by Rraine Hanson i cry maybe twice a year but I’m sad year round i avoid eye contact constantly i avoid my reflection hatefully people avoid me probably i love people perpetually i hate people when i see the news in all honesty i barely watch the news i feel everything and i’m always confused receiving love makes me look away kissing makes me wanna run away flowers make me wanna stay Mother Earth checks in once a month i love the mountains and i love the moon but those visits make me regret birth my mom loves me but she doesn’t know me i wish i could be like her except that i love girls though they don’t love me i feel like a virgin they couldn’t love me i scar easy and i barely shave i breathe through my mouth and i dream of death my old self haunts me i can’t find my new self are we ever more than ourselves do we ever stop asking questions does anybody wanna fuck ...those were not secrets
by Nydia Hartono
SUMMER LIST by Indigo Asim
PLAYGROUND BLACKTOP STILL WARM FROM THE SUN SMOKE SCENTED SKIN DISAPPOINTMENT AND UNSPOKEN ANGER TEXTFIGHTS TEXTFIGHTS TEXT FIGHTS (I CAN TELL UR STILL MAD OVER TEXT, IRL2) INSIDE HOUSE FOR HOURS HIDING HIDING HIDING THE WOMAN AT THE GROCERY STORE WAS KIND, MAKES ME CRY ON MY BREAK GET DRUNK TO TELL HER YOU LOVE HER/ TELL ME YOU LOVE ME WHEN UR NOT DRUNK GOT TO THE BEACH TILL DARK SCREAM JUMP GET CUT REPEAT stare at her, while she stares at him KNOW UR PLACE/KNOW WHAT YOUâ€™LL NVR BE EVERY TIME YOU SEE ME, YOU TELL ME HOW SOFT I AM
by Joan Ongman
admiration. For they are just hair falls more gracefully than their face, or their lips seem yours donâ€™t, understand that Do not allow society to oust not be deterred by the lack in the media. Do not permit for society to perceive you as ugly. Take hold of your curls an overflowing love for your beautiful, and the human race Sincerely, A healing older one
Dear young black girl, by Rraine Hanson
Know that your skin color is nothing but your skin color, despite every instance society will try to blow it up and overlook what lies underneath. That is not to say that you shouldn’t appreciate every ounce of melanin you were conceived with, because you should; as well as each feature of your body that is linked with your ancestry. When you encounter other girls who don’t look like you, don’t look at them with envy, but with polite other examples of the wonders of the universe. When their it seems yours ever will, or their nose takes up less space on to be more delicate, or their eyes seem to possess a sparkle there is beauty in your differences, and no less beauty in you. your curiosity for your heritage and replace it with shame. Do of light given to black females in any array of toys or displayed societal standards to scar your richly colored skin. Do not wait good enough. Do not look in the mirror and feel lesser, or feel and treasure their endless swirl. Keep your skin moist with existence, and for your uniqueness. There are many kinds of is every single one of them. And that includes you, too.
Thyself by Rraine Hanson as i lay here, lonely, longing for someone to be inside me, (a woman’s fingers or a man’s length or god forbid — a child) i’m wildly aware of my humanness. what is it about us that creates this insatiable need to not be alone? is it our biology? our the experience of living? is it both? perhaps neither? what i truly want right now is sex. but i cannot decide if i want sex for myself or if i want someone to want sex with me and as i trail my own fingers down already unsatisfied i close my eyes and try to pump some semblance of self love deep within to rub out the loneliness.
My feminine experience is characterized by my pride in being a want, no matter what anyone else thinks. I express my femininity in litnovice make-up skills. I express my femininity in the broader sense by being I represent the fight and the struggle and the magic and the glory that is being a woman. My mother, my grandmother, and even my little sister taught me how these important ingredients work together to make women so unique and powerful. Feminine of center people all share these characteristics because presenting as feminine has always been seen as a weakness and we have always had to defy the odds both actual and presumed. I take pride in defying the stereotype of being unable to withstand or survive. When I am loud, when I am opinionated, and when I am a fighter I am proudly embracing my femininity. When I cry, when I am quiet, and when I am vulnerable I am proudly embracing my femininity. I proudly embrace my femininity while I am actively taking a stand against gender norms because I know that gender is a spectrum and therefore so is femininity. Anyone who falls anywhere on the panorama of the feminine identity should be respected for who they are and not judged on who they are assumed to be. My queer feminine identity is what some people would call a “femme” identity. I do present physically as a femme but I reject the stereotypes that come with it. Being petite and an introvert, I have always had to surprise people with myself. My identity has been no different. Having once identified as bisexual, I’ve had to reject all the categorizations that coincide with sexual orientation too. I’ve been stuffed into the boxes of passive, delicate, confused, and unsure of myself when, in fact, I have always known who I am. I just never knew
MY FEMININE EXPE
woman. As a woman I can express myself and my femininity however I tle things like changing my hairstyle at random and trying to enhance my multi-dimensional and representing brown, queer, womanhood. the person others thought I was. And although I tried to get to know this person, she has remained a stranger to me. I only know the woman who appreciates women and all things feminine; the softness, the strength, the beauty, and the courage - the things I see in myself and the things I love in others. I may like to dress up, cover my eyes at the scary parts of movies, and am pretty bad at most sports but I am not afraid to work hard or get dirty, I am more than capable of standing up for myself, fighting for whatâ€™s right, and having fortitude in the face of adversity. Every day I become more and more comfortable with having the unpopular opinion, the unexpected identity, and standing on my own two feet when people tell me I am not who I know that I am. I may be reserved and quiet at first glance but I know what I want and I am not afraid to say it. I am 100% feminine and, despite popular opinion, this femininity is evidence that I am capable to withstand anything the world throws my way because without this capacity, people like me with a feminine experience wouldnâ€™t even exist. Our survival is what makes us unique and also what gives us our infinite power. I am proud that as a brown, queer, feminine woman, I have inherited and earned this strength and can share my unique experience with others of the femme persuasion.
