A prayer for love

We ask for prayer for the LGBTIQ2+ community in Colombia that is being systematically assassinated across the country. We ask for prayer for this community that creatively resists discrimination and violence. 
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A line of people stand behind a row of candles on the ground and the LGBTQ flag
A vigil in Barrancabermeja, Colombia, to honour the lives lost by violence against the LGBTQ2+ community.

This poem honours all of those who have died and those who continue to resist: you are not alone!

I

I still feel like a child,

and I still wish I was with all my soul.

I feel like I would not survive if I were alone in this world.

I ask God every night,

—because they have taught me that I must pray, and I do have faith—

because I am still a child,

and they have taught me that God fits into a simple prayer.

II

At family gatherings, I heard it said to everyone, “if I had a faggot son I would prefer he were a drug addict or a thief, or I would simply kill him.”

Because why would one want a fag for a child?

I saw everyone respond, “yes, yes, of course, why would you want to have a child like that,” and my mother agreed. I understood what was being said, and I felt every single one of those words and every one of the responses.

I also heard my relatives ask my mother why I was so feminine when I spoke and my mother responded that she didn’t know. 

III

When I hear that people want to kill me, I get very afraid.

I have seen death before, I have seen it in the streets and in the shops.

I have felt its blows, I have seen it in the eyes of my friends and family members.

That’s why I prayed before and why I pray now,

for my nightmares to stop,

for the nightmares to never return.

IV

My death wishes started early on,

the ghost of suicide with whom I speak since I was a child

has always been there.

I see him clearly,

I can tell him apart from my other emotions,

without knowing when I will be free of him.

I have spent many nights praying,

praying that my life will be different when I awake,

that tomorrow will be different,

that he won’t be there to greet me. 

V

When I was younger I prayed to change,

to become someone that they wanted me to be.

But as my faith changed

I started to pray that I would awake and become the person I want to be,

that I would become the man that I have hidden under all my prayers.

So that when I fall in love, people will see me as I am,

and they can see me bloom.

VI

I pray for love,

for God’s forgiveness,

for my mother to forgive me.

I continue praying that the world may love me,

that they may see me for who I am.

I often feel as though God doesn’t hear me,

I feel like I’m praying to a God who is deaf, blind, and mute.

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a graphic collage of women's faces of diverse colours, hair, and style. None of the faces have eyes or noses.

Violence against women must stop

Women across the world are subjected to many forms of violence by their husbands or families, including physical, verbal, and sexual violence.

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