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Around the Table

As I sat, looking around the table,

I realized: I’m the only girl.

I find myself in this predicament often

Surrounded by young men And I whispered, “Oh gosh, this is my life.”

And they all looked up and exclaimed,

“Write a blog post about this.” So here it is, my attempt at poetry To describe one facet of my life.

As I sat around the table,

I saw five completely different men:

One chatting on the phone about some government issue,

Another proclaiming his love for Beyoncé,

The third debating about “role models,”

One who was in the Navy,

And the last quietly sitting there,

knowing he had 130 pages to read.

We left the room together,

Me in front, with four of the five men behind me.

We chattered as we made our way up the stairs,

And, to me, it was ironic spectacle,

A telling image of my life.

There’s something you should know about these men,

And several other men that I hang around:

These men are all handsome,

These men make me laugh,

These men are all my good friends,

That’s really all you need to know.

I hate being asked,

“Is he gay?”

Especially after someone meets him,

for the first time.

I’m usually at a loss for words

Because, quite frankly, why do you need to know,

Why do you assume?

I know why you assume:

You assume because most of my male friends

Are part of the LGBTQ community.

But is this assumption really fair?

The unfairness is in not knowing the person,

The unfairness is in not knowing whether or not

The person wants this information shared.

The unfairness is in the assumption,

The unfairness is in the use of the word gay,

Not every male who’s asked about identifies as gay, And then I must explain the term queer

And then explain how some people in the LGBTQ community

are redefining and owning the term queer,

How it isn’t just a derogatory term anymore.

He may be queer or gay or straight.

Why does that matter in the conversation we are having?

Why does it matter when you meet him for the first time?

You see, he is so much more to me than that.

He is my best friend,

My confidant,

My pick-me-up-when-I-am-down,

My intellectual,

My laughs,

My hugs.

See, I may sit around the table

And be the only female present,

And I may joke about it,

But that’s not what matters.

It’s getting to know the person for who they are,

No matter their sexual orientation.

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