Artwork by Anjali Kamat
She’s got freckles
And the beauty of the sky
And I’ve only just seen her
But I live, to make her smile
And she’s called Zenia
And I’m called Nina
I can’t help but think our names match
But others don’t seem to think so
No, my family thinks my name matches
With slurs and abuses,
Should’ve never told them the truth.
I’ve been hiding for too long,
And freedom seems far away.
I feel like I’m trapped between four walls
The four walls of their narrow minds.
But one day I told them on impulse
I’m a man,
But there’s a man I love, a man called Jay
And they smiled twisted smiles
Put their arms around me
And crushed me to death
With the power of their words
I feel stuck in my skin
This isn’t who I am,
And will they ever believe that I’m a woman?
If I’m born a man.
Sometimes, you follow your heart,
And sometimes you follow your brain
Today, I want to do both
And when I tell them,
And hold my hands and say
“What matters, my love, is that you’re happy
They ask me if I feel trapped,
But the truth is that I don’t.
I don’t need to shout out to the world,
That I’m not who they expect me to be
For me to be happy.
And yes, when I find the one I love,
I’ll put my arm around them and kiss them on the streets,
Treat them like a king,
Or treat them like a queen.
I don’t need everyone to know everything,
And that’s what makes me safe and happy.
Love is love
And love, they will
And nothing good can come out of
Stopping, breaking love
When he told me he loved a man
When she told me she loved both,
When they told me they didn’t want to be someone they weren’t
Hugged them and said
Love is love
And you are you
And that itself
And I told them
How wonderful they are
How safe, how lovely.
What beautiful hearts
And everything might seem difficult,
But love is love,
And we won’t let it be dead.