Butterfly Wings

I type away on the keys to my laptop keyboard talking to that beautiful girl I met just a few weeks earlier. 
Her name flutters effortlessly around my mind like a butterfly floating beside bumblebees and buttercup blossoms. 
Sitting on the couch, I hear your brain ticking away, contemplating the next despicable words that will surface from your lips. 
Oh, my dear father, how lovely it is having the same blood, chromosomes, DNA, flesh and blood as you. 
The irony in it is just wonderful: such a bigoted, heterosexist, homophobic person being father to a queer daughter. 
But you don’t know that. 
Still, I type and you lazily click your way through late night talk shows and reality TV trash. 
You surf mindlessly, as the screen changes every minute or so. 
A single commercial — 
who knew it could have such a profound impact on simply an insignificant day? 
Reparative therapy — of course — that’s what this nation needs more of. 
“When are doctors going to find a cure for all these f-cking f-gs?” 
You ask aloud, agreeing with the television advertisement that just ripped the wings off the butterfly inside my skull. 
I frantically try to piece back the beauty but it’s lost forever, tossed like the trash you think I am.

Never before had I stood up, but this time I cannot bear to hear your hate filled words anymore. 
I tell you simply to shut up, that you’re wrong and that you have no idea what you’re talking about. 
To be queer doesn’t mean choosing to have society place a target on your back. 
To be queer doesn’t mean having an infliction, a disease, an illness. 
To be queer doesn’t warrant pity, sympathy, or disgust. 
Queer does not equate to sinful. 
Being queer is something you can’t turn off or turn on like a light switch.

The comments coming out of your wretched mouth are the last ones I will ever listen to.
From this day forward I will no longer be a subtle fighter in places other than my home.
I will stay silent under your tyrannical regime of hate and ignorance. 
No — I will stand up for equality for all people, especially the ones you wish to eradicate, just like me. 
All people deserve the same rights and opportunities. 
I’m a living breathing person with a brain inside this skull, a heart inside this tiny chest, and a soul inside this body of mine that I try so hard to make perfect. Why can’t I love her for her and you love me for me? 
Why should our genitalia determine who it is okay to love and be loved by?

To be queer is to challenge society’s boxes and cages and chains and bullets in guns and ropes around the necks of youth here, in America, in hometowns and school playgrounds. 
How many more must be slain before you people see what you’re doing? 
How many more will kill themselves each and every single day? 
How many mother’s hearts will be shattered by the loss of their baby?
How many more butterflies wings will be ripped away, resting no more in the air like flowers, but on the cold concrete?

That man sitting next to me is no more my father than the man three blocks away who bears to me no resemblance. 
No longer do I consider him my flesh and blood. 
He is simply a donor of genetic material which I thank every day has not corrupted my mind as of late. 
There is no turning back now.

Two years later and I return from D.C., standing up against hatred, ignorance, and bullying. 
I’ve capsized into the sea of social justice activism and the dinghy of hatred will not survive much longer.

I take a stand and ask you to do it too. 
Stand up against the hatred that’s injected in our veins since birth like heroin through a steady stream IV of ‘traditional family values’, music, movies, TV shows, and books. 
Our veins of love and truth collapse and we are filled with poison from that first breath outside the womb, when we are placed in a onesie — blue or pink — that determines so much in our future worth. 
Reject the force-fed lies we shove down the throats of the next generation. 
Do not judge others on their sex, or gender, or orientation; accept people for who they are inside. 
Fight back against the swelling tide of heterosexist slurs heard walking down the hallways and city streets and while sitting in living rooms and kitchens.