Sunday, June 6, 2021

Special Feature: "Love on the March," Selected Tanka for LGBT Pride Month

My Dear Friends:

Today marks the first Sunday of LGBT Pride Month, and many pride events are held during this month not only to recognize the impact LGBT people have had in the world, but also to promote the self-affirmation, dignity, equality, and increased visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people as a social group. I would like share with you the following tanka that celebrate diversity and LGBTQ communities, acknowledge their history, the hardships they have endured, and the progress that has been made. 

Selected Tanka

he strips off
the short skirts
from those high, thick walls
and makes a window big enough
to come out

Tanja Trček

more glamorous
than the audience
he sang
swivelling his hips
jewels glittering

Lorne Henry

I’d like to be a man
not for a day
but for a night
just to take a walk
alone in it

Laura Maffei

Vincent Van Gogh
on the subway,
I whisper in his good ear,
“We are all beautiful.”

M. Kei

she left me
for a woman in red
at the beach
I hear mermaids
singing each to each

Chen-ou Liu

my son’s boyfriend 
three words i practice saying
alone in my room
while fireflies in love
beckon at my window

Roberta Beary

my partner and I
both wearing white dresses
down the aisle
I feel a jealous pang . . .
he looks better in heels

Tracy Davidson

out of the blue
that moment of surprise
the ecstasy
of wanting to be part
of same-sex exploration

Patricia Prime

sweet niece
even sweeter
as nephew
inner strength flows more freely
as the road opens up

Kath Abela Wilson
To conclude today's LGBT Pride Month post, I wrote the following tanka sequence for my late friend Brian Zimmer:

Love on the March

a phalanx
of bull dykes and drag queens
rioted at the Stonewall ...
two male cops French-kissing
in the sunny Pride Parade

Jesus had two dads
he turned out just alright ...
holding the sign 
an old gay sighs, to be a man
I cut out soft parts of myself

if God hates gays
why are we so cute?
behind the banner
I see his eyes glow
with a bright blue of hope

Happy Reading



  1. Brian posted his "Gay Pride Parade tanka" on Twitter on June 12, 2014 and passed away on November 5th.

    I published his tanka on NeverEnding Story last night:

    Gay Pride Parade
    I live to see the day
    a cop
    greets his boyfriend
    with a kiss on the street

  2. The New Yorker Pride Month Documentary:

    "Joychild," accessed at

    In Aurora Brachman's short film "Joychild," an eight-year-old has an emotional conversation with their mother about gender identity.

    “Alone Out Here,” accessed at

    In “Alone Out Here,” by Philip Busfield and Luke Cornish, an Australian rancher who is openly gay in a conservative industry fights to reduce carbon emissions through his cattle farming.