by Haylee Kern

I paint over a white canvas, my paintbrush colored black. 

I paint over an empty canvas, and hang the picture on a plaque. 

"It's just art." I say

"Just cute." I pray

Please fall for the lie

Please, I don't want to die. 

It's so dangerous here

Headlights caught on a deer. 

I don't want to die

I don't want to get hurt. 

I don't want to die

I will never convert. 

There's nothing wrong with me

There's nothing to hate. 

There's nothing wrong with me 

On my shoulders, there's a weight. 

A weight so strong I struggle to breathe. 

A weight so strong, a vicious seethe. 

Let us all pretend that it's all okay

Let us all pretend, while you go pray. 

Pray to that god that you say hates me so

Pray to that god that never once said no. 

You pray and pretend you know his word

You pray and pretend your voice will be heard. 

You twisted his statements, 

You attack his own creations. 

You lied of his faith, 

You tore apart his foundations. 

I will not fall

As he did not. 

I will not fall

I will not rot. 

I will not die at the hands of you

I will not cry at the words you spew. 

I will fight until my last breath

I will claw my way out of this unlawful death. 

You try to stop me

You try to make me duller.  

But hear my words,

My canvas, is painted in every color.

About the Author - Haylee Kern


As a member of the LGBT community that has religious surroundings, I always struggled to accept myself, and believe it was okay to be who I was. As I got older, I realized, religious or not, it’s okay. If you’re religious, God loves you, if you’re not, I love you. Everyone in the LGBT community faces oppression just by existing, a lot of which, will come from religious views. But religious or not, God, or no God. Gay is okay.