Julia McConnell


I used to think it would be fun  
               to be invisible; 
               to sneak around unseen; 
               to be hearing–

I live on the edges,
               form partnerships with those
               who don’t like the 
                                                  unavoidable all-revealing spotlight
								                                                      of society, 
               who don’t quite
                                               fit in, conform.
Something about us is different. 

I found that this community is LGBTQIA+, 
               a rainbow spectrum
               glorious in its entirety,
too often shortened, dimmed:

These last letters are infrared, are ultraviolet,
               are invisible to the naked eye, 
                                        to the public eye, all the more important.

I’m in New York and it’s 
                                                              and there are rainbows 
 							                         everywhere everywhere everywhere.
The city is washed in them,
               they flash on billboards,
               in shop windows,
               at street corners.

I want to take pictures 
               of every rainbow I see,
               send them to my friends back home
because look how beautiful we are.
                      the smile of 
                                              look look look, we’re  glorious,
                                                                                                          freezes, fades. 
With this newfound part of me,
               inextricable from self,
I hear–
               unseen, unheard, invisible.
I could SCREAM and no one would notice.

Because while the rainbow shouts, 
                                                                 We’re LGBT(+), we’re here!
it is simultaneously too broad, too narrow.
               Yes, we are LGBT
                                                  we unify under that name because we are not recognized by others)
               but we are so much more, so much richer than that. 

It’s like how there are seven colors of the light spectrum,
               ROY G BIV,
               that are visible to the human eye,
but we name them as all the colors, 
               ignore the fact that we are blind
               to wavelengths below 380 nanometers and above 700.

Why can’t we be like 
                                       bees seeing ultraviolet,
						                                     snakes seeing infrared?
There are so many more colors to see,
               so much more to LGBT

Flags striped with 
               redswhitepinks, pinkpurpleblue, 
               pinkyellowblue, greenswhitegreyblack, 
               babybluebabypinkwhitereverse, yellowwhitepurpleblack,
scream our individual pride.

But these do not fly
                                       at PRIDE 
                                                          in New York;
my blackgreywhitepurple is missing from the flags. 
               Maybe it can be seen 
                                                          as an afterimage
    of the rainbow of pride.

I stare, count to 60, look away, blink.
               There we are:
an afterimage, a ghost, an inverted reflection 
               of the publicized version.	

Julia McConnell is a junior at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia; she is pursuing a degree in Animal and Poultry Science with minors in Language Studies and American Indian Studies. When not studying, she enjoys spending time with her friends, exploring the outdoors, weaving stories and tapestries, and planning her next adventure.

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