Sometimes I wonder if my seventh grade
writing teacher is homophobic.
No memory of mine would suggest so,
but I guess none would suggest otherwise, either.
Maybe I picture him specifically, of all the influences in my life,
because I looked up to him so damn much,
and I’m at a point in my life where I’m just expecting this kind of let down.
Maybe it’s because he was a straight cis white male
who never had us read any contemporary novels
by female writers, queer writers, or people of color,
but loaded us up on the image of the discreetly masculine white guy
faced with that same, boring, ever-so-troubling internal conflict
that almost every single man seems to be facing these days,
—but who gets rewarded for it none the less—
because he’s just so brilliant, that man, isn’t he?

But nothing upsets me more than the thought
of the very person who inspired me so much
—the same person who told little thirteen year old
wanna-be punk me that I could do big things—
hating those big things I’m doing.
I wish I could ask him, after all, he’s only an email away.
but the thought of him hating
the very queerness that fuels my writing hurts me,
and I’m not in the mood to kill my childhood heroes tonight.

Miranda Marques is a third year English major concentrating in Creative and Professional Writing. A native New Jerseyian trying to survive life in the South, they consider themself an activist, organizer, and writer.

   Photograph of Miranda Marques