It doesn't take much for equal rights supporters to get pumped up about LGBT Pride Month, but not all of your inspiration has to come from parades and rainbow flags. Picking up some of your favorite LGBTQ literature, like poems for LGBTQ Pride Month, can motivate you to get out there and celebrate, make a difference, and become an activist for the LGBTQ community.
It's been over a year since the historical decision was made by the Supreme Court to make gay marriage legal across the entire country, but your support for the LGBTQ community shouldn't stop there. With the tragedy in Orlando on June 12, it's becoming more and more obvious that there is still more work to be done when it comes to society fully accepting the LGBTQ community.
For hundreds of years, poems have been an outlet for those seeking to make a change, to vent their frustrations, and to share their stories. It's easy to ignore injustice when it's not happening directly to you, but pick up any of these 11 LGBTQ poems for Pride Month and you'll realize how important it is that the world continues to support this beautiful community. Reading the poets' words, feeling their heartache and anguish, and connecting with them through their words is the least you can do in your part as an activist for the LGBTQ community.
1"Dear Gaybashers" by Jill McDonough
Written in 2014, Dear Gaybashersby Jill McDonough is a must-read for everybody, but especially those who think their taunts and jabs will scare off the LGBTQ community from living and loving their life. They are strong, they are united, and they couldn't care less what you think.
2"Who Said It Was Simple" by Audre Lorde
As an African American writer, activist, feminist, and lesbian, Audre Lorde faced discrimination from many angles. In Who Said It Was Simple, she mentions all of the injustices she faced, and how she wasn't sure which part of her would survive to see her entire self liberated.
3"Queer" by Frank Bidart
Coming out may be a beautiful thing for the LGBT community, but it's not always easy as poet Frank Bidart describes in Queer. This poem is incredibly moving and is a huge eye-opener for those who have never struggled with accepting who they are.
4"Whom You Love" by Joseph O. Legaspi
Nobody can write a love poem like Joseph O. Legaspi and this poem is no different. It doesn't matter which pronoun is used to describe your beloved, and Whom You Love proves that love is love, regardless of gender.
5"My Lover Is A Woman" by Pat Parker
The following is an excerpt from My Lover Is a Woman by Pat Parker and it is absolutely beautiful and heartbreaking all at the same time. The poem details the love of a woman and how it is so enriching and lovely that it drowns out the sounds of her family's disappointment and confusion.
6"Exclusively On Venus" by Trace Peterson
An excerpt from Trace Peterson's Exclusively on Venus, this poem will give you chills with its overwhelmingly lovely words and descriptions, proving that humans can't be forced to fit into any type of box.
7"A Queerification" by Regie Cabico
Another excerpt, this piece from A Queerification preaches acceptance, identity, and that descriptions like 'queer' really don't mean anything in the bigger picture.
8"I Am Not A Myth" by Matthew Hittinger
Matthew Hettinger has said that he wrote I Am Not a Myth in the voice of Marlene Deitrich who, according to a biography on Marilyn Monroe, found the lipstick trace on Marilyn's white mink "maddeningly erotic." Hettinger used her voice to write this poem and it is incredibly sexy.
Marlene Dietrich remembers the night of the Marilyn Monroe Productions press conference, New York City, January 1955
9"The Distant Moon" by Rafael Campo
If this excerpt from The Distant Moon doesn't make you want to cry, I'm not sure what will. The poem describes a doctor caring for a patient and according to the NYU School of Medicine's Literature Arts Medicine Database, the patient is suffering from AIDS. Both the doctor and the patient are the same age, both are gay, and the poem is an incredible look at the emotional attachment between the two men, both as patient and doctor, and as gay men.
10"Dressing Down" by Kamilah Aisha Moon
No matter how many pride parades there are a year, there are still certain areas of the world where it's frowned upon and Dressing Down addresses this, specifically the south. It's pretty eye-opening, especially the lines like "the only way to be like daddy is to hate like him" and really puts into perspective the darkness many members of the LGBT community feel.
11"The Lioness" by Adrienne Rich
I believe I saved the most powerful for last with The Lioness. I'm not a poem analyst by trade, but this one was so riveting and I feel as though the lioness is the person that has taught the poet that this country may feel oppressive, but it is for everybody. There are places you can go, regardless of what the world tells you, and you can thrive right here, no matter who you are or how you identify. So moving.