Sunday, June 12, 2022

Special Feature: "LGBTQ Out Loud," Selected Haiku and Tanka for Pride Month

                                                                                                        don't say gay bill ...
                                                                                                        behind thunderclouds
                                                                                                        the sun coming out

                                                                                                        Chen-ou Liu

My Dear Friends:

The celebration of "Pride Month, which commemorates the anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, arrives this year at a moment of alarm. The passage of Florida’s so-called Don’t Say Gay bill, coupled with an ideological shift in the courts and in state legislatures of the USA, has filled supporters of LGBTQ rights with a sense of foreboding." Today I would like to share with you a selection of haiku and tanka that "explore the progress of gay rights over the past several decades—and the types of challenges that may lie ahead." (for influential articles on LGBTQ, see The New Yorker, Pride Month)

Selected Haiku and Tanka:

I (a closet gay)
no longer a Catholic ...
my friend walks
out of the church backwards
while gazing at the altar

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

Pride Parade --
searching the colours
inside me

Kishor Matte

"trans" not a word
I can imagine hearing
my parents say  ...
in dreams I see their lips move
and "you're not our son" comes out

Chen-ou Liu

he chose
surgery to become
a woman
posing as a man
to see his grandchildren

Ignatius Fay

black and white
paintings on the pot
the transgender
searches the streak of colors
to fill the gap of the emptiness

Pravat Kumar Padhy

people debate
the ways I should be
allowed to exist --
a rainbow forms outside
the social construct of gender


this (wo)man revered
by one culture
how could (s)he be
so reviled by another 

Debbie Strange

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

Kath Abela Wilson

Happy Pride Month


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