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Poetry Winners

An email update from our 2013 first place winner India Pringle:


This is India Pringle writing to tell you that I have completed my first semester with a 3.36 GPA! I could not have done that with out your help. Because of you, I had all of my books, and could study and learn like I should. I’m sorry I have not written to you in a while, but boy have I been busy. I knew I would be busy, but honestly that is an understatement. It was more like an overload! For the holidays we have had a full month off and I have over relaxed, but it feels so nice to be able to. I hope your holidays have been going well, and on top of everything, I hope YOU are well! I can not begin or even finish telling you how thankful I am to you and everyone else over at Dare2Care and in the Feng Clinic, and I hope everything is well with everybody there! (Received January 2014).

2013 Poetry Competition:
“Live and Let” Live Winners

1st Place – India Pringle – “Who Dares Judge Me”

You’ve got something to say, I’d like to hear it
I’d like to hear that I’m so different
From you, and you, and everyone else
About something that I can’t help.
I am who I am, and nothing’s changin’.
For you I won’t keep my life hangin’
Around waiting for you to realize I’m a real person
I’m not exactly the type to let my heart keep hurtin’
Just like everyone I grew up and blossomed.
And if you ask me, I’m pretty awesome!
From a seed to a flower, from a flower to a tree.
See that tree stands tall, guess what? That’s me!
That tree took root, in the solid ground
And guess what? Every single limb is hangin’ around.
I’d love to watch you judge me, put on your best show
Teach me something new, show me what you know.
I look in the mirror every single day.
Memorized every detail and I’ve got something to say:
Love is love no matter where you find it
No matter who it is, as long as both hearts fit
What my lips touch, is only to be judged
By that person I so dearly love
At the very end of the day
It’s my original way
That makes me unique
In everything I speak
In everything I do
I am one not a few
Never many, I am my own person
Just like you, so don’t let me keep hurtin’
By continuing to put me down
Dragging me on the ground
Because I refuse to let that happen
I can’t be easily ruined or soiled like satin
I am strong willed like that tree
I have great power off of which I feed
I cannot be defined by you
Everything about me is a powerful hue
Because I can be defined by me
My definition’s as simple as can be
I am ONLY me.

2nd Place – Anonymous – “With Roses in His Hand”

My daddy always taught me
To be a loving man.
When you find a woman, Son, always hold her hand.”
Show up after work with roses,
And give her a big kiss.
Write a random letter,
Just to show you care.
But daddy, what if that’s not the case?

Will you still love me, daddy
When I hold his hand?
What about when I give him roses,
Or kiss another man?
Or what about when I write a letter,
Telling him he’s special?
Hey daddy, will you still love me then?

I have never told you daddy.
I’m sorry if you cry.
I have cried many times,
Just not in front of you.
I wish I had someone there to hold my hand.
Someone to tell me I’m special,
With roses in his hand.

And, will you care
When he asks me to dance:
In front of all who are watching
With roses in his hand?

“Son, I will always love you.”
Let me give you a big hug.
A true man tells his feelings
To anyone he loves.
I feel honored you trust me,
And I will always be your dad.

And let me tell you something,
I will always stick by this:
When you are out there dancing,
With that other man,
Let me hold your roses
Safely in my hands.

3rd Place – Rebecca Pappenhagen – “Make A Pact”

What’s your deal?
So what I’m lesbian
I’m a human being and not to be feared
I’m not a giant hairy spider.
So don’t hide me away
Like a dirty secret,
Or talk about me like I don’t exist
I’m a real person and not a fairytale monster.

Don’t call me names either
Don’t call me fag, or dyke,
Or throw me away
I’m not garbage.
Or say that if I find the right man I’ll be fixed or cured
I’m not a broken lamp and homosexuality isn’t a disease
Don’t avoid me because you’re afraid of “catching it”
It’s not the plague I’m not contagious
I don’t tease you because your race or religion
Didn’t you ever learn the “do unto others” theory?
So let’s make a pact
I don’t tease you and you don’t tease me

Let’s make a pact
You don’t have to agree with my sexuality
All I ask is that you don’t use it as a way to dehumanize me
Let’s make a pact
You don’t even know me
You don’t have to love me
Just don’t bully me


Winning Poems from Dare2Care 2011
Poetry Competition

This Cinderella Shoe

1st Place
by Mary-Kate Krizman Freshman at University of Akron 

Today, in our society, there is only black and white.
There is never any in-between, there’s only wrong and right.
I had been raised a certain way, to uphold certain views,
These are the ideas I didn’t know would divide the red, white, and blue:
That normal girls should buy makeup and always style their hair,
That suits, tuxes, ties and buzz cuts were only for the boys to wear.
Before I understood the truth, I thought only girls would play with dolls,
And that boys were the only ones interested in tossing pigskin footballs.
My favorite movies used to be the ones that preached of love,
Those fairytales said each princess was sent a prince from God above.
But what about the people for whom this story isn’t true?
The women and men who don’t quite fit this Cinderella shoe:
Your son or daughter, niece, or nephew, grandchild, or best friend:
The ones who pray your love for them will never ever bend.
Would you turn your back on her? Or would you turn her away?
Would you ignore the courage it took for her to tell you she was gay?
And what about him? What about the body? Would you tell him he was sick
If the thing that made him happiest was a little rouge or some lipstick?
Who’s to choose you who you will meet? Or who will hold your hand?
A universal definition for love is written not on stone but in sand.
So if you love somebody who’s transsexual, bisexual, or gay,
Please stop and take a moment now to say you’d have them no other way.

Just Like You

2nd Place
Seth Wyckoff from Lake Ridge Academy

So you can date him without ridicule,
But the moment I think of it
The world shuts me out.
But I will be the one to change opinions,
With my actions against hate
To those just like me.
We will stand strong against threats,
Hold our ground no matter what.
Fight for my right to love.
Just like you.

I might dress differently then you.
I might talk in a different tone.
I might wish for different desires.
I might love differently.
But I know we are the same inside.
We both are human,
We both want it all,
We both want to love.
I want to be able to show it,
Just like you.

I don’t want to hide my emotions,
Behind a false wall.
I want to show him all the love,
Like you would.
Would give anything in the world,
Just to love,
Like you.

I Was Your Daughter

3rd Place
by Haley Kuhns from Roosevelt High School

I was your daughter
Before I was an alien in your eyes
Before she held my hand and made me feel alive.
Before I was free to be me.
Before my flag bared rainbow stripes.
Before I was proud of that girl in the mirror.
Before your unconditional love ended.
I was your daughter