• Subscribe to The Spark

    A curated newsletter full of dinner-table worthy topics, thought provoking stories, promo codes and the spiciest memes straight to your inbox.

Sarah Yusuf Uses Poetry to Express her Pansexuality

2 min read

I grew up in a conservative, Bangladeshi Muslim household. For fear of getting kicked out of my house and getting forced to undergo conversion therapy, I dared not to speak about my preference for people who were not men. In political conversations with my parents, if I even expressed support for LGBT+ rights, my parents would ridicule me and go on a rant about how anything that differs from heterosexuality was haram and inherently un-Islamic. Even so, the homophobic environment I lived in while growing up set the foundations for my own internalized homophobia. For the longest time I felt guilty about who I was. However, I found my outlet through writing and poetry. “I Like” expresses the fluid nature of pansexuality. To me, being pansexual is freedom. My queer identity is just as important as being a Bangladeshi Muslim.

I Like

I like my tea as I like my boys.
Warm, soothing, and fiery as need be.
Let him love me until the dawn
While I pen these verses for him.
Tell him I need him as much as he does the sun.
I’m sorry I write too many a verse for you.
I didn’t mean it, but I just had to.
Forgive my past grievances.
I’m much too unlearned for this.
I say it so many times that I could choke on these three words:
I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.

I like my women as simply as I do the woodlands of my old city.
Fresh, pure of heart, and unabashed is the one for me.
Let her love be as clean as the pine scent after the rain,
And may her grasp on my palms be as soft as the magnolia petals.
The trees are hulking in their elevated beauty.
So, I cower before these women before me because my desires seem futile.
I won’t want to push away the one I want so bad.
You wouldn’t know if I loved you or not.
Give me a chance to cry about it, it’s fine.
It’s not the first time I’ve sobbed for my own sanity.

[Read Related: Cherry-Picking Equality: The LGBT Protests Including South Asian Parents Storming U.K. Primary Schools]