Sunday, July 03, 2011

To tell or not to tell

This year after attending the queer gathering Queeristan about homosexuality, queerness, politics and racism in the Netherlands, I decided to summarize my thoughts about some of the discussions in a poem. The organization gave a chance to perform it too at the closing of the workshop session.

To tell or not to tell
‘I felt in love with my teacher’
Solange said in the ZAMI* women workshop
Me too:
In First grade: Juffrouw Hoogwoud
A very kind and beautiful woman
I didn’t tell.

Queeristan wants to know
What’s wrong
What’s right.
Should we support
the queers in Palestina?
Should we talk
About race or ethnicity?
Should we come out?
Should we tell?

At the age of fourteen
I mutually masturbated
With another guy
in a public toilet:
I didn’t tell.

Being gay, being mariku, being queer..
To tell or not to tell.
Twenty years ago I started telling…

Who I fuck
Who I suck
I really no one’s business

A twenty year old Surinamese guy
Jumping in front of a train
Because his parents
Hated him being gay
Was my business.

Another 23 years old Surinamese guy
Trying to take his life
Here in Amsterdam
Was my business.

That’s why I tell.
That’s why I tell.

What do I tell?
That I’m a man sexually attracted to other man.
That I have sex with them
And fall in love with them too.
But that I’m still a man.

A man respected
In my community, in my family, in the Bijlmer.

I tell, and tell, and keep on telling.

ZAMI: black and migrant women organisation in Amsterdam.