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Catfishing His Family

Catfishing His Family

A Poem by barleygirl
"

a seemingly innocent question . . .

"

“You’re so gay!”
he always knew
his self-identity
was not an option
bombarded by daily slurs
cultural brainwashing:
gay is disgusting and sinful.

A constant insidious assault:
fudge packer, f****t, fairy.

Suburban housewife
poses her curiosity
innocently enough:
why must gays “come out”?
I don’t need to announce
MY sexual proclivities.

For twenty tortured years
he catfished his family
lying up close and personal
trying with all his heart to be
what he could never be:
straight.

Eventually jilted by his truth
his wife and kids demand:
“why not come out sooner?”

He had been lying for so long
he didn’t know how to stop.

Damned if he does
damned if he doesn’t.

Would he risk losing
everything he loves
crushing bonds
built over his lifetime
if “coming out” wasn’t
such a big whopping deal?

© 2019 barleygirl


Author's Note

barleygirl
Inspired by a book I'm reading & also recently seeing a high school chum ask a gay friend this question in this way on FB.

My Review

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Featured Review

with all of the stigma attached to sexuality particularly in the 70's I don't blame him for not coming out:( when you grow up in an environment that paints your feelings of self so dark you even begin to believe it too! After spending so much time and energy in denial making the transition becomes like a self betrayal of the self that you betrayed for so long! bless his heart!

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

1 Month Ago

I felt a strong sense of tension to be writing on this topic, wanting NOT to mess it up & engage in .. read more



Reviews

it is really that - no good time to be who you are - a thoughtful commentary, much different from what I have read from you previously (to be fair I have been largely absent over 2019) bravo - happy new year

Posted 1 Week Ago


I cannot put myself in the mind of a gay person to really know the fear(?) of coming out. After all, I don't have to come out as being straight! And as a straight person I am (at least from a scientific viewpoint) unsure why some people come into the world different in their sexual orientation. If I were to say I did I would be making assumptions. I have chosen not to condemn something I have no real knowledge about. Perhaps this might put me at odds with my fellow religionists . . . so be it. I prefer the option of grace.
Interesting questions you pose with this poem Margie.
T

Posted 1 Week Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

1 Week Ago

WOW! This is a great way to say "live and let live"! I'm not a fan of writing social commentaries be.. read more
kentuck14

1 Week Ago

you are very welcome!
T
I know a few people who never”really” came out. This is such a masterpiece on this subject. And to boot a surprise ending when the family asked him why he didn’t “come out” sooner. I love your descriptive words, so real.
Happy New Year , yours, Betty

Posted 2 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

1 Week Ago

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this topic. I was surprised how many people commented on this.. read more
Betty Hermelee

1 Week Ago

That’s because it’s so well done!
Margie, when I read this and hear similar stories, I’m curious why his or her sexuality is the central issue. Please know I’m not minimizing the weight disclosing such a secret.

This seems to be a situation like when we no longer love the person we’re married to, and we need to move on. Maybe I’m reading this wrong. I’ll acknowledge my white, Caucasian straight orientation prevents me from seeing things like others might. I think we put too much emphasis on this issue, much like race. Everyone wants to be treated equally, yet some want to tell everyone they meet (often in the first few minutes) they’re gay, lesbian, trans, or whatever. Maybe I’m the exception, but I don’t care. I treat everyone with respect and dignity. I don’t care if you’re a man who like men, a woman who likes women, a “they” who likes “them” or the seemingly endless combination of the above.

I alway admire your approach to such issues. The poetic qualities remain consistent with your other work, and like all others, I’m prompted to re-think my beliefs. :)

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

4 Weeks Ago

I agree there are those who discuss whatever social tendencies people have . . . discuss it TO DEATH.. read more
kentuck14

3 Weeks Ago

I agree with Robert's observation . . . "identity politics" has clouded our view of seeing people a.. read more
Margie,

Thought I’d drop in and say hello to my dear friends!!! Your style never disappoints... you had me at the title, not to mention your concept of cultural brainwashing. You’ve turned catfishing, sexuality and society on their heads in one move. Hell of a chess player, girl.

Deb 💜

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

4 Weeks Ago

This is an awesome set of observations that sets me on my tippy toes dancing & bopping along for the.. read more
A guy I served with kept it under wraps, (well, thought he did,) but we knew. Didn't matter though, because his proclivity was his to decide, and as far as we were concerned, you couldn't aks for anyone better as back up when the s*** hit the fan, which it occasionally did.

T

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

4 Weeks Ago

I do believe there's a gay culture that comes out naturally in a person & it's hard to hide. I love .. read more
I grew up in times where all this was pushed under the table and not spoken about. It must have been hell for those whose sexual preferences weren't considered healthy yet alone Godly. I am thankful that there is more openness and people are no longer afraid to be who they are. When I speak to my grandchildren, I feel refreshed and energised by their inclusivity and how they will fight for the under dog. Equality is everything.

Damned if he does.
Damned if he doesn't.

Yes that was the way they had to live. Look at poor Oscar Wilde and how he was vilified and imprisoned. So sad.

You took me on a very varied journey with this write Margie. I covered much ground.

Chris

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

1 Month Ago

Yes, I do find the inclusivity of youth to be so refreshing! To me, it's more than just the feeling .. read more

You got a lotta things right here Margie and I am glad you penned this particular poem coz I think it was simply crying out to be writ.. poemed perfectly in my humble opinion....

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

1 Month Ago

Thank you for stopping by to put a big thumbs-up on my ideas about this! (((NODS))) Fondly, Margie
I don't know. I believe sexual preference should be private. New world forcing out a thing that had been for 5000 years and never stopped. I don't discuss my sexual preference and I know many gay people. They don't advertise their sexual preference to strangers. They are just fellow workers and friends. People, should be what they want to be. Was a free country once. Always a pleasure to read your work dear Margie.
Coyote

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

1 Month Ago

This is not about expressing one's sexuality as much as it is about having the freedom to pursue all.. read more
Coyote Poetry

1 Month Ago

I loved your thoughts dear Margie and I hope you are doing well.
what is said here is perfect truth....there should "No Closet" in the first place....
not that kind anyway.
Only the ones we actually hang our clothes in, not the ones where we hang our sexuality.

j.

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

1 Month Ago

Having a family secret, I spent a fair amount of time in the closet, so you can imagine how much I l.. read more

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Added on December 9, 2019
Last Updated on December 9, 2019

Author

barleygirl
barleygirl

Central Coast, CA



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Just loving life & sharing my blessings. more..

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