Spoken word poetry taps into the wordplay of rap, the lyricism of poetry, and the dramatization of theatre to deliver hard-hitting performances that linger long after they’re finished.
LGBTQ creatives have turned to spoken word poetry as a powerful medium for exploring the queer experience – highlighting injustice, expressing vulnerability, and channelling pride. Spoken word performance is as suited to combative critiques as it is to heart-breaking homages.
Here are five queer spoken word poems that tap into the very essence of what it means to be a part of the LGBTQ community:
1) Time For Love
by Sean Lionadh
“Have you ever wondered how to say goodbye?”
“Time for Love” stops the clock at the very moment two lovers are about to part in order to better explore why a kiss goodbye can seem so hard. This piece does an excellent job of naming the subtle ways in which homophobia expresses itself in these so-called progressive times.
2) To all of the kick ass, beautiful fierce femmes out there…
by Ivan Coyote
“You fight homophobia in a way that I never could. Some of them think I am queer because I am undesirable. You prove to them that being queer is your desire.”
Canadian author Ivan Coyote’s “To all the kick ass, beautiful fierce femmes out there” is a heartfelt love poem to the invisible queer women that make “undesirables” feel like swans.
3) Boy of Tragedy
By Donté Johnson
“You ain’t allowed to sissy that walk. You have enough problems as it is.”
“Boy of Tragedy” by Donté Johnson is a rhythmic and impassioned portrait of the tightrope that black gay men are forced to walk every day, and just like that tightrope walk, the poem teeters between despair and pride.
by Bethany Rose
“I didn’t choose how a woman felt between my thighs.”
Bethany Rose’s spoken word poem “Pink” is a raw retelling of the confusion of coming out when you don’t quite fit into anyone’s box.
5) Dear Straight People
By Denice Frohman
“I don’t like closets, but you made the living room an unshared space and now I’m feeling like a guest in my own house.”
In this hilarious piece full of fast quips, Denice Frohman turns the tables on homophobes and throws a few punches of her own.