Live Out Loud


Nykieria ChaneyThis morning I was the guest Poet at a ceremony for the FBI, ATF, and APD on LGBT Equality. It was such an honor to perform for those agencies this morning. To sit in a room full of our countries “Elite”. It was a proud moment.  Here is the poem I wrote for the occassion.

“When I was just a little girl
I asked my mother
What will I be
Will I be pretty
Will I be rich
Here’s what she said to me

Que Sera, Sera
Whatever will be, will be
The future’s not ours to see
Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be”

She told me to be bold and daring
To mind my manners and always speak like a lady
My mother said I could be the first female President
And yes I could even become a Princess
There were no limits to what the world had for me to see

Mother said love would come courting shining armor with muscles to match
That he would be handsome and make me laugh
His kisses may even knock me off my feet
These are the things my mother said to me
And at young age I knew my love wasn’t a he but a she
Que Sera Sera
Whatever will be will be
A love that knew no boundaries or limitations no race nor religion
Built on respect and friendship
Truth and honor
Integrity over honesty
I was taught to love the person
Not their orientation
Never once required to hang my head in shame or cower in fear
I lived proud and out loud
For Sakia Gunn & Matthew Shepard
For the men and women bound to closets that would not allow them to
Because the crime for allowing their heart to love whosoever it choose comes with a penalty that ranges anywhere from fines & up to a 2 year prison term to the death sentence
And before we travel we must first check and see if we can hold hands in public while on vacation
For the stares and harassment
Workplace jokes and water cooler banter at the expense of those who are too ashamed to speak out
While the rate of LGBTQ youth who commit suicide nearly doubles every year

“When I grew up and fell in love
I asked my sweetheart
What lies ahead
Will we have rainbows
Day after day
Here’s what my sweetheart said”

Our love is no different
It is having someone to spend your life with
Someone to hold your hand when you’re nervous
Kiss you when you’re scared
Love you when you’re weak
Uplift you when you’re strong
A love that prays together
Through the triumphs and turmoil
When life comes crashing through the window your partner helps to pick up the pieces
Men and women that love other women and men
Requesting to be legally married and entitled to the equal support and benefits as our fellow Americans
On a Federal, State, Regional, Local, Community level
We are no different
Be we Politicians
Doctors
Lawyers
Secretaries or Beauticians
I am the teacher who takes the extra time to show your child how to do their homework
Your neighbor that watches your home while you are away
The owner of your favorite restaurant
Your brothers, sisters, lovers and friends
I am a concerned parent prayerful that my child gets the best education they can and comes home every day without being bullied
Hoping that their school pictures this year turns out much better than they did last year
And when my daughter hands me her toy phone
I pick it up and say hello because on the other end of that line is an imagination I would never have the heart to ruin

“Now I have Children of my own
They ask their mother
What will I be
Will I be handsome
Will I be rich
I tell them tenderly”

To be happy, healthy, and loving
Give of themselves to others
And just because an action is justified does not make it right
So know when to walk away
To exercise empathy and logic
Respect diversity without judgment allowing honesty and integrity to be the cornerstones of their character
As mother says I tell them that one day someone will come along that makes them laugh
Whose kisses may sweep them off their feet
I simply want them to remember
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud”
But love does live out loud

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