Be Not Ashamed

Raising a glass to the ones we sometimes hide

by Corey Saucier

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Be not ashamed.
We are all flawed, broken, and imperfect.
But beautiful you will be, and beautiful you are…

Shout out to all the blue-eyed White boys who caught their virus in a backroom from an invisible donor or three; or five; or ten—high on crystal meth; flying above the sky with your head pushed down at a forty-five degree angle, dressed in leather and steel and covered in the sweat of a hundred men, and with the bliss of a hundred and one dripping like tears from between your legs; perfect and pure and creamy white. I salute you!

***

Be not ashamed.
We are all Flawed, Broken and Imperfect.
But beautiful you will be, and beautiful you are….

Shout out to all the pretty girls who caught their virus because it pays more—who got pregnant in the fifth grade; who loved men who didn’t love them: Men who lied and beat them. This is to the gorgeous girls with curly hair who on weeknights painted their faces and wore pink bras, and did whatever needed to be done to get the bills paid; because the baby has got to eat. This one is for you!

Be not ashamed.

Shout out to my closet case brothers on the DL who are doing their best to be a “good man”; who work 9 to 5 and overtime; and who treat their woman like a queen—For the Bi-guys who raise a family, and build a home, and do everything the world says they should…. Who caught the virus in only twenty minutes of hunger that singular time when they just couldn’t hold out anymore. Slow clap for you sweet man, because I know that must be hard.

Be not ashamed.

Shout out to the bad boys and the hookers and the whores and losers and the addicts and the kids with poor impulse control. Shout out to the ones we blame and shame, and condemn and say they did it wrong. Shout out to the ostracized, and put upon, and locked away because their story doesn’t sound so sweet…. Shout out to the folks who don’t know how they got it. Or if they gave it. Shout out to Tiger Mandingo sitting alone in his cell…. Keep your head up my friend. You are our scapegoats and our scary stories, and the lambs we sacrifice.

Be not ashamed.
We are all Flawed, Broken, and Imperfect.
But beautiful you will be and beautiful you are….

In a year I have gone from a monogamous church-going upstanding advocate for sex positivity, to a finely worded Craigslist ad…. A lot can happen in a year. Things go in cycles…and I am sitting in my apartment dressed in high socks and a jock strap contemplating “My place in the world” and “What it all means?” as I wait for a stranger to knock on my door.

And that has to be okay….

You know…before I had prescription for Adderall, and everything was all above board and legal and medically affirmed, I was an addict. I shot up meth in dirty bathrooms and had sex with strange men in jockstraps. And I was beautiful then and I am beautiful now. Just because I have a beautiful white-walled apartment in Hollywood facing the hills, with a window the size of the Grand Canyon and hard wood floors, and 1,800-thread count sheets… and I’m no longer fraying at the edges; it doesn’t mean that I am any more beautiful than the addict reusing needles on the street….

Because we are all in this together. And it doesn’t matter how you got it or how you keep the demons back…. Because life is hard and winding and strange and sometime we get lost in it.

***

I have a friend coming in fifteen minutes…. He is blond and green eyed with skin as pale as a White boy…. And I am going to call him “Beautiful…” and he is going to call me “Beautiful…” and we will be beautiful together between the sheets for a while….

Because I just need to be beautiful today.

And I am not ashamed of that.

Shout out to the people who are not perfect, who just want to be beautiful for a moment, who caught their virus because life is a shiny unicycle with no brakes and no handlebars, and sometimes they mess up.

Be not ashamed.
Shout out to you!
We are all flawed, broken, and imperfect.
Beautiful you will be and beautiful you are.


Corey Saucier is an artist and writer living in Los Angeles. He is a Lambda Literary Fellow in Fiction and Non-Fiction and is currently penning his first novel. His musings and wanderings on Love, Life, and Nonsense can be found at www.justwords.tumblr.com.