How can I exist when the world is telling me “no.”?
When everything I’ve ever known is being compromised?
I cannot rise
For there are forces all around
Trying to muffle the sound
Attempting to suppress the noise
Of my loud, proud voice.

How can I live
When the world is telling me that
I should not exist?
That the color of my skin is no gift,
But the reason I must persist.
The reason I have to be 20 times the fighter
Than someone who is 7 shades lighter.

It’s not right a man with half my renowned talent
Gets to bring home twice the amount of money at the end of the day
And say what you may, I deserve equal pay.
The work I do surpasses his.
Yet in this cruel, corrupt biz
My needs mean less than his.
How can you justify this?

Do you believe it is right being called a fag, a dyke
By those around me who were supposed to tell me “honey its alright”
That I cannot walk with her down the street and hold her hand
Because of the judgment and the terrifying thought that crosses mind
That some homophobic swine
Will lay a hand on my beautiful girl
Just because his beliefs and ours don’t mesh
He will beat a happy couple half to death.

The world tells me that I should be stupid and ignorant
Just because my parents were immigrants
That I won’t finish school
That I’ll end up pregnant
Cause English was not my first language
Cause there’s nothing else for me to do
Than pop out a kid or two.

How can I be alright
When for a year my love was there
My heart in the palm of your hand
Just seeking for a chance
To be loved for who I am
To be accepted and completed.

Well now my heart is bleeding on the floor
Because you love another
Cause you did not bother to say
Your heart was straying away
You just smiled and lied
And said you loved me
While you were falling for someone new
Someone you’ll now pursue.

Friends, you now see what I am struggling through
It is hard to wake up and smile
When every once in a while
Scratch that.
Every day. You feel like death is the only escape.

But despite all this wreckage
I will leave you with a simple message.
Do not hide who you are.
You are a powerful independent girl
Who will some day change the world.

There will be chaos and strife.
But my friend, we’ve gotta strive

To be women who will win this fight.
To be women who will undoubtedly Rise.

By Sasha