Poetry

I Wish I Was Gay

by Michael Raffaele

Now I know what you’re probably thinking-
Michael,
How could you wish you were gay?
Do you have any idea what you are even saying?
Any idea the things you would have to put up with?
The discrimination you would be subject to?
The rights you would lose that you probably don’t even realize you have?

-I understand all the arguments-
At least I think I do.

But I also know the hell that is being heterosexual.
And if you sit back and really think about it-
You’ll realize that being straight is a terrible, terrible thing.

So yes, I am saying to you-
As a Caucasian…
Heterosexual…
Male…
From a middle class Catholic family…

I wish I was gay.

So I could say Do these jeans make my ass look fat?
And whoever is around wouldn’t whisper to one another
Told you something is off about him.

So I could express without worry my opinion of another guy being attractive-
The kind of expression that always has the I’m not gay, but… cause before it-
Just say Yeah David Beckham is a sexy cat- and move on stop boring me with your star spangled ego.

I wish I was gay so I didn’t have to put up with a girlfriend who is perplexed and intimidated by the liberalness of my sexuality-
The kind of girlfriend who says stuff like Are you suuuuuure you’re not gay?
And I have to get all defensive and say Have we not discussed my complete disgust for those things called balls! Lady, I can barely even look at my own in the mirror- even when the lights are dimly lit! I mean have you seen those things when they’re soaking wet?!- and you’re the one that’s attracted to testicles- maybe we should talk about the disturbing mentality behind that fact of nature! I’m sorry girl, but your heterosexuality is aesthetically repulsive as hell to me!
And then she comes back with Well, there was that one time you suggested we put it in my butt.
And I go So what?! What’s wrong with a little brandy and variety while watching Saved by the Bell reruns late at night?-
Ok, tell me this lanky girl from liberal New England:
Are you suuuuuuure you’re not a Nazi?

I wish I was gay so I could share my poetry with my straight guy friends
And they would’ve give me this puzzled look like I’m Liberace undercover or something-
The kind of guys who laugh and then go No, No man I was just joking, yeah that’s cool even though they’ll never read the copy of the book you gave them straight guys always have excuses.

So I could cry at the movies and lean over to my date and whimper hold me.

So I wouldn’t have to go a rock concert and feel the need to take off my shirt even though it is not warm at all-

So a guy friend of mine wouldn’t have the nerve to ask me Dude, do you think there’s a gay section of heaven?
And for the sake of our friendship I refrain from saying Not too sure but I read in one of the scriptures that there’s a narrow-minded asshole section of heaven.

So whenever I catch up with a distant relative they don’t ask me So Michael when are you going to find a girl and tie the knot?
And I have to restrain my giftly sarcasm and not say Well I haven’t tied the knot around my neck yet- let’s all consider ourselves lucky for that and just take it slow for now please pass me both bottles of wine

I wish I was gay so my family wasn’t just three heterosexual boys
With brown hair and brown eyed babies and pain in the ass blonde wives-
God how pretentiously boring is that?-
So when we all meet up at Christmas at the picturesque red barn house sitting atop the hill in picturesque New England- and everybody’s families are running around
and spilling the eggnog that Dad put way too much rum in again like Grandma always did-
And they’re all yelling to their kids Stay out of that closet! because they don’t want them to see that Santa is nothing but an overstuffed shopping bag from the Build-a-Bear store-
And all the adults are standing around in awful knit sweatshirts stitched with reindeer who have been running still over the faded cotton snow for I don’t know ten years now-
With Rudolph’s nose falling off into strings because that’s what happens when straight men try to do the laundry when the wife is not home because she’s working too much overtime this holiday season so they can afford that damn new version of Xbox or whatever the hell- because God Forbid our little boys not play Grand Theft Auto- cause surely they’ll turn out to be gay if we force them to -I don‘t know- read Allen fucking Ginsberg-
And they’re all talking about the latest office party and little Susie’s Christmas play at school and how she nailed her one line that Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings!-
And all this will be going on and I’ll be there having brought nobody home with me-
Getting drunk in the kitchen as I help Mom deep fry the calamari because I’m the only one who has a second of attention for our parents anymore-
And inside both of my older brothers are running around angry with dirty diapers and their bickering wives silently bickering with one another because they think the other one’s hair looks better and jealousy smeared across their hands and eyes thinking Goddamnit- we hate Michael- we wish we were drunk and gay! How’d he get so lucky! I knew I should have been born last!

 

And all my straight friends or brothers reading or hearing this would probably say
Ok Mike, so is my life dumb? Are you saying that I’m wasting my time being a heterosexual?
Are you saying that I’m buying into something that you are just so far above?

-And I’m saying No! that is not what I mean!-
And that’s why I wish I was gay-
So I wouldn’t have to write this way too long of poem about all the reasons
Why a straight white male born with all the privilege in the world doesn’t want that world itself- and all the pressures of being straight and all the gay people that may respond Pressure my ass! Enjoy your American dream when you fall asleep tonight!

I wish I was gay so it would just be expected that I wasn’t going to live that way-
So my sexuality meant something beyond rings and reproduction and strip bars and government-
So I could be creative without there being a catch to my creativity-
So I could run away from all the restriction of this absolute freedom of straightness-
So I could have all the horrible privileges of being ignored-
So I could have a depth that wouldn’t define me-
So I could find my own genitalia attractive-
So I could stand in the sun and not feel insecure for wearing yellow-
So I wouldn’t have to tell myself that gray is not the mixture of black and white-
So I wouldn’t have to align myself with a nonsensical word like Straight in this round world of ours where if you let a line go it will eventually circum to the circumference of the globe. 

I wish I was gay-
So I didn’t have to tell myself not to worry about it all-
That I’m just a special kind of straight boy-
Because I hate thinking that way because I don’t think anybody can be special when everybody is special.

I wish I was gay-
And nothing else-
And when I say Gay-
I also mean Happy.


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