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In The Event That One Of My Paternal Cousins Turns Out To Be Queer

In The Event That One Of My Paternal Cousins Turns Out To Be Queer

In The Event That One Of My Paternal Cousins Turns Out To Be Queer

An Essay by Jay Schwartz-Stanton

In the event that one of my cousins turns out to be queer, I would like to say I’m sorry. 

I’m sorry for never having a clue, I’m sorry I couldn’t see how similar we were, I’m sorry for talking shit about Grammy and Grandpa, I’m sorry Uncle John will never be able to physically hear you come out to him, I’m sorry I can’t I’m using the word queer because I don’t know what you’re going to be, and I’m sorry that I’m using the word queer because I know you’re never gonna want to hear that word again. And I’m sorry that everyone on the outside is gonna tell you it’s a beautiful world, (because hey, California!) but you know everyone you love is gonna tell you how ugly it is. I heard Abby’s a queer; I don’t want that queer in the locker room with me; don’t let Henry on the football team, I heard he’s queer. 

I’m sorry that you’ll never get another Valentine’s Day at school, I’m sorry you’ll have to wait for your romantic comedies, I’m sorry that you’ll have to choose between corpus alium and Corpus Christi, and I’m sorry that you can’t just say you can love both because everyone on both sides is going to say otherwise.

 I’m sorry that your family will only love you until you bring somebody home, I’m sorry that you’ll slam the door so hard the lock breaks, I’m sorry that you’ll go to church every Sunday and know you don’t belong, even if nobody confirms or denies it. I’m sorry that you won’t be the pretty grandchild anymore, I’m sorry you won’t be a grandchild anymore, I’m sorry I didn’t fully pave the way for the path to your safe haven, I’m sorry I didn’t try to present any hope. And most of all, I’m sincerely so, so, so sorry you’ll have another reason to get compared to me.

Jay Schwartz-Stanton

My name is Jay Schwartz-Stanton and I am a transgender writer from Washington, D.C. I am a freshman in the Literary Media and Communications department at Duke Ellington School of the Arts.

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