how gay am I?

I’ve noticed a trend in queer culture 

comparing on brand (any)things 

to how gay <or not gay> you are 

you don’t brunch, what kind of gay are you? how gay ARE you? are you even gay?

those words those questions 

remind me of being a scared little queer 

trying desperately not to be noticed

I’d get asked similar questions 

are you gay? 

and they didn’t want to know 

how gay I was

they wanted to know if 

I was gay enough to hurt 

how gay am I? 


I’m gay enough to remember 

James Byrd jr

and 

Matthew Shepard 

and watching police beat gay men 

with nightsticks

at Minneapolis bathhouse raids in the 80’s and 90’s 

I remember watching that violence 

on the evening news

dinner time with a family that like to use the word faggot 

as a very young 

very closeted 

gay kid and making a mental note 

that it was never 

going to be safe for me 

I’m gay enough to remember a quilt 

so big it filled a whole stadium 

each square had a name 

another    dead queer 

and nobody was doing anything about it 

I’m so gay that I had to 

put distance between 

my family and friends 

in order to be the person 

I want to be 

I’m really fucking gay 

I’m gay enough to know that it’s illegal 

in some countries 

punishable by death 

I’m gay enough to know my privilege 


                                   but 

I don’t have to wear rainbows 

or like glitter 

I do like glitter tho 

to prove my sexuality to anyone 

I don’t have to like drag brunch 

to be gay enough 

I don’t have to understand memes 

to know I like to fuck queer people 

my distaste of fast fashion 

does not make me less gay

my like or dislike of cats 

does not determine my sexual identity

 my brain does that


coming out isn’t easy 

being gay isn’t easy 

it doesn’t feel like we’re in this together anymore

 these micro aggressions 

queer vs queer 

doesn’t feel good 

I’m an aging queer and I’m scared of losing my place in this world 

Meg BrownComment