“Diversity on Display.” Photo by Ari McKellin.

Trigger Warning: This poem includes mentions of hate crimes, suicide, self-harm and mental illness.

   How are you doing?


   How are you REALLY doing?

Well, not fine.


My daughter came

Out to me as gay

And I love her

And I’m trying to remember

She said she was

Born this way,

But I fear

Others may not

See her

The way I see her

And will not love her

The way I love her.


I see the taunts

The stats

The attacks

The pain

These gay kids face

And I want

To protect her,

But how can I protect her,

When the closet holding her in

Was protecting her more

Than I ever could?


I see the

Suicide rates,

The cut-up wrists,

The depression

From lack

Of acceptance

And it’s unacceptable, 

But who am I

To know how to stop this?


I don’t want her

To hide

And holding it all


Was only making her



But the slurs

They sling around,

The stones they throw

To get her knocked down

I’ve heard those stories

And I don’t want her name

To be in the next one.

But she has no one.


   But she has you.



I guess that’s true, 

But what can I do?


   Stand up for her.

   Say her name 

   Be proud of your daughter.

   Help her fight

   For her rights.


   I know this

   World is TORN

   In oh-so-many directions

   But perhaps we can all agree

   On one direction we must go.





   Keep talking.

   This debate will keep evolving

   And people will keep asking.

   Be there.


Be there how?

She’s only spoken to me now.


   Be there

   For the discussions

   Like the one we are having.

   Be there

   To speak up

   When she can’t.

   Be there

   As the ally

   By her side.