“Mirror Image”
By Freya Deshae C. Greathouse
Songsong Village, Rota

She looked in the mirror such a sight to be seen

Her eyes full of wonder, yet nowhere serene. 

She tells herself it's a phase, perhaps influenced by the media, 

The desire to be accepted has become the main criteria.

She fears being shunned by the norms of society, and labelled as taboo. 

Though what can she say? What can she do?

It's been this way for centuries, decades, and years,

Countless hours, minutes, and seconds of prejudice leers.

She can only hope for the growth in humanity, 

Where kindness and respect are bound in unity and harmony

Where the standard of equality is practiced with just,

These foundations she feels are surely a must.

For a world where she can hold her head high, 

A world where there is no place to deny,

A world she forever dreams...hopes...wishes...pray

A world she can live freely in, each and every day.

But alas...even as the world began to shape new perspective,

Fear still remains as her own true deceptive.

She looks in the mirror, one last time before leaving, 

Her eyes glazed with pretense, her smile deceiving. 

She looks in the mirror adjusting each side, 

Feeling defeated that she still needs to hide. 

Completely deflated, and as always unsure,

He adjusts his composure and walks out the door.

In recognition of Pride Month —a time to celebrate inclusion and diversity, while also recognizing the need to continue advocating for equal rights and opportunities for all— Marianas Variety has partnered with the Northern Marianas Humanities Council to celebrate diversity in our community. The submissions are from the Humanities Councils' Pride Talks writing contest. The Council is pleased to collaborate with Marianas Variety in sharing and publishing the winning submissions every Wednesday for the month of June. All the winning works will also be on display at the NMI Museum and presented at various Pride events throughout the month. For more information about how you can join the Council in celebrating Pride this year, check out nmhcouncil.org or follow the Council on Facebook or Instagram (@670humanities).

NMHC Pride Talks has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy Demands Wisdom. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this feature do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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