2020 Annual Literary Contest


Kirsten Oulton
Mississauga, ON

I’m having some trouble finding a box.
They don’t fit. Too large, too small, too many nooks, not enough crannies, or attachments I don’t know how to use.
The rules have changed and we’re trying to figure out how to comply.
Am I gay? On some kind of spectrum?
Do I need a box that describes my relation to my own biology, what kind of people I’d like to have relations with, and my behavioural norms?
I’m not sure I know the answer, and by the time I figure it out, I might have changed from where I was.
Does my orientation matter, if I’m married and I haven’t been looking, and can’t imagine what looking is like?
If I was looking, would I even see things the way I think I remember seeing them and feeling them when I was not what I am now?

I don’t have a problem with you or your choices or your truths.
Is there a box for that?

Sometimes, I feel like I can check some of the boxes, but I’m worried you’re not supposed to check them in the combination I want to.

This form says “Sex”. My options are “Male”, “Female”, or “Other”.
At this point in my life, I probably need one labeled “infrequent”.
Now that it’s clear I’m not going to be punished for admitting what I am, wouldn’t it be nice if I had the slightest clue what that was?

If I don’t pick a box will someone else pick for me?
If I don’t declare am I in danger of being boxed post-mortem with no chance of recourse?