You Deserve To Exist

I know what it’s like to be,

Queer & Afraid.

They say you are strong,

Brave.

But right now, you are not.

It’s okay to take shelter

In the haven of your own mind.

It’s true what they say about the closet.

Sometimes it’s easier to hide in the dark.

 

But the sun will rise,

The stars will shine.

Everyone who has feared,

Just as you have,

Has looked at the same sky.

Your eyes illuminate with wonder

Everytime you look up.

The earth will continue to move

And so will you.

 

I am your refuge.

I am here:

To listen to your words

To feel your pain

To love you.

 

Life is a kaleidoscope of memories.

Fragments of good and bad

Spun into one another,

Colliding and morphing with every twist and turn.

It looks like broken glass

Illuminated by colors and shapes

Swirling into one another.

And it’s beautiful.

 

Don’t forgot:

The only acceptance you truly need is your own.

A heart full of love shines brighter

Than a heart full of hate.

Find solace in yourself.

Be kind to your body.

Though it may be threaded

With fear.

 

Remember to feel.

You deserve what is good.

You cannot see beauty without ugly.

You cannot see strength without fear.

Life is bountiful of hope

No matter how treacherous they journey may be.

 

You are a living being. You deserve to exist.

You Can Lie Down or Get Up And Play: Taylor Mac’s A 24 Hour History Decade Project

I first learned about the performance artist and theatrical powerhouse that is Taylor Mac through a Race, Gender, and Performance class in college. We read judy’s play Hir, which inspired my classmates to have a discussion surrounding gender identity and a trans person’s relationship to their family. I left the class feeling like everyone around me had a greater consciousness for the multiplicity of the trans experience and was a little less afraid to engage in them. During that class, I wrote a paper about  “militant visibility” and “hegemonic gender identity” in solo shows for a theatre conference in which I sampled some of Taylor Mac’s work and where I became aware of the show I would months later see. I purchased tickets for said show, knowing it would be a thrilling and momentous experience. I thought I was ready to see Taylor Mac live.

Nothing prepared me for the experience I had when I saw Taylor Mac’s 24 Hour History of Popular Music. 

Villanelle Poem: Wonder / Desire

Wonder / Desire

A villanelle, by Colleen E. Smith

 

Wonder; cause of astonishment,

Life’s daily invite.

Bewildered curiosity with no consent.

 

Frequent occurrences circumvent,

Daring to take your sight

Of wonder, causing astonishment.

 

A sun that rises and descends,

Blooming dawn and twilight,

Bewilders curiosity, with no consent.

 

A woman’s love, relentlessly persistent,

Patient, kind, and erudite.

Wonder; cause of astonishment.

 

A desire thought to be senescent,

Proven untrue beneath moonlight,

Bewildered curiosity, with no consent.

 

Her, walking away… My self-abasement,

Unbeknownst it would be our only night.

Wonder; cause of astonishment…

Crippling bewilderment with no consent.

The Horror Nook: Gerald’s Game

Hello and welcome to The Horror Nook! This is the first segment in a series where I’ll be bringing you reviews on horror media, as well as some original horror of my own. If you like to linger in the dark, come with me as I shine some light on the beautiful, the grotesque, and the true in horror. 

In Gerald’s Game, Jessie moves through her compounded traumas not with vengeance, but with difficult, compassionate, self-healing.

 

Trigger warning: sexual assault, rape, child abuse

This post contains explicit references to sexual assault, rape, and child abuse. Please be warned before opening the full post.

Borderlands /// A Poem in Three Parts

Trigger Warning: this post contains the use of slurs.

 

I. Reconciliation

I exist
at the border of two lies,
constructed only to oppose
one another.
They pull and tug at my flesh,
construct the parts of me
that make me whole,
but tear me down again.

We are the trannies,
the faggots,
the dykes,
the cunts,
the queers.
We are the ones
who so acutely
understand this lie.
Because we are the ones
who so acutely
are scarred
again & again
by its existence.

They mark us male,
they give us blue beanies
& tell us not to cry,
they tell us to live in the world
as us
is to assert,
to dominate,
through every example,
Violence leads our lives

Or they mark us female,
guided into submission
insecurity tightened into our blood
every man painted a threat
to our existence,
But further, as
the final goal,
the one that will justify our bodies,
Violence leads our lives, too.

how to pretend to be straight for her, vol. 1

  1. Ask to borrow her lipstick. Imagine her lips beneath yours, all pink and bright sparks against your skin, willing and soft. Thank her. Know you will only ever get her mouth by stealing it quietly.
  2. When she sleeps over and borrows your shirt to sleep in, don’t think too hard about it. Don’t think about how she looks better in it than you do. Don’t think about how that turns you on instead of makes you jealous. Don’t think. You’re just a teenager. This is normal. This should feel normal. It won’t feel normal.
  3. She’ll leave her shirt from the day before crumpled in a heap next to your bed accidentally. You notice it when she’s brushing her teeth in the morning. Don’t tell her it’s there. When you hug her goodbye, think about her shirt next to your bed, hidden away like a secret you didn’t mean to make. Let go of her sparrow-wing shoulders quicker than you think is necessary. Take her false smile as penance.
  4. Use it as a pillowcase. Hurt yourself by breathing. Let your lungs coat with her flower-scented dryer sheets and hope. Breathe out. Throw the pillow across the room. Scream the hope out.
  5. When you hug her, hold your breath. Don’t bury your head in her hair. It will smell like the pillow you slept on for two weeks until it smelled more like you than her. Let go first. Breathe out. Smile.
  6. Go to a bar and smirk at the first guy who looks at your legs. Make out with him in the bathroom because his hips are thin and fit in your palms like you think hers would. You’ll have to crane your neck too much for it to feel right, but it will be good enough for now.
  7. Write I’m going to ruin you on every scrap of paper you can find. Throw them all away.
  8. She’ll tell you a story about how she kissed a girl when she was drunk. She’ll laugh the whole time, eyes bright. She describes it like kissing her own palm. Laugh and wish you could kiss her palm, too.
  9. Go to a bar and smirk at the first girl who looks at your legs. Make out with her in the bathroom because you want to get even, you want to make sure that you’re going to destroy this in the worst way possible. Hate yourself for loving it. Pull away and pretend like you’re not crying as you run to your car. Drive home faster than you should and hope you crash along the way. You won’t. Instead, you’ll fall asleep listening to the voicemail she left you three weeks ago about how her dog learned a new trick. Tears will fall in time with her laugh. Find new ways to fall in love with the way her mouth holds joy.
  10. The next time you see her, don’t tell her about the girl in the bathroom. Realize that her eyes are your least favorite color. Let that be enough. Find new ways to fall out of love with the way her eyes hold joy.

