An Argument for the Elimination of Second Place.

My opinions do not reflect those of this institution.

They gave me 30,000 dollars. They gave me 30,000 dollars and I left home at 17 and I learned how to carry a gun. And it was fun.

On my 18thbirthday, I threw grenades. And then I wept. I wept because I saw what a round, green thingcan do. I threw the grenade and then I wept into the arms of a brawny man and a round brown hat, like Smokey the Bear, except Smokey helps us prevent fire.

Learning how to be kill has been so much easier than learning how to love. I was ashamed to love.


The obvious: The white man in the white house with the white staff building up a white America: he’s kind of an idiot. For so many things. But relevant to this piece, he’s an idiot because he tried to stop queer people from killing. He can’t stop that. Lemme tell you:

I was queer and they let me kill. I am queer, and queer people have been killing since the first recruiters snaked their lacy green fingers around our throats and embarrassed us till we broke. Till we joined. Till we killed. Till we died.


I got $30,000 for college, and it was not free. I did not serve my country. I served myself. I served my embarrassment. I swallowed it down with the bile and the blood and the blue of a man’s face who choked to death under a truck in the middle of the desert.

I killed people for it. That money that I earned for college cost families their children and and Abdullah his daddy and Asif his brothers. 

I would spend every fucking penny and a great deal more to bring them back. Nothing is worth that. 

Not 30,000 dollars. Not a gun. Not a goddamn M16 or an AR-15 or any fucking amendment, especially not one in second place.

My opinions do not reflect those of this institution.