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Bathe Me Clean

why we need Pride

By angela hepworthPublished 29 days ago 2 min read
Top Story - June 2024

i was once a warped girl

a fallen child

plagued by a sickness

that could not be cured by Him

it was an ailment i could not voice

the inner mechanisms of my holy mind

led astray by a bodily betrayal

haunting my darkest days and nights

tossing and turning to make it all fall silent

to ignore it, to silence my desires

i hated to see them the way i did

nausea gripped my throat when i stared at

the way they blossomed like flowers

before my soulless, treasonous eyes

long legs and smooth, bare skin

i could not look away until it was over

i wanted to scream and cry

to tear my heated cheeks from my face

to rip my beating heart from my chest clean out

i begged Him to make me change

to wrench this soul from my broken body

to bathe me clean

to decimate this body of traitorous evil, of sin

for there is no sin as condemned

as disgusting and demented

as this

even for a child

i was sick

and i knew it

and if the Lord could not save me

then i was damned

for i could never save myself

no person could save me from this Hell

they all knew what i was

a monster, a threat to all we knew

and there was no hiding this shame

my fingers were covered in it

and my face was battered black and blue

by the blows of my own resentment

Lord, bless me with your love

something has to change for me

i wish to love you as a different type of person

i wish for you to gut me from the inside out

to scrape back my flesh from my face

and make me anew in your image

to fix this twistedness about me

my withheld salvation aches in my chest, Lord

this child’s heart

is one of rotted darkness


First off — Happy Pride to all my fellow LGBTQ+ Vocal friends! 🏳️‍🌈 The world is suffering right now, but it’s important to remember the strides our societies have made for our community to keep our heads up high and keep fighting for peace and justice everywhere, for everyone.

This was a bit of a personal piece for me centered around religious trauma and guilt from a young age. I might do a few follow up poems as well to showcase where I am now with myself as an openly bisexual woman who no longer indentifies as a Christian. In so many ways I am very lucky — there are so many queer people who have been hurt by the Church or abandonned by their families because of their sexuality, and I am not one of them. But as I’m sure many queer people who belong or have belonged to the Church can relate to, there is a lot of shame. A lot. And you should never feel ashamed for being who you are or loving who you love.

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About the Creator

angela hepworth

Hello! I’m Angela and I enjoy writing fiction, poetry, reviews, and more. I delve into the dark, the sad, the silly, the sexy, and the stupid. Come check me out!

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Comments (30)

  • Lily Séjor3 days ago

    This poem hits very hard and is beautiful. It's horrible to see how many of us have accepted that it's normal to hate themselves. We all deserve better. I have been afraid because of the threat of violence but never ashamed. I wish all the baby queers (and older queers) a lot of self-love and acceptance. Thanks for your poem. 💛

  • vanesa stories16 days ago

    Preciosa historia 🥰

  • Congratulations on your powerful top story! 🎉🎉🎉

  • Rachel S23 days ago

    Nice job! Every sickness can be cured by G-d!

  • Sarah Wilcox24 days ago

    Intensely moving and amazingly written! Congratulations on top story this deserves it! I look forward to reading more of your pieces 🫶

  • The Dani Writer25 days ago

    Emotive writing that captures... Congratulations for the deep delve and coming up top story!

  • Fly Alone25 days ago

    a profound sense of hopelessness and suffering.

  • Congrats on your top story.

  • Novel Allen27 days ago

    Very heartfelt and personal truths here. Freedom is a great feeling. Congrats.

  • You poured your heart out here and I feel this is a very important piece about religious terror, trauma and subjugation. I really felt this one. Hugs from me! Beautiful piece I hope you are healing ❤️‍🩹

  • And congrats for top story!!

  • So powerful and vulnerable.. gosh this made me ponder on the point of religion and personal freedom.

  • Mihaela Dragu 27 days ago


  • Kenny Penn27 days ago

    A very powerful poem, Angela. I’ve got quite a few scars of my own from the church, they could learn a thing or two from the one they claim to worship. Congrats on a well deserved top story

  • Back to say congratulations on your Top Story! 🎉💖🎊🎉💖🎊

  • C. D. Guzman28 days ago

    Lord this child’s heart is one of rotted darkness. Such a beautiful peace.

  • So much twisted grief and pain in this poem here, really poignant. Really... sour in a way. But also so damn vulnerable. Thank you for sharing this with us. #HAPPYPRIDE Side note: if you're looking for that supportive af Vocal queer breakfast club, we're on Facebook under Queer Vocal Voices. Check it out if you're interested :)

  • Kodah28 days ago

    Awww Angela🥺 Emotional yet beautifully executed ❤️ Sending lots of love and hugs!

  • CHRISTIAN P29 days ago

    Always on point Angela ❤️

  • Gael MacLean29 days ago

    Powerful and sad....

  • A nice topic Angela! Liked it.

  • Hannah Moore29 days ago

    I was glad of the explanatory note, because you made what you felt sound so awful I feared what it might be - and so now I reflect that for a doctrine to make you feel that what you felt was this awful is a hideous distortion of the notion of love. I'm glad you have learnt not to see yourself through that lens.

  • I'm so sorry you had to go through that 🥺 I used to believe in religion but not anymore, since 2021. Like it suddenly hit me that it's all man made and it doesn't even make sense. Also, if God is Love, then why is there so much Hate from those who worship God? Your poem was so poignant, intense and emotional. I loved it!

  • Rachel Deeming29 days ago

    Aw, Angela. There are so many ways that religion is used to make people feel like they are committing a sin and you know, if God is Love, then how can this be so? I'm glad you had support and I'm glad that you are comfortable with who you are. This is a very personal piece and I feel privileged to have read it.

angela hepworthWritten by angela hepworth

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