I’m from a mother who waved a knife at me and threatened to cut me to pieces,
I’m from a father who quit smoking when I was one,
I’m from a father who died of lung cancer when I was twenty three.
I’m from aloneness, watching the other kids play, daydreaming.
I’m from a mother who had endless faith in me heedless of how far I fell,
I’m from a mother who threatened to kill herself if I didn’t do what she wanted,
I’m from a father who would always welcome me home no matter what,
I’m from a father who expressed disgust at non-heterosexuals even on his death bed,
I’m from a father who will never know I’m bi.
I’m from isolation, dreading the rejections in group activities, and dreading the grudging pitying acceptances more.
I’m from a mother who worked hard at a factory seven days a week to make ends meet,
I’m from a mother who would recoil at the notion that she’s working class,
I’m from a father who let me figure things out for myself,
I’m from a father who gave up trying.
I’m from those kids who followed me home to beat me up.
I’m from parents who never got as far as they thought they should,
I’m from parents who carried on anyway,
I’m from parents who sacrificed holidays and outings and the chance of another marriage (a happy one) for me,
I’m from parents who lived in the shadows of their despair,
I’m from parents who made sure I had everything I ever needed regardless.
I’m from the strongest of friendships, of nerd pride and summer days and Ouija boards.
I’m from parents who struggled on, who worked their hardest, even as their own minds turned against them,
I’m from family and friends and teachers and co-workers and neighbours and counsellors and strangers,
I’m from contradictions,
I’m from people. I’m from humans. I’m from life.