A Person

A stereotype is what I have been
since the words I like men left my mouth.
At thirteen a single confession slipped from my mouth,
parents who loved me said I couldn’t be the person that I am,
so I smiled and said okay.

I am supposed to be a lady-boy with an empty head,
a brain filled with nothing but gossip and boy talk—
I have loved other men, I must be a slut!
Every man I see I am instantly attracted to,
every man who wants to fuck me has that right,
because people believe I am a stereotype.

Words are shot at me like rapid arrows—
slut, fag, bitch—they hit and crawl under my skin
having me believe words define who I am;
never let them see you bleed, words I was taught to live by.

I have kissed a man before, so therefore I must be feminine:
a pretty boy presenting pretty feathers like a peacock,
shopping must be part of my daily routine,
being vain is a must, a lover to all men.
Cannot steer outside the norm society has bestowed upon me,
I’m not allowed to be a person.

The left says great you like men, now be a lady-boy,
the right says it’s unnatural, and they keep us in our “place”—
neither side wants to see a person standing in front of them.

a foreign concept to men like me.
Nothing more than labels,
letting the world know, that they’re nothing more than a sexuality
instead of a people.

They tell me I must be like them—
part of a community that rings no truth with me—
to find hope and courage with a rainbow on a flag.
Fuck the rainbow and its pri(son)mic colors,
my love for another man makes me but one thing:
a person.

Writer: Ethan Dougan is the author of two poems, “A Person and “Stitches Over My Mouth.” These two poems are about his life and who he is as a person. His inspiration for “A Person” was simply him just venting his frustrations with today’s modern society and the overwhelming pressure of conformity, while “Stitches Over My Mouth” was a traumatic event in his life that he thought he could heal and overcome by sharing it.

Artist: Elizabeth Salgado is an Art major at Fullerton College and will be transferring this fall to Cal State Fullerton to pursue a BFA in Entertainment Arts/Animation.


The owner of this website has made a commitment to accessibility and inclusion, please report any problems that you encounter using the contact form on this website. This site uses the WP ADA Compliance Check plugin to enhance accessibility.