Author: Zelle Cuevas (Creative Department) for the Gender Sensitivity Poem Writing Contest

Afraid, cowed, I used to be
Tossed by the waves of culture
Running around in circles
Prisoner of my own fright
Will I ever be myself?

I went searching for freedom
But caught by reality
Irony falls to folly
Those who always bring judgment
Fall short of understanding

Where do you find parity
In a world of bigotry?
In speech, in love, in actions
Bounded by self-righteousness
Chained into expectations

To live within fear and doubt
A never ending anguish
Pleasing people wouldn’t yield
Serenity, joy, comfort,
Declaration of one’s self

Break the standards of this world
Strongholds and hardheartedness
Seek respectability
Pursue grace in every feat
Learn to love unreservedly

But above all of these things
Self acceptance is vital
Take honor in who you are
For nothing else comes before
Knowledge of your own self-worth.

(Photo courtesy of Pozadia)