lgbt

motha how could you eva? a poem fo Hydeia

Written for World AIDS Day 2019


condoms wrappers sealed

sperm dripz hips

grab mouf spread

legz open screamz

once held

cryd

once

but now  i

have

h

 Began to make the an “h” sound.

 

will my baby?

 

screamz

i have it

burns so bad

uterus gag

i have it

& aint no

faggit stuck hiz

dick in me

i have it

&

aint nobody raped

me

 

motha puffed

& stuck

skin wit random

penz

& gave me

& took

& she neva said

im sorry

it was an accident

if only i had known

i wouldntve

nuffin-she-said-nuffin

i just want ta be normal

i just want ta live

itz lyke leachez

are jawing at da baq

of my eye ballz

i caint see anythang but red

im scared dat one day im gonna look up

from a wheel chair

im gonna sneeze & my heart will stop fovea

im gonna cry & cough & laugh & blood will spritz out &

i aint prepared fo errybody to stare

at me

at it

 

im scared ta kiss anyone

i stay in wen itz below 70 degreez

i canit gitta cold

im sore

from peeling awf

& slicin wartz

it

makez me tenda

motha

how could you eva?

i am ashamed

of it

it iz ashamed

of me

da way itattacks me

& i aint do shit but be born

its ashamed

its a shame

i have

H.I.V

& didnt have a choice fo

it


Lester Mayer’s new poetry book “African Booty Scratcha (Lovin Da Ashy-Blaq Fat Hall Wit Yella Teef, Peasy Head & A Broken Smile) is available for purchase on Amazon and Kindle now. 

Trans Empathy – Or, You misgendered me & I thanked you.

Today, my boss apologizes for misgendering me and I thank her.

I work in a very grey office out of a very grey cubicle in a big grey building where a little grey headset streams to me a constant flood of angry patrons who every day find a new way to assume my womanhood based on my voice. My boss, who is by all accounts a very nice woman, is usually very good about my pronouns. I know that every time she talks to or about me I would be able to breathe for a moment – something I do very rarely on the job.

For some reason, however, she misgendered me last week.

I felt as though my one tie to reality in a place where I constantly feel unreal had betrayed me. Office atmospheres are deceiving – they turn everything into the mundane.  It is easy to seem like you are not crushed because everybody behind a computer screen and a cubicle is always some level of crushed. Pain simply fades into the white noise of the place.

I knew this and I couldn’t stand it. I had to make sure she knew this mattered to me. I needed to know I could look hold onto this tiny anchor of sanity to which my boss was the tether.

I sent an email. This was a big deal for me. The last time I tried to assert my pronouns in a work setting, I was assaulted and then fired.

Queeries comes back tomorrow!

Bright eyed and ready for the new year, Queeries returns with new content starting tomorrow!

A lot has happened in the world since we last wrote for you.

Like, a lot a lot.

Let’s make some art about it.

Check back every Monday and Friday for new work! 


And keep in mind we’re still selling the second Volume of Queeries Zine – “SAFE” to benefit Trans Lifeline! Pick up a digital or print copy at a pay-what-you-can price here! The zine will only be on sale until we release our new seasonal zine come March, so purchase it to while you still can and start your collection today!

As the gates open

God grabs a trumpet and plays taps,

and together we mourn the years

I wasted, wondering

if I would ever get to go inside.

The air here is

so crisp, so clean.

I relish in the feeling of finally

breathing easy.

The Mobius Strip Of Trans Elders – We’ve Always Got Someone To Learn From

To be trans is to constantly be learning from those around you. I want to talk about how we all become each other’s “elders” in the trans community.

The view from my hometown (Kingston, NY) LGBT center. Photo by Todd Martin.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the cyclical nature of transgender community support.

When I came out, I didn’t know a lot of trans folks. I knew plenty of gay folk of all varieties. We played a lot with gender presentation, whether it was for drag shows, theatre, cosplay, or simply having fun with bowties and make-up on a Wednesday night. I felt very at home in my understanding of queerness in relation to my sexuality and to the commonly understood (read: stereotypical) relationships between sexuality and gender presentation…but my knowledge of actual trans people were limited to a rousing one.

Until I started going to my local support group.

I attended a very small group hosted, as they always are, by my local LGBTQ center. Most days there were only a handful of people in attendance. The small community made there felt like a local hand-me-down – a traveling gift between the trans folk in the area. As we quietly found each other we started to come out to one another and, in turn, were subsequently bequeathed the date and times the group met. …

A Chorus of Female Voices

This piece was first debuted as part of The TMI Project: MHI in Ulster County.  Visit The TMI Project’s website to learn more .


Que Será, Será, is Zelda’s (aka Judith Z. Miller’s) humorous, sobering, hopeful multimedia one-person revelatory performance that chronicles her personal story of the joys and challenges of navigating non-binary Queerness from childhood during the 1950’s to adulthood. Zelda is the recipient of an Arts Mid-Hudson Individual Artist Commission to develop the show to premiere in Kingston, NY at the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center on December 7 & 8 as a workshop production. It will include an adapted version of “A Chorus of Female Voices” as well as the previously published “Sheitlestock”. You can learn more about Que Será, Será and support its development here.


