June 29, 2017

‘Equality and Pride’ coming out through poetry

Hart L’Ecuyer has known he was bisexual since his senior year at St. Louis University Catholic High School. He felt like a minority there in terms of his sexuality. He has since accepted his bisexuality, but it wasn’t something he said he felt he could share with others.

With the promise of college and its freedoms ahead, L’Ecuyer wrote a long poem entitled “A White Cross.” He said his poem was a way of coming out to his family and friends before leaving for college.

When he got to Loyola University Chicago in the fall of 2011, L’Ecuyer was overwhelmed with trying to find himself. He transferred to Saint Louis University in the spring, but he didn’t complete any academic courses his freshman year of college.

“I felt more open, but I was just kind of lost,” L’Ecuyer said.

L’Ecuyer took a class at Webster University in Fall 2012, and has stayed ever since. He said life at Webster is a different story. He believes the environment is much more open and accepting, regardless of sexuality.

L’Ecuyer has been performing his poetry in front of audiences around the country for two years now. On Oct. 11, L’Ecuyer performed his works at the “Equality and Pride” poetry reading event. The event was on National Coming Out Day, a day for anyone in the LGBTQ community to celebrate their coming out.

Award-winning poet Yosimar Reyes, the main speaker of the night, performed poems and spoke about similar topics. Reyes, who also identifies as queer, tours at different campuses all over the country and spoke at Webster on National Coming Out Day.

“It’s a coincidence, but it’s really powerful that it happened today. It’s such a symbolic day,” Reyes said. “Specifically for queer people or for LGBTQ people, coming out is the biggest process. And I think the hardest thing you can do other than coming out to other people is coming out to yourself.”

L’Ecuyer showcased his writing during the open-mic session. The creative writing major says he would never miss out on an opportunity to share his work.

“I think poetry, spoken word events and music are perfect ways to look at an issue honestly and say, ‘let’s actually talk the nuances of the issue,’” L’Ecuyer said.

L’Ecuyer followed the night’s theme and read poetry about the issue of equality. He said his poetry especially applies to those looking for love but are not heterosexual.

“It’s about finding who you’re looking for, and the struggles people go through when they’re not looking for something that society gives them,” he said. “If you’re looking for a heterosexual relationship, society has all sorts of suggestions how to find it. And that’s changing, but it’s still true for now.”

Reyes said anyone struggling with accepting themselves or their sexuality should try to stay positive.

“There’s a purpose for you to be here,” Reyes said. “There’s somebody who really cares about you or somebody who looks up to you.”

 

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