Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Poem: "Crocheting Rainbows"

This poem was written outside the regular prompt calls. It fills the "Discovering your orientation" square in my 1-1-20 card for the Less Usual Bingo Patterns fest. It has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Arts and Crafts America series.


"Crocheting Rainbows"


When Christopher had trouble
discovering his orientation,
the advisor of the Queer Club
suggested that he try on
different ones to see
whether they fit him.

"What, like trying on
clothes?" he said.

"Exactly," said Ellen.
"In fact, why don't you
make that a project for
crochet night? Make
a flag, wear it for a week,
and think of how it feels."

So at crochet night,
Christopher asked for
patterns of pride flags,
and everyone shared
their favorite ones.

He decided on a pattern
for pencil toppers, because
then he'd see it all day long.

It came with variations for
six different flags, and people
had made notes on ways
to adapt it to others.

He definitely wasn't
asexual or aromantic,
and he couldn't be lesbian,
so he left those flags out.

He wasn't sure about
his gender. He thought
he was probably male,
but maybe that was
just an assumption.

So Christopher made
a transgender flag and
wore it for a week, exploring
whether he felt like a woman.

He found that he did not.

His experiment with
a genderqueer flag fared
no better, so he concluded
that he was indeed a man
despite having taken
his parents' word for it.

Christopher crocheted
a gay pride flag next, and
he liked its bright rainbow,
but it didn't make him feel gay.

It just seemed ... too restrictive.

That got him thinking that he
might be bisexual, so he made
the three-striped flag next.

It felt closer, the closest yet,
and he started to get excited.

Then he crocheted a pansexual flag
with a different set of colors, and
that turned out to be just right.

Christopher realized that he
didn't respond to bodies
so much as the people
who were inside them.

It was all about personality
for him, instead of physique.

That made him wonder if he
might be genderqueer after all,
since he didn't care about
the gender of his partner.

But no, he still felt like a guy,
just a rather ... flexible one.

Christopher reported
his discoveries at
the next meeting,
and people cheered.

"What should I do
with the rest of these?"
Christopher said, waving
the discarded flags.

"Why don't you put them
in the anybody basket?"
Ellen said. "Then they will
be there for people who want
to explore but don't crochet."

Smiling, Christopher put them
in the basket with a sign
that read, Try one on!

He had learned a lot
from crocheting rainbows,
and he hoped that other folks
could learn from his example.

As he stepped back, a girl
darted forward to grab
the bisexual flag.

So that worked.

* * *

Notes:

Pride flags come in many styles. See the crochet pride flag pencil toppers.
Tags: crafts, cyberfunded creativity, fishbowl, gender studies, poem, poetry, reading, weblit, writing
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