
Of what femininity is
Or what masculinity is
Or that we should have to choose just one
When I kissed a girl it was labelled ‘experimenting’
When he came out to his parents they called it ‘a phase’
It might not seem like much
But ‘just a phase’
Is a three word phrase
With destructive ways
That continually plays
In my mind and the minds of others like me
It’s like our lives have already been planned out for us
Plotted out on a graph titled ‘heteronormativity’
In which we’re born, get married, have kids, then die
But it only works if you’re straight?
And if you’re not then you’re ‘deviating from the norm’
But what is the norm?
And do I want it?
I know I used to
I used to wish I didn’t get butterflies when I held that girl’s hand
I used to wish I was just like every other grain of sand
In the sandpit
But that was then
And this is now
Now I am proud to be myself
Now I refuse to be put on the shelf
We are Queer Youth
And we are very much present.