Poem: How Do You Know?

how do you know it’s girls?
i wonder as my friend comes out to me
how do you know the limit of your love?
and somehow, weird quizzes dragged me all over the internet

Artwork By Vaijayanthi Priya 

in movies, characters had celebrity crushes
in cartoons, there was no explanation but of a quota
it was studies after studies promising me
“everyone was a little bit gay”
that somehow my hidden feelings were justified,
and i just wanted to know:
how do you know?

how do you know it’s girls?
i wonder as my friend comes out to me
how do you know the limit of your love?
and somehow, weird quizzes dragged me all over the internet
and settled me on this genderless love that i couldn’t explain
i didn’t know what love was,
until my mother sat me down and asked me
beta
why do you post so much about the “gays”
are you gay? please don’t be
her please wasn’t like the please she told me when i showed her mom memes
this was a serious question she really wished wasn’t true
i smiled at her and said no
and she said to “let them be”
so i just wanted to know:
how do you know?

some are bullied, depressed,
each story is unique,
but i was desperate to fit myself in somewhere to some degree,
yet i couldn’t be confident when someone asked me
why i have multiple pronouns in my bio
and why i think people wouldn’t assume i was female
and i thought that these labels should go to shit,
googled the first thing that came to my mind
and that’s when i knew:
how does everyone know?

they don’t. it’s a proud miracle if they do,
and i still don’t
i settle in the waves of water thinking of the sky
of the spectrum of wonderful colours in my eyes
knowing
that some day
when it speaks out to me stronger than an angry poem
a furious rant to myself
when i am the most calm i could ever be
i will be welcomed to a new journey
built by others before me

the question shouldn’t be
how do you know?
why not this in the LGBTQIA+?
why haven’t you settled in your sexuality?
it should be
nothing,
but an understanding look in your eyes,
so
settle in the water waves my friend,
as we watch these colours fly by.

About the guest author

Eshita Shrawan

I'm a 17 year old from Mumbai who loves the ocean waves and reading Kafka, which translates into my poetry. I advocate LGBTQ+ rights and feminism on my instagram page (@eshit.a) (along with great music recommendations) and is an engineering student by day; a slam poet in my daydreams.
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