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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Matt Kailey's Thanksgiving Coming Out Poem

For the past few days, I've been thinking about featuring another blog post with a Thanksgiving theme.  Thanksgiving, however, is not a world-wide holiday.  Indeed, many in the USA are not even aware that the 4th Thursday in November is exclusively an American holiday.  Even fewer, sadly, are aware that our neighbors to the north celebrate a similar Thanksgiving holiday on the second Monday in October.  

I guess what I'm trying to say is that a Thanksgiving post, might only apply to the American readers of T-Central and the last thing I want to do is to alienate our readers in other parts of the world or my co-TC administrators, Halle, in Canada, and Jenny, in England.

So, I looked around for just the right post.

And then it hit me.

Some of you may remember Matt Kailey's Tranifesto blog.  Matt transitioned from female-to-male, in 2007. It was a sad day in the LBGT world, when Matt died in his sleep, last May, at far too young an age.  His blog is still listed on T-Central.  His last post, Tranifesto Celebrates Five Years, was on March 31, 2014.

Every Thanksgiving, Matt posted his Thanksgiving poem.  It's funny, yet it is so true and, really, can apply to any holiday where family gather together.

With that said, I think it is quite appropriate that we honor Matt, by re-posting his Annual Thanksgiving Coming Out Poem.


A Thanksgiving Coming Out
By Matt Kailey
There’s a holiday coming on which we give thanks
For the wonderful things in our lives.
Not cell phones or new cars or what’s in the bank,
But our partners or husbands or wives.


We think of our loved ones as we plan our trips.
To see them will be a real treat.
And we know that the question on everyone’s lips
Will be, “When the heck do we eat?”


Now I’ve been through many a Thanksgiving feast
And lived to tell the story.
I can’t really rank them from most fun to least —
They all seemed a little bit gory.


There was one at my grandmother’s house, when she said,
“Let us each say what we’re thankful for.”
But before we could answer, my drunk Uncle Ted
Was sprawled out like a dog on the floor.


Another time everyone came to my place
With their offers to get in the way.
They crowded the kitchen and took up the space,
But at clean-up, they just couldn’t stay.


Then my sis tried her hand at the family feast,
With enough food to feed twenty-one.
But her poor old dog, Rover, that ungrateful beast,
Got there first and left us with none.


So, what’s really going on here? Are you excited? I mean —


Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends
Is supposed to be something quite dear.
But whatever your means and whatever the end —
Admit it. You’re quaking with fear.


There’s nothing exactly like gathering in thanks,
After wading through mountains of snow
With sweet Aunt Matilda and that slob Uncle Frank
And their passel of children in tow.


Then your psychotic brother
Arrives with his wife,
And you wish that he’d put down
That sharp carving knife.


And your parents announce
A Thanksgiving Day bet
That has something to do with
Why you’re not married yet.


And your nephew, who’s one,
Starts to laugh at his toes
And squirts mashed potatoes
From out of his nose.


And your cousin,
Who’s eighteen going on thirty-three,
Reaches under the table
And fondles your knee.


But the worst thing is going to somebody’s house
Who you’ve never laid eyes on before,
And eating strange food prepared by their spouse
And choking out, “Sure, I’ll have more.”


We all have our stories of Thanksgiving pain,
Of the sacrifice we’ve had to make.
Of the friends that we’ve lost and the weight that we’ve gained
And the turkeys that just wouldn’t bake.


Of the vegetables we couldn’t identify
And the rolls that were hard as a rock.
And the off-color jokes that we just let slip by
While our grandparents went into shock.


Even so, on Thanksgiving, there’s fun to be had.
You just have to know how to do it.
While you’re dealing with relatives, mother and dad,
You can do more than simply get through it.


Have some fun. I did. Here’s how.

One year, my grandmother confessed to me,
“I miss the old songs of my day.”
She sat at the piano, hands over the keys,
And she said, “Will you sing if I play?”


She started a melody, one that I know,
A song that began with a bang.
And I stood up and readied myself for the show,
Then I opened my mouth and I sang (to the tune of “Has Anybody Seen My Gal”):


Six foot two, eyes of blue,
Works on a construction crew.
Has anybody seen my guy?


Studly nose, knows the pose,
Has a million other beaus
Has anybody seen my guy?


If you see a fine dandy,
Handsome and slim
Diamond rings and all those things
You can bet your life it isn’t him


But could he love, could he woo
If you find him, you can, too,
Has anybody seen my guy?
(I really miss him)
Has anybody seen my guy?
(Come back to me, baby)
Has anybody seen my guy?


Well, my father jumped up and he started to scream.
My mother said, “Oh, no, oh, no.”
My aunts and my uncles turned six shades of green.
And my brother said, “I told you so.”


The house was in chaos, the family was crazed,
And nobody knew what to say.
Then my grandma said, “What’s wrong?” She seemed quite amazed
When my mom blurted out, “Oh, he’s gay.”


So my grandmother looked at me, up and then down,
And, at first, didn’t utter a thing.
Then she turned to my mother and said with a frown,
“He’s not gay. He can’t even sing.”


“And look at that hair! And those clothes!”

Though my Thanksgiving coming out could have been better,
There are some things we cannot foresee.
But I’m grateful my cousin, even though I would let her,
Has never again touched my knee.


And as for you —

If you feel like you’re getting the Thanksgiving blues
And fun things start feeling like chores,
And you’re dreading the sound of your relatives’ shoes
As they head up the walk to your door —


Just think of my story as you make your way
Through whatever the holidays bring.
And be glad that you didn’t find out, on Thanksgiving Day,
That your son, or your daughter …


can’t sing.




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