“Have These Things” by Jayda Marley, age 17
Warning: this video contains coarse language and sexual themes.
A note from the author, Jayda Marley:
“I wrote this poem in my grade 11 school year because of a bully that went to my school. He was constantly bothering queer kids at my school and I was always quiet about it because I didn’t feel safe reacting until one day I spoke up. None of the authority figures in my school did anything about this boy and I needed something to be done. I thought as soon as I told someone things would happen but the boy was only suspended for a day.
I am tired of queer people not feeling safe enough speak up. And even when we do choose to speak up, the people doing these things to us often get let off the hook and get the easy way out. Queer people never have the easy way out. We are constantly fighting to be seen as equals and treated like we exist. I want my voice to be heard and I would like other queer girls like myself to see its never easy to speak up about what’s going on around you but it’s worth taking a chance.”
There is this homophobic guy in my school
His name isn’t really important
The other day I heard him scream
“How the fuck do you think two guys having sex is okay?”
I looked around me and most of my friends are gay
I checked my phone and my gay cousin just sent me a text message
My ex girlfriend just posted a picture
I was scrolling through my camera roll and found a selfie with my lesbian sister
I heard this guy talking and I started to remember why it took me so long to come out in the first place
I started to remember why I was so scared
when I wanted to become more than friends with that girl in the 9th grade
I started to remember how good it felt when she finally kissed me
and how I used Covergirl to cover up the hickeys
I started to remember how scared I was when my mom found out
I could only picture what she would say...
“Jayda, you’re already Black and a woman
and now you’re gay?
How will I ever protect you?“
But she told me it was okay
She told me she always thought I’d be lesbian anyways
I said “mom I’m bisexual I like boys too”
She looked at me and told me “thats cool”
She still proceeded to send me to my room
Because boy or girl my mom never played about hickeys
But then I have to come to school and have this boy sit with me
Not beside me but around me
And sometimes I feel like I’m drowning
I wanna tell him to shut his homophobic ass up
I wanna punch him, throw a chair
But instead I just sit there
Instead I just watch him
The other day I stopped watching
When he told my trans friend to get the fuck out the girls washroom
I felt that in my soul. In my heart.
How can someone be so angry?
Why the fuck did you come to alternative school anyways?
You can’t even go to a bathroom here without passing someone who’s gay.
Are you mad because people don’t fly in from across the world for a heterosexual parade?
Like, congratulations, you’re straight!
The teachers in my school said they’re dealing with it.
Told me everyone deals with things different
But I’ve heard that before
Why should I be nice when I want to start a war?
Talking about gay people should die when he probably gets off on lesbian porn
Why am I not as angry as him?
Why do I have to be a good person?
It takes a lot more bravery to NOT hurt him
Sometimes I wish I wasn’t raised so well
But then maybe I’d be like him so it’s okay
Some days I just wanna tie him up with my pride flag,
Make out with my best friends while he’s around just to piss him off
But then again we’re girls so he’d probably like it
Well guess what, our sexuality is not your fetish
Save it for your porn hub search bar
Save it for when you’re 35 and no one ever wants to love you but your lotion and your tissue box
Save it for never.
Some days I walk into my school and wonder if I’m even still safe here
I wonder with people like him, what the fuck is the point anymore?
Why do we even have these gender neutral washrooms?
Why do we even have all these posters?
The ones that say “gay is okay”
The ones that tell us to “think before we say”
Why do we even need them?
If people like him won’t read them?
Why do we even try still?
But then I look at my friends again
And I think of my cousin and my sister
And I start to not feel mad anymore
I start to believe in things again
My vision clears up, my eyes start to tear
How could I forget that people fought so hard for us to have these things here?
How could I forget that?