I stayed in

I stayed in.
When a generation was dying.
I told myself I was not.
When I have always known.

When asked directly to my face.
The panic was almost overwhelming.
My brother and young men were dying.
Moreover, here I am, I am lying.

I told myself, I told myself I was not.
I was not searching, nor doing, nor acting on yearnings.
I was alone.
Right then that was what I needed.

I thought Gay and AIDS were the same.
At that time, most thought this way.
Thank goodness, this has changed.
Life can continue onward.

I survived at a time when few of us did.
To continue, continue to live.
Now, I am out and living my life.
I found love when I never dreamed I could.

Sometimes I feel sad, sometimes I feel guilty.
I wish things were different, but they are not.
What happened has happened and in the past.
I can only say.
Thanks to all those before me who opened the way.

I have so much to owe you; I am unsure how to repay.
Except to live and to love.
Without shame.
I can express to others that we are all the same.

Robert Confiant 1 December 2014 (mod 12 March 2016)

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