At my baptism I received the name Keith

given to me, but not by me

My gender was also predetermined 

not by me, but for me

My sexuality was chosen for me

not by me, but for me

In the Army I was given an identity disc

by the authorities, not by me

I was dressed in clothes made for me

not chosen by me

How much of who I am is really me?

Am I the construct of others?

Does a real identity exist authentically for me?

I have struggled to discover who I am

not what others wanted me to be

Deep in my inner self I discovered the real me


My identity was given to me out of love

to be unique

To walk the paths of my choice

to learn what I needed to know

and to return home

better than when I left

◄ In Sharp Contrast

Passing Time ►


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jennifer Malden

Wed 23rd Jun 2021 17:59

So well put as usual! It can be complicated to know and come to terms with what we feel/know we are, not necessarily what other people want us to be.


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Martin Elder

Fri 11th Jun 2021 08:43

Beautifully forcefully and directly put as always Keith. I think this poem may resonate with many people in many different ways regardless of their own identity. I particularly like the whole notion of that which is put upon us by others.

Thanks for posting this.

Blessings to you my friend

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Wed 9th Jun 2021 01:30

Well done Keith.

One needs to reach a point in live to ask this questions for various reasons..

One of my first poems I posted was something similar, asking the question

Who am I...

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Stephen Gospage

Fri 4th Jun 2021 17:03

An interesting and moving poem, Keith.

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J.D. Bardo

Fri 4th Jun 2021 16:26

Thanks for this Keith. This fits well with it being Pride month. I have been thinking a lot about identity recently, and am taken with the lines from this poem, "I have struggled to discover who I am, not what others wanted me to be. Deep in my inner self I discovered the real me" A friend said to me this morning that deep in my inner self I will find God, I want to add to that, that deep in my inner self I feel I will find what God really wants for me. My identity !! Happy Pride month Keith. Fly your flag proudly. J.D.

<Deleted User> (31922)

Fri 4th Jun 2021 16:22

We are what we think. In reality we are but pure souls ?

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