10 LGBT Poems You Need To Read This Month
Celebrate Pride with LGBT poetry!
June is Pride month, a celebration for LGBTQIAP around the world for the progress we've made and a reminder for how far we still need to go. It shouldn't come as a surprise that there are plenty of extremely talented LGBT poets putting their heart and soul into their work. It's very reassuring to know more LGBT poems and poetry collections are being released than ever.
Poetry is an emotional form of writing and gives writers the chance to express themselves in a way prose doesn't easily allow. Those from disenfranchised groups like LGBTQIAP people, especially those that intersect with other minorities, have plenty to channel into poetry. We're just lucky enough to get the chance to read it.
We selected 10 fantastic LGBT poems you won't want to miss. Check them out, and let us know your favorite poem by an LGBT poem!
1. Rachel Wiley
Mixed Girl, White Mother
Mixed Girl, Black Father
Mixed Girl, White Mother's Hair
Black Father's Lips
patient while you pick and choose
what's exotic enough
sights thru tired jokes about how she only gets half of
Martin Luther King Day off work
White Mother's Guilt
Black Father's Survival
wonders if it's called passing because something dies inside each time
carries her blackness like Peter Pan's shadow shot down and
stitched desperately back to her heels
--excerpt from "Mixed Girl," Nothing is Okay
2. Morgan Robyn Collado
In the cracks of
In the notes that leap
from the Jazz bands
In the homes
and the seasons
--excerpt from "A poem for New Orleans," Make Love to Rage
3. Mary Lambert
want you to see the pretty parts of me, even
angle my face to seem thinner in the dark
i am afraid
of my exposed naked, mostly my ugly--
this is my body
and i am terrified
of the things it can & cannot do
--excerpt from "Why I Slept With Makeup On For Five Years," Shame Is an Ocean I Swim Across: Poems by Mary Lambert
4. Ocean Vuong
In the body, where everything has a price
I was a beggar. On my knees,
I watched, through the keyhole, not
the man showering, but the rain
falling through him: guitar strings snapping
over his globed shoulders.
He was singing, which is why
I remember it. His voice--
it filled me to the core
like a skeleton. Even my name
knelt down beside me, asking
to be spared.
--excerpt from "Threshold," Night Sky with Exit Wounds
5. Blythe Baird
Growing up, my mother taught me
that lipstick should be reserved
only for special occasions.
Now, I wear it all the time.
I am my own special occasion.
--from "Lipstick," If My Body Could Speak
6. Roberto F. Santiago
i was sent home today
because i had a pink eye
but they never sent me home
when i had a black eye
in the car daddy said
big boys don't cry
but i don't see one in the mirror
i wish mommy picked me up
mommy looks beautiful in her dress
i want to be just like her
but my teachers and daddy
and stupid sarah tell me i can't
i still want to anyways
--from "Florals," Nepantla: A Journal Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color, Issue 1
7. Andrea Gibson
She might be your type.
But I'm your exact font.
I am outside your window.
Throw down your hair.
I mean the hair you pulled from the drain
when you were cleaning your tub.
I want everything you have ever tried to wash away.
--excerpt from "Emergency Contact," Pansy
8. Jericho Brown
Dubbed undetectable, I can't kill
The people you touch, and I can't
Blur your view
Of the pansies you've planted
Outside the window, meaning
I can't kill the pansies, but I want to.
--excerpt from "The Virus," The Tradition
9. Franny Choi
Leaves stained onto the sidewalk from yesterday's storm create graygreen watermarks on the
pavement, like the negatives of pressed flowers, or the ghost of a letterpress still whispering up
from the page. A sidewalk is a haunting thing.
--excerpt from "Notes on the Existence of Ghosts," Floating, Brilliant, Gone
10. Rosamund Taylor
I can’t read the words
in your skull,
just the throb of your heat
against my thumb-bone
and how your eyes open
as the fin whale passes,
as the roof dissolves
over our heads.
--excerpt from "We Lose Our Edges"
Let's Keep the Conversation Going...
What are your favorite poems by LGBT poets?