KarMel Scholarship 2008
Special Judges Award
“Fairy Tales” and “Buddy Roll”
Desciption of Submission:
“Fairy Tales – Written poem about Gay pride + gay rights and the necessity to ‘break’ the silence surrounding homophobia.” – Anonymous
“Buddy Roll – Written poem about the effects of coming out or my relationship with my dad.” - Anonymous
Why Karen and Melody Liked It: We liked that it showed the struggles of being gay both with society and with-in ones own family.
Still, stagnant, silence
shatters our society like Mathew Shepard’s skull,
ties us to a fence in the middle of
Silence is compliance that refuses to ask why,
and this is why I
This is why I am
screaming aloud ‘I’m allowed to be proud to be queer!’
Because I’ve spent too many years of MY life inside a closet
because YOUR mind was closed.
But your homophobia gave me claustrophobia
and now I’m out…
to get my happy ending.
Once upon a time,
Kindergarten fairytales told me that in order to live happily ever after,
I’d have to be a knight in shining armour
and save the damsel in distress.
And middle school texts called this practice “safe sex.”
Now I watch as the rest
of the world hugs, and falls in love and holds hands,
but I can’t?
“Oh.. You’re gay? Well…that’s okay. Just be careful that you don’t catch AIDS.”
Okay, thanks. Ya know, I had NO idea…
NO idea that it was YOUR responsibility to tell ME that my sexuality is a disease.
Please, tell me more about myself.
Tell me more about safe sex.
Please, take the safe sex condom and put it over your head,
so that you QUIT FUCKING BULLSHIT!
Do not tell me how to have sex safely
while you rape me
of the little common sense we have left in this society!
We are NOT taboo.
HIV is NOT the same thing as LGBTQ.
We are more than rainbows.
We are more than friends of Dorothy.
More than date rape drugs
and drag queens, listening to
We are a nation… of rich, poor, blacks, whites, Asians,
We are a nation, that spans the whole globe,
but we are a nation without a home…
for which we have the right to.
And we have the right to love!
We bleed just like you.
We are NOT taboo.
We are you.
Let’s not turn humans into second rate citizens.
We are a movement…
that is discriminated against every day,
every single time you hear someone say,
“Don’t be such a fag!” or “That song is so gay.”
don’t be so pathetic that you limit your vocabulary to hatred of
when you run out of better things to say!
We are a movement,
that even some of our own fellow members say does not need to happen…
Because My name is DOUG.
And this is not easy.
It wasn’t always easy for me to stand here and say,
“I’m proud to be gay.”
Proud to be “out.”
until I saw that this isn’t about
your fairytale stereotypes;
this is about real people falling in love,
and trying to live happily ever after.
This is what I’m after.
This is what I am.
This is why I’m here,
screaming aloud how I’m PROUD to be queer,
because I had to break my silence wide open:
This is the fairytale ending that I’ve chosen!
You see, my father and I have always had this unique relationship.
Living on opoposite ends of the country for most of my life, we’ve been limited to a 1 or 2 visits, in-person, every year
and phone calls on Sunday nights…
to see how I was,
to stay in touch,
to see how his son was growing up.
And he always had this nickname for me: His “Buddy Roll.”
“What’s up, Buddy Roll?!” he’d say.
I still don’t know what that means, but it felt good to hear anyway.
for as long as I can remember,
my dad and I have always done this thing on the phone where, right before we hang up
we count to 3…
Because when I was a kid, I didn’t wanna say good-bye to my Dad…
so we’d be like..”1..2..3…okay, bye Buddy Roll, by Dad”
just to stay connected for a few seconds longer.
But now..my dad and me, we don’t count to 3.
Dad, you don’t even count to me!
But rather, now I count the years since your voice has touched my ears.
Because you’ve always been but a voice, inside my head,
and I’ve always been a boy
more or less.
Now.. the more the less fills my chest,
the less I hear your love.
But Dad, I’m saying now
that for as long as I can remember you were there, and
not at all.
Your long-distance calls never taught me how to ball.
How could you expect my white mother to show me how to be a black man?
How can I change my last name from Honegan
to something that I know?
Dad, your forgotten son needs to grow!
Dad, I grip this pen, like shaking a stranger’s hand,
or learning how to ride a bike,
or learning how to fight,
or the way I gripped my cellphone that cold, November night,
when I told you that I
was no longer a boy,
but rather, a man
who loves men,
finding to be someone’s “Buddy Roll” again.
I remember that phone conversation being awfully quiet on your end.
And now ever since then,
our conversations end before they begin-
“Hey Buddy Roll… Alright, 1, 2-“
Don’t even count.
Don’t call me your Buddy Roll.
You can’t call me anything at all,
if you never even call me,