Do It Yourself Pride: Celebrating without the Parade

My fiancé and I chose to forgo the NYC Pride Parade. Instead, we tried to find what Pride meant to us. 

Pride month is a busy time for a lot of people who are LGBTQIA+ identified. If you are a service or entertainer that works with our community, it’s a month of overtime and extra vigilance. For all that attend –  a time to come together with other LGBTQIA+ persons and allies and take up the space we’re so often denied. I know Pride month intimately. I know the time, energy, and money it takes to raise a city of tents and barricade the streets so we can bedeck them with glitter, sweat, and sentiment. I have gone to both New York City Pride and my local Hudson Valley pride for years and gleaned so much hope and energy from the day, even though after my painted on beard or cut-crease eye has melted away I am always left sunburnt and sore.

A gay flag with a PepsiCo logo on it, announcing a Partnership with Pride. Taken from the @nycpride Instagram.

However, this year my fiancé  and I missed my local pride in and admist moving in together and when the time to come to the infamous New York City Pride parade, we…didn’t know if we wanted to go. We didn’t feel like celebrating, we felt like rioting. We are a very conscious pair and our constant canvassing for the world to do better – on social media, through our jobs, in everyday conversation – left us tired and defeated in many ways. While other years the Pride parade has been something we loved, we still booed at cops – knowing that we wouldn’t have a Pride parade if it wasn’t for the Stonewall riots, which were essentially a riot against police violence against our community. We still scowled when we saw bank after bank float down the road, interspersed between the banners and flags of the organizations that don’t have the money to drown everybody else out with their huge speakers.

What did we do instead? …

Down Wit Da Cause Podcast: Ep 1 – Pxssy Powah Feminism!

What is “Pussy Power!” Feminism? Critiquing Mainstream Feminism, Pussy Hats and Sisterhood Ain’t Dead Y’all.

 

Welcome to the first installment of Queerie’s monthly Down Wit Da Cause Podcast by Cat Keefe-Harris. How do we celebrate the vagina inclusively? Listen and think!

RoyalTea: Medulla Oblongata

“That might sound a little pretentious.  Medulla’s a little pretentious, though. You can put that in.”

 

Hey all!  Welcome back for the newest installment of RoyalTea, where we corner and pester the drag performers you should be following! Performers who can thrash and bash, who aren’t afraid to get down and dirty and who DO NOT smoke cigarettes, thank you very much.

Welcome to her channel: this week, we got to interview local Hudson Valley queen, the aptly named, Medulla Oblongata (The Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End).  When you’re in her trance, she is a cone-shaped neuronal mass responsible for your autonomic (involuntary) functions ranging from vomiting to sneezing.  We sit down and discuss the chaotic and unpredictable whirling entropy that shrouds Medulla’s life.

Indescribable

I will try to describe the indescribable

I will try to put into words the emotions crossing through my mind when I think of you

It’s not easy

So bare with me

It is this avalanche of words that decides to clog up my throat

Denying me the ability to make any sound  

So this explains the unique moments in which you leave me speechless

Especially when no one is around

It is your soft breath as it caresses my skin when we intertwine

Our bodies into a sculpture

One too original to duplicate.

Have you ever seen the way your eyes gleam when you smile?

Those eyes always have me in denial

Of the cheesy things I want to say

In the moments you’ve had me vulnerable

When you call me beautiful

And I feel naked for a better sense of the word

You don’t physically take my clothes off to be intimate

Instead you peel me from within

Kiss me with the lips

you use to talk

Your eyebrows

I love how they mesh together at the arch

Your face as it curves at the waterfall of your cheeks and plummets to your chin

Raw moments when you hold nothing in

It is the nasty things you want to do

It is the fact that you are truth

Let me really try to describe what I feel for you.

It is the smell

After rain

When you are deep in the forest

Raw, full, distinct.

No way of confusing that with anything

when there is nothing like it

It is the feeling that a roller coaster creates at the pit of your stomach

As it fuels you with adrenaline

And you can’t get enough

You are my addictive rush

A combination of all the reasons why I’ve ever smiled

Yet feel like I haven’t smiled enough

Let me tell you something

I don’t have to see you naked to know the redefined jewels that you possess

Your mind

Your spirit

Your heart

Not even diamonds could play those parts

For you are priceless

You

A combination of words that I have yet to come up with 

A description of the perfect sentence for the imperfectly perfect woman

It is not easy, for you are indescribable, yet still I’m here trying to do it.