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Lifting off the Mask

“Tell me everything. Take the weight off your shoulders, and let me carry it on mine. Because you've been burdened by it for far too long.

-rest easy.”

― Parker Lee, DROPKICKromance

Parker Lee [they, them] is a trans goth poet formerly known as Cyrus Parker. They is a non-binary poet and storyteller. Some of their most famous works include DROPKICKromance, coffee days whiskey nights, masquerade, and shot glass confessional. They currently lives in New Jersey with their wife, Amanda Lovelace, a poetess. Their work revolves around self-exploration and finding oneself in the moments where we question our identity. These moments involved a lot of introspection and willpower in order for them to blossom into who they is now.

Their poetry reveals their personal journey and how they find out that non-binary was the gender identity best for them.

Transparency exists in all of their work, but masquerade possesses such a special meaning – we initially wear masks and have to take off that mask in order to be who we truly are.

This idea of finding your true self is one that all of us need to evaluate in our lives. We come from different backgrounds, places, and journeys, but we don’t have to let those things identify who we are or the way we want to be represented by them if we don’t want to. Sometimes, we become comfortable with our original way of being that it can be difficult to see ourselves other than what we can imagine. We can take as a piece of advice from the following poem in Lee’s book so that we never forget that we are capable of the change that we’d like to see within and outside of ourselves:

Tear off the mask

you’ve hidden behind

for so long. Step out

into the sunlight,

and let it kiss your skin.

run until you haven’t

a single breath left,

and take flight.

bathe in moonlight.

paint yourself with starlight.

break free from the world’s grip

and become your truest self.

you were always meant to be

your own universe.

— Parker Lee, the final masquerade from masquerade

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