Working on love

I wrote this poem as a reflection on being LGBTQ+ in the workplace.  

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Working on love

How it started:

My very first job in the 1990s: greeter at Pier 1 Imports. Suburbia, USA.

A crush on my female colleague in that cinnamon-scented potpourri shop.

A straight-only workplace, like me, I thought.

Prom with Ian.

 

And then:

Rainbow flags, homophobia and heartbreak.

Proposition 8, meeting gay people and Brokeback Mountain.

UCLA’s LGBT library with cautionary books on coming out.

Ellen being fired, Matthew Shepard murdered, and "don’t ask, don’t tell".

 

After that:

Pride parades in which I saw myself.

Freedom in late-night Soho and my first girlfriend.

Rainbows fluttering in every shop window during the summer.

All parts of the UK with marriage equality as of January 2020.

 

And now:

An open workplace.

Mentioning Pride over the weekend on my first day.

No one blinking an eye, including me.

All normalised: a conversation.

 

The future:

Brightness sometimes, but mostly unknown.

Dialogue paramount, because everyone not on board.

LGBTQ+ acceptance potentially a flickering candle.

All of us needing to talk; all of us working on love.

------------------------------------------------------------------

About me:

I am a content designer at ICAEW.

I perform poetry regularly at different literary nights in London.

I also lead a poetry sharing group call Queer Poets which meets monthly (friends/allies welcome). 

Find my personal twitter feed: @pollyebull

See my personal blog about the process of creative writing: pollybull.org

Anonymous