What About Love? Is There Anymore Left in the World?

3 Micro-stories about 3 LGBTQ children

Photo by Daniel TrutaI via ReShot

It is my birthday. I am five. Mommy throws a big party for me. No one comes. I eat my cake in one of the corners of our living room — tears fall. I don’t care, anymore. I don’t care. Mommy says she’ll always love me — she’ll always be there. I know the love of my mommy. I don’t of anyone else. I want to. I really, really want to. Right now would be a good time.


Photo by Monica G via ReShot

I cherish this picture of my brother and me. It was so long ago. We were inseparable. I remember the day I told him I was bisexual just like it was yesterday. The look on his face crushed me — the words that left his mouth soon after will always haunt me . . . “You’re no sister of mine.” It is a reminder of the love I had and the love I lost. I didn’t know one’s heart could break more than once. And now, I know.


Photo by Mohmmad Hilmi via ReShot

I am “It” to people. “Is it a boy?” or “Is it a girl?” No one thinks about me as a person. My family is ashamed of me. I hate feeling what I feel, but I feel what I feel, and I can’t stop it. I love my sister’s clothes. I love my mother’s dresses. I like having my hair teased and feathered. My brother kicked me in my stomach the other day — that was followed by a swift punch to my nose. I’m gaining thick skin from all of this — thick skin. It’s the reason I can still smile.


“Young people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ) enter the child welfare system for reasons similar to those of other children and youth — that is, their birth families cannot provide a safe, stable, and nurturing home. In some cases, families reject, neglect, or abuse young people when they learn that they identify as LGBT or are questioning their romantic/sexual orientation or gender identity. According to one study,1 about 26 percent of LGBT 2 youth are forced from their homes because of conflicts with their families of origin over sexual orientation or gender identity. Physical violence is also a concern for LGBTQ youth.”Youth.gov


Author’s Note: We must come together as one — if not for ourselves, for the children of this world. They need us. But we are often too blind to see this. I pray this will change one day soon.


Originally published in Prism & Pen via Medium.

Your Poem From Me

For some of you who may not have seen this . . . the first gift poem posts tomorrow. This is my way of giving back, and most times, the only way I can do that is through words.

Let me write a poem for you. I can give it life.

A Cornered Gurl

The Giving Cause

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood via Pexels

Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.

Carl Sandburg via BrainyQuote

I feel moved . . . compelled to do this. I have had this idea dancing about in my mind for a few weeks now, and with the world still spinning away from where we need it to be, the timing feels right. Poetry has always been my way of communicating when I did not know how to say what needed to be said. It is a way of me being able to connect with this community and other writing communities–an expression of everything I can emote, but has trouble leaving my lips and making its way into the ether. I know I am not alone when I share this–writers, especially those of us more akin and in tune to poetry, rely on our words to heal, help…

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99, And That’s Enough. Goodbye, Betty White.

Betty White dies at the age of ninety-nine, just a couple weeks shy of her 100th birthday. There comes a time when the soul speaks to its host and it says, “I’m tired. I’ve seen enough. I’ve had enough. I am done. I want to rest.” And as much as I would have loved to see her make the milestone of 100, Betty marked so many of them off her calendar and checklist.

The Golden Girl who delightfully gave us Rose Nylund for eight years took her final bow on Friday, December 31, 2021. There’s a piece of my heart breaking into more pieces right now. I am sure I’m not alone.

Rest in Power. Give ’em hell on the other side comedically, Betty. I know you will.

Everyone Deserves the Benefit of the Doubt

Even if they appear to be unworthy

He is a man of few words. I see him on my morning or mid-day walks with the dog and he doesn’t wave — doesn’t make small talk — just grunts an uneven hello and shoots his eyes up toward the sky. I never pry. I don’t look for things I don’t need to find. Perhaps this is his way of survival. He walks two dogs; one, a noisy son of a bitch, the other, a genteel sweet body of patchy fur. The dog stares at them, huffs her approval, and paces off in another direction. This is ritualistic for us. Me with my limply left lower limb — she with knees that pop and ache when the weather isn’t warm. We push through the neighborhood that has shaped our lives for the last four autumns.

