I performed this at the Hatred Hurts All Conference on May 17, the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.

Do you remember the Wilderness Years?

The years between 18 and 25.

The years of hope and longing,

When everything was new.


Do you remember the worry?

Of being excluded, of not fitting in?

Of not being, in some way

A bona – fida member of LQBT Gay.


Do you remember feeling overwhelmed?

Being tossed about in life’s jet stream,

Bewildered by, what the fuck,

Or who, was going on?


Do you remember those lost years?

The sex, the drink, the drugs, the clubs

So many new faces, new places

Some good, some bad, some ugly.


Those who can remember it,

Have passed through it.

Those who can remember it,

Have survived it. Some don’t.


18 to 25 .The highest statistic

Of disenchantment and depression

Of death by suicide or misadventure

Within our community


It doesn’t have to be that way

Those can be happy care-free years

Celebrating all that is great, good & gay.

Supported by love and wisdom.


Let us light a beacon in our hearts,

To guide those young men and women

The sons & daughters, the next generation,

Who now navigate, The Wilderness years.


The website of the LGBT Poet Laureate, where diversity, poetry and the LGBT community are celebrated