Community//

On Representation & Confronting the Hidden Self

“The thing about hiding one thing about yourself for ten years is that it warps your perception of the real you”

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

Originally published on thecollegegay.com

For my poetry class, I read a powerful poem from Yanyi’s The Year of Blue WaterIn the collection of the poems, the speaker grapples with their repressed sexuality, the illusory nature of the self, the power of writing, and community. This poem especially resonated with me because of the way it profoundly illuminates how often we hide the truest parts of ourselves from our conscious mind.

You can buy the poem book on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/3fofY39

“For three years, I watch any TV that I hear of with lesbian characters. I say lesbian because that is what I was looking for at the time, and because there wasn’t much differentiation in TV shows then. I streamed what I could. This was only possible when the computer was in my room, a hot brick of plastic: a door. The women were white, but that I ignored in the very rare faces of longing. I saw myself in longing: right before the kiss, looking without having to look away, being made of so much and finally landing somewhere, anywhere, with someone who would love this part of me.

The thing about hiding one thing about yourself for ten years is that it warps your perception of the real you. What you must protect against all odds becomes your defect, your truth, your failure, your success. It becomes the most authentic thing you have because you have no means of going further, of wanting more. There were consequences for knowing myself. I didn’t want to want more” (45).

Although we have made strides in representing underrepresented people in the media, there is still a lot more work to be done. Yanyi powerfully illuminates how hard we often work to seek out stories that reflect our own understanding of ourselves and our place in the world. Ironically, it is through watching these fictitious stories that we can uncover genuine parts of ourselves that we would rather not. Although it is challenging, it is so rewarding to dip into what is momentarily uncomfortable to feel permanently authentic and liberated.

    Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

    You might also like...

    Thrive Global on Campus//

    On Representation & Confronting the Hidden Self

    by Luke Markinson
    Community//

    Meet World Again -Cinepoem

    by Jaz Vergara
    Community//

    Poetry, Pain, & Wholeness

    by Nadia Colburn
    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.