The noisy son of a bitch spends time on his balcony alongside the genteel sweet body of patchy fur. I guess he puts them outside to get away from them — to give them some sense of unity and comfort with their surroundings. However, we, my neighbors and I, endure intermittent cycles of loud barking. I know what it’s like to have a dog misbehave when all you want is for him or her to behave — to provide solace and peace. But a dog will be a dog, and if given the opportunity, he or she will bark. He’s speaking. He’s announcing who he is, and we all had better pay attention. But on a Saturday morning or a Sunday afternoon, it’s the last thing I want to hear.


Nosy neighbors will open their mouths.

Someone, at one point, must’ve slid their lips into the ears of the property manager because for a few weeks — nothing. I thought the man had moved. I was wrong. He is still here. The noisy son of a bitch still barks loudly intermittently and I am growing used to it, but I wonder . . . should I? Where did the man come from and what is it in him that allows him the ability to not care about his community? Don’t get me wrong, I won’t assume he isn’t caring — I am assuming he doesn’t care about those of us not close to him in relation.

I struggle with thinking things and not announcing them when I feel as though they need to be shared. I had been partially raised by a few elderly family members who often spoke their mind and well . . . I feel like one day, I am going to just say, “Hey, sir . . . why do you let your dog sit on your balcony and cry out to us? Can you not hear him or are you just ignoring him?” It is taking everything in me not to do this. I am mindful of the times in which we live, and I do not know his regular temperament.

I don’t know how he will react.

I am giving him the benefit of the doubt. He could be a father who lost his firstborn to violence. He could be an uncle who helped raise a wayward nephew, but now has custody of his grandniece. He could be a public safety officer dealing with the struggles of every type of human being you can imagine, and at the end of the day, he just doesn’t have the energy to care. He could be just old and grumpy and unfeeling.

I don’t know.

I search for evidence of happiness or playfulness when I see him, yet his eyes just squint into two tiny specks of solemnity. At every opportunity, I offer a kind, “Hello,” and I seem to pull it back into me when it has been magically swept from his ears. He lives in seconds from what I can see — never dwells in one spot too long — rushes the dogs to relieve themselves on some misguided scale he’s balancing. One day, one of them will tip that scale. I hope I’m not around to witness it.

Initially, I thought he was just having a bad day, but this cannot be so. No one has a bad day every single day. No one is ever truly discontented every single day. I had been taught to respect my elders — to acknowledge them, to help where I see the need. He doesn’t require help. He doesn’t seem to need it. He doesn’t even seem to want to be acknowledged. I steer clear of people who I cannot get a clear read on, and unfortunately, he is one of them.

I am trying to understand my place in this.

Who am I to want to know this man’s life — to want to understand how one’s brain operates to allow him to keep his barking dog on the balcony for an entire neighborhood to endure? I am no one big and bad — I have no authority, but I pay rent to dwell in this community just as he does. I also find it an actual sense of neglect to just leave a sentient being in/on a space/place where it can continue to alert people who don’t want to be alerted.

As an Empath, I crave to first try to feel another’s pain or make sense of it. When I cannot, it bests me — defeats me. There is also this air about me to cure what ails another. I am no savior and this has been a hard pill to swallow for years, but I am not. Currently, I am trying to understand my place in all of this. Am I just the neighbor who lives two buildings down and one across who thinks this is a serious nuisance? Or am I a part of this community deserving of respect, love, kindness, consideration, and understanding?

The latter is what I choose. Shouldn’t he?

I could never leave Jernee on my balcony if she were in a barking fit or even if she began barking intermittently. My first thought would be to remove the noise so it doesn’t disturb my neighbors. My second thought would be to find out what’s wrong with the little one and try to resolve the issue. I realize everyone does not have the same thought process.


I won’t assume. I shouldn’t.

Everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt. Even when we think they’re unworthy or total assholes (I grit my teeth as I type this — some people can take you to a place of utter disgust). There is always something brewing and stewing in the lives of others to cause them to act outside of our descriptions of “normal behavior.” I won’t assume this man is uncaring of others. I shouldn’t. As I stated earlier, I don’t know his life or the makeup of it.

All I can do as a person living in the same apartment complex as him is to understand the why of it all. And later, know I am not the type of person to leave my dog out on my balcony to disturb the peace. I know who I am and I know how much I care about my pet.

In time, I hope this is enough for me to breathe in deeply and know the incessant barking never lasts long — it’s just annoying as hell.


Originally published in Age of Empathy via Medium.