Los Angeles Youth Poet Laureate

Are you ready? Please start clapping now for Sophie Kim. This one is called, my poem is, “Untitled”
and this one is for Pride Month. Think you know who I am? I am: Long hair and painted nails, so,
probably straight; An outspoken activist who loves to harp on about heteronormativity, so, definitely a lesbian. But also loves classic boy-meets-girl romances
and never uses labels. Weird. The movies never mention us, and when they do,
we’re the punchline. Our capacity to love is reduced to slimy greed, can’t get enough, always the center of attention, I am split in half by who I am
and who I’m supposed to be, caught up in this rushing river that never
stops to welcome me, just laughs when I fall in. My friends, my allies, my “community”,
Take half of me and throw the other half away, I am puzzle pieces scattered
into words I am still too afraid to say. Why do we quantify our love? Like I’m dilute, she’s pure one-hundred-percent
gold star GAY Like she ran a marathon to be where she is
and I just took the easy path, Like I still have so much growing up to do,
Like I am not worthy of this particular rainbow-splattered table,
Like I am crumpling up my Stonewall-crowned civil rights
and tossing them into the trash just to disappear down​
​a stereotypical wedding lane with some boy
like all girls like me do eventually, they say. I’ll marry the guy. Maybe have a few kids
and never EVER go to LA Pride, and then it will all end badly
because he’ll catch me with some woman
and then I’ll be just another cautionary tale. I didn’t always know this was my legacy. I didn’t always know there was
something wrong with me. But now I’m clued in to all the stereotypes,
I’m beginning to wonder if there really is some truth
to all these lies. Think you know who I am? You don’t.​

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