Did I cut my hair too short?
Should I start wearing dresses every now and then?
Did my touch linger for a moment too long?
Should I have not spoken out against their homophobia?
Can she see the spark in my eyes, hear the shift in my tone?
Should I have pretended to be interested in that marriage proposal?
Does my queerness show? Does it ooze out of me? Does it leave a trail?
On days when I begin to keep myself in check – when I attempt to tuck myself in neatly – my own safety isn’t my foremost concern.
I keep myself contained because I worry about tainting the lives of those around me.
Now I have no misgivings about the immorality of queerness, and it’s been years since I’ve had nightmares of fire and brimstone.
But what’s been harder to shake off is decades of being taught that my desires can stain the lives of those around me.