Bourland and Hall: Shame (1994)

August 15, 2008

“Shame” from FLASHPOINT/STONEWALL (1994)
Music: Roger Bourland
Lyrics: John Hall
Chorus: Gay Men’s Chorus of LA, Jon Bailey, director
Video: Kim Paulsen
Published by Yelton Rhodes Music/Los Angeles
Alex Theatre, Glendale CA: 1994


As a a boy I was hated and called names
for being something different.
I did not understand.
I recognized the difference but could not comprehend
what that difference was.
I felt shame.

Later, as a young man
with sprouting hair and spouting hormones
I understood the difference.
I understood the difference
but could not comprehend the hatred.
I felt shame.

Mighty and powerful institutions of this
planet professing peace and love for all
excluded me and my kind
for being different,
for being who we are.
This was beyond my comprehension.
I felt shame.

What they fear is only me,
a creature of small significance,
a true minority.
Yet with my brothers and sisters of difference,
I matter.

Now, as I ripen to maturity,
I have no use for shame
and will not wait for comprehension.
For love expressed is surely blest by deities
remembered and forgotten.

The echoes of those hated names
and fears for being different
now clarify my life;
and being who I am,
different from the most, feels worthy.
I feel strength,
I feel honor,
I feel love
and I feel no shame.

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