Laugh or cry? Laugh or cry? She has no idea if I start crying I wont stop! This knotting feeling that consumes my entire body that has been there since I was seven. I’m fully clothed, with a bag on my back full of bricks, two bags in each hand full of concrete blocks, my feet sinking into the sand as I attempt to walk through tidal waves of water. I’m confused, the world has taught me I’m straight, mummies and daddies, girls like pink, boys like blue, boys don’t kiss boys. My family wouldn’t understand, blud my family will full out kill me “chi-chi man dem” words that flow freely from my father. “mi nah hav dat in mi yaad” statements that jump from my mother. So no they wouldn’t understand.

I’m lost walking down a path that disappears behind me with every step I take so there is no turning back. I sit with my boys and my heart tightens to within an inch of its normal size, as I have to chat about how many girls I’ve beat or how thick their arses are. When deep inside I have no idea what it feels like to have that connection sexually or meaningfully. My stomach ties itself into a knot and I begin to pray to a God I don’t believe in, as my uncle replies to my auntie with “my mans a player he don’t need a girlfriend” praying that someone else will join the conversation so I can divert all attention to them. My entire being is consumed with this act I portray daily to the world looking in on me, judging me.

To love freely and love whom the heart tells us to without the stares, the comments, the expectations are not a luxury we have. Society wanted me straight that’s what I am.

The world will label me the gay black man and I’m not ready to conform to what that means. I have just learnt how to be a black man. The labels are heavy and I’m done, my bones are breaking, my muscles tearing, my emotions dying.

Taken from 1020 Seconds by Wayne Glover-Stuart