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The Closet Couldn't Contain Me:
So Why Are the Homophobes Trying?

Nevada Blake

Nevada Broadside.jpeg


Every one of us has had a different journey to become who we are today, many queer people might have similar or vastly different stories, but this is my adventure from pre-revelation to advocating for our community. I hope this goes to inspire those too scared to abandon the closet to discover some spark within themselves to finally bust the door down and be themselves.

Form: Rondeau

I was oblivious the signs were there

How’s a tomboy supposed to be aware

stereotypes can be realistic

That I was an undercover sapphic

But of this I was unaware


I was messy    played rough   I didn’t care

I believed gendered sports were unfair

For me playing house was horrific

I was oblivious


I was chaos    I was everywhere

Many of my clothes were wrecked with wear and tear

Fem looks    butch actions          I was dualistic

Over those years I was optimistic

For I hadn’t seen the signs that were there

I was oblivious

Form: Villanelle

I hated myself because I was different

Instead of trying to discover why

I led a path of destruction


Teared down peers like me

Or at least I gave it a try

I hated myself because I was different


I became a bully and never was free

I believed if I studied the source I would die

I led a path of destruction


I realized I had become someone I never wanted to be

I internalized my self-hatred and wanted to say goodbye

I hated myself because I was different


Scars grew across me like branches on a tree

I was different so I just wanted to die

I led a path of destruction


Even after discovering the real me

I wanted a grave to occupy

I hated myself because I was different

I led a path of destruction

Form: Sapphic

coming out to myself occurred when I came

out to my friends it was subconscious ‘til

I impulsively had responded to their

question with a yes


I had finally discovered myself; it should have been freeing. And it was for a moment–

Form: Nonet

–before       reality        had         set       in

then slowly they turned and laughed

they stopped talking to me

or if they did it was

to tell me that       I

        was going to

hell– they left



Form: Haiku Sonnet

My parents only

Found out about me being

A lesbian when


Moms “my kid is not

okay” alarm triggered

She then sat me down


And we had a talk

Well, I was crying the whole

Time, never had to


Speak though, she did it

For me, guessing until she

Asked the right question


“Do you like girls” she asked, and I only sobbed harder in response– she knew that I had meant yes

she looked me in the eyes and told me that she would love me no matter what

Form: Echo Verse

It’s a new school year



to befriend new people



who accept me as I am



I alone in this cursed place?



of the past and present



myself as who I wish to be



live in myself and others



like me started to interact



with me and somehow



I found a group of people



who supported and protected



me from others and my demons



that refused to leave



like the past



the fear of losing friends



like my new ones    stick around



the clock conversations



and enjoying living


Form: Quintilla into Ghazal

Mis abuelos, tios, y primos

gathered around for thanksgiving

dinner seventh grade me knowing

That they would be accepting of

their nieta, sobrina, y prima


My mother’s side of the family was different

How is one supposed to tell devoted Christians that I’m gay


I couldn’t get the courage to do so

But the only way I could ever be free was to tell them I’m gay


I wasn’t there, I had my mom tell my grandma

I didn’t want to see her reaction to me being gay


I got a text later on saying that

she still loved me even if I’m gay


My grandma spread the news to my grandpa

My uncle’s family was harder to tell that I’m gay


My uncle married into a family that runs a church camp

I went a few years but quit once I realized I was gay


I hadn’t felt welcomed there.      Later down the road after

I told my aunt and uncle that I was gay


And then they stopped trying to convince me to come back

Still despite being able to be open about being gay


It’s almost a taboo subject they ignore it

The elephant in the room, me a gay


What’s so hard for them to grasp

Is it that hard to comprehend I’m gay


I get that you come from a religion that 

Prevents you from accepting me being gay


But we are family, you guys should stand by my side

Or accept that I will leave you so I can go be gay.


Because I shouldn’t be required to retreat into

the closet in your company and act like I’m not gay

Form: Renga

Summer before eighth grade

First year of marching band

I was in for a queer surprise


It is on ongoing joke that the majority of band kids are a part of the LGBTQ+

And I have yet to see anyone deny it


The theme that year was Regenesis

we were a part of a machine, that slowly breaks free

And become unique individuals


It reflected society and the norm

But it was also a reflection of accepting my self


We also called it the gay show

Mainly because we had a costume change

That revealed a rainbow geared shirt under our uniforms


Regenesis was about denying the system and finding our true colors

And I was able to do the same, after a period of time thanks to marching band


I found a home there

Band was the first place I was able to be me

Outside the comfort of my home


I wish I could repeat those years now that it’s come to an end

They will never leave me; they were crucial        liberating me from myself


I couldn’t be who I am

Without the guiding hand

Of the band family

Form: N/A

It took years to get here

To get in a place of

Confidence       Happiness         Pride

There is a reason why we have a pride month

We cannot hide in the shadows ashamed

We refuse to be beaten down


I took here to the art of poetry

To the power of words

These poems aren’t just

Pretty               pointless

Trust me they are pointed and sharp

They are a reckoning

I write to smash down preconceived conceptions

That prey upon minorities          upon me          upon those who suffer


I always make time not just on paper but in conversation

I educate           the ignorant      the aspiring       the curious

Lending a guiding hand to those who are questioning


I’m prepared to stand up

To fight

To speak louder than the suppresser

I plan to be the usurper              the liberator                  the reckoning


This is who I am now, words are my weapon of choice so don’t forget my voice

I am rageful      tread lightly– I’ll be your downfall

For I am the Reckoning


Nevada Blake is B.F.A. Creative Writing major at Otterbein University, writing primarily poetry and fiction.

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