The “F” in LGBTQ, a.k.a., What the Letters Actually Stand For

Jun 1, 2024 | 2024 Summer - More than One Letter, Poetry

By Mica L. Rich

L— stands for:
Let boys like dolls,
and clothes, and colors.
It really wouldn’t kill a man
to have grown up learning
a little bit of nurture,
creativity, love, joy,
or how to change a diaper or two.

L— stands for:
Let boys like boys, and
let’s all remember
that masculinity
is not the rejection
of anything feminine.

L— stands for:
Let girls like cars
and trucks
and mud
and other women.
Let them get a little messy ’cause
“act like a lady”
should never have meant
“behave like you’re made of porcelain.”
No more running now
It’s time to grow up.
Little boys will be boys
forever, but you
are a woman now.

L— stands for
Let girls cuss. ’Cause
they’ve lots to cuss about.
And let’s be honest,
there is nothing sexier
than a woman who says “fuck”
with the same fluidity she flicks
her hair back with,
and the same confidence she carries
with her up to the mic when
she’s finally found her voice.

G— stands for:
Get over yourself.
My pronouns are not dependent
on your comfort level with them,
nor does my gender expression require
your comprehension in order to be valid.
I see that empathy and compassion
are also concepts beyond your grasp and yet,
they too exist.
I will not be made to wear a costume
Just so that you
feel more comfortable in your clown suit.
And by the way, those big-ass shoes
do not convince anyone of the size of your feet.
Or of anything else.
If you spent less time compensating
for what you don’t have, you might discover
what values you could bring to the table.

G— stands for
Go fuck yourself.
There is nothing “unnatural”
about my “homosexuality.”
There is, however, nothing natural
about bathing in Axe body spray and running
on Mountain Dew and Monster Energy.
That smell could kill brain cells
from a mile away, and I’m guessing
You don’t have a lot to spare.

B— stands for
Bisexuals. And Pansexuals. Because
you deserve to be
acknowledged, included, and reminded
that your queerness is not a job application,
You do not have to provide
your relevant work history in order
to qualify.
B— stands for:
You are beautiful, you are brave.
You belong here.

B— stands for buh-bye and back the fuck off
because I did not ask
for your opinions on how I dress.
You are not entitled to my attention just
’cause I caught yours while minding
my own business.
B— also stands for bitch
I guess
Because that’s what you called me
When I told you “nice tits” isn’t a compliment.

T— stands for:
Trans rights are human rights, and
That is a hill I will proudly die on.
T— stands for they/them/theirs
and it sure as shit
doesn’t stand for TERF
T— stands for THE tea.
It is hot.
I will spill it.
I have wasted too many years
with my mouth shut
watching you make stupid choices.
Life is too short not to speak up
and you will not
be an asshole in my presence.

Q— stands for
Quit whining.
My identity is not a “lifestyle”
And you cannot “disagree” with it.
Q— stands for queer.
We are here.
We are not going anywhere
get used to it.

The F in LGBTQ you
Might not have known was there.
F— stands for
figuring it the fuck out.
Because let’s be honest,
learning about yourself is complicated.
Sometimes you’ve always known,
Sometimes you guess until you get it right,
and that’s okay.
F— stands for phases… well, kind of.
But let’s stop belittling them
as if life isn’t
just a series of beautiful phases,
of the moon, of the seasons, of the tides
Phases are what move us forward.
F stands for moving forward.

F— can also stand for fucking tired
as in
“I am so fucking tired
of defining myself to you”
But sometimes
F— stands for—

Fine. Well. I came out as bisexual in high school though I’m probably actually pansexual and I’m definitely not cisgender but maybe it’s nonbinary and maybe it’s genderfluid I’m not really sure what the difference is or why it matters and I might also be demisexual because I couldn’t care less about sex unless you make me feel safe but also maybe that’s just a response to being sexually assaulted, or maybe people just kinda suck sometimes I don’t know Sir just call me a fag at this point, you’ll save us both some time.

F— stands for faggot.
I am.
What of it?

Mica L. Rich (they/them) lives in the Boston area and is the author of “This Is How Wildflowers Grow,” poems about living and growing through trauma. See Mica read at Stark Brewing Company in Manchester, NH, U.S., every Thursday night at 7 p.m.

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