ALL EYES ON: ANWYN BROOK-EVANS
Anwyn is an 18 year old creative from Marrickville. As well as photography and poetry, Anwyn also screen prints shirts for her business called "NoRugrats", and is trying to make new designs all the time. You can see her work here.
nb from the author: I do not condone the use of the word "faggot" and I don't think anyone should say it. I hate saying it myself. I used it in this poem to be purely powerful and provocative. It also speaks about mental health, bullying, has swearing, suicide issues so I'd really like to flag it in case people find it hard to read.
I think we remember the day,
June 12. 2016.
The killing of the gay.
Orlando attacks plastered all over the static screens,
Painting the fear into the cracks from the machines.
I remember walking on the grass the next day,
Head down. Voice silent.
No words to say could extinguish the pain of the violent cusp that had taken place the night before.
The fucking gore, that erupted like a roar inside my head, inside my heart.
Because you didn’t know the lost, the deceased but you also did.
Because you understood their stories, all over the grid.
I knew all the gays that passed my way that day.
No need to come out when I could see the pain in their eyes from the loss.
The school did nothing but the sign of the cross.
Respectably acknowledging the men and women and others who had been lost.
But didn’t utter the word “gay” even a single time,
As if it was frost,
That would make them gag in their throat.
It ain’t an antidote,
To respect the dead without addressing the issues that made them rest their head.
Until we are honest about the issues facing the LGBT we’re fucked you know.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to see how low we can go.
You know my faggot journey has been pretty shit but not as bad as some.
But it still had me contemplating suicide when I was young.
Because the videos of women kissing turned a switch inside of me on. It was something that made sense, it was fucking spot on.
The comfort in the label soothed me for a minute or so, but then society flooded creating every sorrow I know.
Because they tell us this ain’t normal.
They tell us its abhorrent.
But tell me is it worth to live a life thats purely honest.
The constraints and words of society kept me looking in the mirror. I remember the bathroom where I pulled out the pills.
I put them in my mouth, I’d attempted to seal the deal.
Luckily by nature my body didn’t give up.
Fucking blessing I know now. I don’t forget it every day.
I think whats fucking sad is how homophobes force young lovers to be feeling this way.
So hopeless over the fact that they’re just gay.
I kept it in. I didn’t tell anyone about that day.
Until this poem, its never even seen the light of day.
Its not that I’m embarrassed. Its just the pain that makes me not want to say.
But after June 12 I knew that pain wouldn’t go away.
Till we proclaim our stories. Loud and proud, no matter of the shit we go through.
Honestly for me, this is a bloody break through.
Coming out wasn’t fun, in fact it was pretty shit.
But I remained strong, locked my door throughout the thick of it.
Its not my parents fault if they’ve got mental health problems.
If it runs in the family I guess I’ve got a storm coming.
I mean sometimes I’m bitter and I get mad at the fact I’ve got a homophobe for a mum and a dad.
But maybe I’m the catalyst that makes them change their views.
I guess thats what kept me going throughout the black and the blues.
Alcohol is pretty fun until you’re the faggot running away from the words that pierce like a gun.
Theres a few holes in my walls.
Not from the rents but from me.
I guess my fear and anger of being the disappointment got the better of me.
Soon after coming out it became the threat that haunted every move.
Because if I did something wrong it would be used against me as if I had something to prove.
This girl at school once,
I thought she was my mate.
Soon became a dunce,
Because she punched me and pushed me away for the fact I ate and will eat pussy some day.
You can laugh and say thats funny but no.
She did it again the next day.
And it wasn’t the physical that had me hysterical.
But the fear and the fact that my education environment did so little.
That someone can feel so isolated and estranged over their sexuality.
And those adults they trust do nothing but say,
“ Why’d you hit her?”
“she offended me”
You know what offends me.
3 times more likely to go through depression than their heater peers.
We have a right to fight, as you see our fears are pretty legit.
Kids, who come out to their rents are 8 times more likely to put a stop with a gun,
Or a knife or whatever they choose.
8 times more likely to commit suicide.
And I could have been one.
Another number for the stats.
But don’t you see? This is a real fucking life and a real fucking story.
And to those who do nothing, you aren’t just fucking boring.
But you’re ignoring a critical problem facing our country,
And to those who overcome the homophobes.
mates, we’re granite.
And we have a job to help those who aren’t as strong yet.
Because if someone like trump can get into power.
Its our hour,
To speak up.
For those we have lost,
And will lose to the cause.
Till gays get not only equal protection of the laws.