They assure me I'm among friends. They say they love me like their God does. Oh how I hope it is true! Could it be, that I could find a place to be and rest? Where I could belong? I fear with all my might that they will see the me that's inside of me. I edit my words. I tell my story with caution. I read their faces. for any reaction that says I don't belong. He cracks a harmless joke. But a word was used that's always used against me and my kind. Like a turtle, I'll let them eye my presentable shell. But my self will stay hid. I alone belong with me. The image is a cropped portion of the artist Tim Lowly's painting, Testimony of Transience (Steve the "Queer").