TRANSCRIPT:

I’m 8 years old. My parents take me to see the movie “Some Like it Hot” starring Marilyn Monroe. It’s a fancy theatre with plush red seats. We’re in the very front row of the balcony, high over the orchestra.  

A thick shiny brass railing protects us from falling onto the people seated below. Marilyn is singing ​“I’m through with love, I’ll never fall again,” ​and as she​ ​breathes in deeply through her pouted lips to enunciate her words, I can see the details of her full breasts through her tight-fitting, completely sheer gown. I’m standing up, gripping the bar, leaning all the way over the top as far as I can, trying to climb​ into​ the movie — to immerse myself between Marilyn Monroe’s breasts.  

The Filling And Breaking Of My Heart At The 2019 Queer Liberation March

I joined in at the Queer Liberation March this year, attending the protest instead of NYC WorldPride. My heart, at the same time, was filled to the brim and…as I walked home, broken once again.

My friend, my fiancé, and myself at the Queer Liberation March. Photo by Aidan Doyle, taken from a thoughtful and amazing article in them: “Queer Liberation March 2019” – which you can visit to read and view Doyle’s other brilliant photos of the March.

Pride month has long left us. Happily richer, the corporations have since painted over the rainbows they were sporting, leaving the queer community with the same guarded white walls we’re used to having thrown up in our face.

However, the love, power, passion, and anger of the LGBTQIA+ community lives on.

This year, my fiancé and I attended the Queer Liberation march. We both have a bit of a sordid history with Pride parades, but knew we wanted to be in New York City in commemoration of the 50thanniversary of the Stonewall Riots.  We weren’t sure how we were going to show up to honor our community’s history in a way that felt right.

…Then the Queer Liberation March popped up. Meant to be a people’s march to reclaim Pride, it was a counter-march to the Parade that sported no corporate floats or police presence.  What other way is there to honor Sylvia Rivera, Marsha P. Johnson, Miss Major, Stormé DeLarverie, Larry Kramer, the Mattachine Society, the Daughters of Bilitis, Frank Kameny, the Gay Liberation Front, Et All? What other way is there to commemorate an anti-police riot that lasted days after our rights had been violated so deeply and so unwaveringly?

There isn’t.

You march.

We met up with a friend in Bryant Park to join the March at its mid-way point. The energy just in the park itself was electric. Throngs of people dressed in both black, pink, and gold (the colors of the march) as well as bright, fantastic outfits. It felt like every single person in the park had a purpose – and in a lot of ways, perhaps that is true. Each and every person who showed up to the Queer Liberation March made a purposeful decision to attend the March instead of the Parade. Therefore, each person’s body became a powerful statement against the corporatization and pink-washing of Pride. Each person purposefully became a part of a new wave of the continued street presence of Queer protest and riots. By making the choice to be here, just a few blocks away from there, they became a part of a grand testament to the strength and resilience of queer activism. No one was there because it was “fun”. No one was there because it was something to do. No one was there because they were being paid to be there. Everybody was there because they knew they needed to be.

After Sappho

This is an “after” poem in response to Sappho’s “He is more than a hero”.

Woman with wax tablets and stylus (so-called “Sappho”)

 

The man sits beside you,
a protective playful arm
draped over what can only be
mine when the stage lights turn off;
both our hero and the villain.

I sit still on the opposite couch,
holding a pillow embroidered God is Good!
only moving to accept each plate of cake or fruit
your mother offers from the kitchen,
praying the sugar on top is not salt.

Onto the stage she comes- again-
with the unnecessary second tray
of sweet plantains, hoping to catch us
holding hands or sacrificing babies-
whatever it is people like us do.

Then stage right, Prince Charming stands up.
His part played so perfectly, even I am fooled,
when his lips pucker out to meet yours
for the grand finale,
and my throat tries to swallow my tongue.

The curtain closes on the image of
your mother, smiling from the kitchen.

If he stays, death isn’t far from me.
If he goes, death isn’t far from you.

 

V.

that black girl is going to Howard
after she sat and waited
and waited and sat
traveled to Minnesota
where they told her to wait and sit some more
even went to the dry places that rains with sweat
where they told her “no“
but wanting it so badly
needing to get what she needed
she resumed her sitting and waiting
she even thought about running back to the palace and settling upon a random thrown
but with faith she sat and waited
and she got it cause she waited

for it to find her

she’s off to Howard
because she gots to go
cause she sat and listened
cause we need her
and we don’t just need her anywhere
because she waited
and was not moved so easily
she saved it

her destiny that is

for what she and where she
was supposed to be
that black girl hailing from the palace of Queens
is going to Howard with fellow queens and kings
there she goes
smile and wave

smile and waive

 

IV.

you ever wake up
too tired
too sleepy
too exhausted
to brush your teeth

but you do it anyway
out of fear
of what people might think

sorta like the straight people
that see gays and trans folks
being beat and say

 absolutely nothing

or a cold dreary day
where no rain or snow falls
and everyone calls that day

beautiful

like those who ask

why do we hurt the ones whom we love 

while in the process of hurting them