Essay by Trisha Marie, The Glam Femme*nist Collage by Lucy Jermyn
Starved Confessional by Laura Cafasso Shit in my Bag by Lucy Jermyn
Can shipping be a sexual awakening? One winter break, during the pimpled, hormonal hot baths of high school I started Sherlock. An unexplained connection, mismatched match deduction can’t explain – led to Larry Stylinson, Stony, Rickyl, I’m a frustrated mess of longing. Maybe to believe someone could love me, someone I least expect, there’s hope spooned by fanfiction. Where proclamations of love aren’t asinine they’re climatic, my climax. I’m left burned body solitary, in the musk of nighttime secrets. I touch to forget, I touch to feel the pain of repressing I touch to believe lust is temporary, that love is someday.
age two: lesbian aunt takes her to a gay bar to “score chicks”; toddler-self helps score lesbian aunt one eventual abusive relationship & a strained relationship with her brother; future-self questions if that trip to Triangles had anything to do with her future queerness; who’s to say? age four: pre-school ashley tries to kiss other little girls; learns the concept of consent from queer cousin; learns the concept of self-loathing from family age eight: no longer chooses to wear dresses; shops exclusively in the boy’s section at stores; likes to wear camouflage; likes to pretend she’s not really there age twelve: already wears a size C bra; uncomfortable with the way boys on the bus sexualize her; is told by her sister to shave the “forest” in her pants; is uncomfortable with the concept of body hair; is uncomfortable with the concept of a body age fourteen: discovers cousin is a lesbian; discovers family’s discomfort around the topic of queerness; is called ‘dyke’ by a boy on her tech crew; is offended by the term lesbian; is unsure if she fits that term; is unsure if she fits into straightness; keeps quiet about queerness; becomes friends with internalized homophobia
A Timeline of my Queerness by Ashley Dunn age sixteen: kisses a girl for the first ime after prom, sober; wonders why she felt more in a peck than she did making out with her first boyfriend; falls in love with a girl on the internet; after one year and two months, has a sleepover with the girl from the internet, talks about life and love and the idea of being bisexual; feels like she is at home age eighteen: lies about having sex with women to assert queerness; feels like her lack of sexual experience with women makes her a bad queer and that she has to lie to assert queerness; is afraid to come out to freshmen year roommate in fear of making her uncomfortable (plot twist: they’re BOTH QUEER); gets drunk at a party and comes out in a whisper; the whisper is actually scream; everyone hears; nothing changes age nineteen: comes out to brother and sister while stoned; comes out to mom on the couch and cries; comes out to queer cousin; comes into herself
Livid Lividity by Rija Rehan Or how I dreamt of bruises running down my spine Dreaming of bruises or lesions or my spine The jagged curve of scoliosis (from sitting bent over a desk for years) You know I dream of skiing down a slope The slope of your back, the arch when you stretch in the morning and extend your arms to the sky I donâ€™t know how to ski though, maybe Iâ€™d end up with my own bruises So people could see and ask why Sweetheart, heart fermented in sweat Huffing Formaldehyde fumes Scabs piling up in your ash tray How lovely it is to see it in ruins. Leaning my body against the wind, dreaming of my body our bodies Eyes and hair and skin Teeth biting down Nails digging in Picking scabs at the dinner table I pulled your hair and your head popped off like a Barbie doll.
by Nydia Hartono
Man of The Year Tobacco flower and wind You broke over me in slow motion. knife in the boot and tight rope living and way-with-words, Baby halos flashing as they tumble through your curls, vengeance Yelling to yell, whirlpool of blue silk and black lace cheek soft eyes hard. I wish I had known you all along. I wish I had fallen in love with you at summer camp, Love like fast devouring, Dense like a collapsed star falling through water I descended. I took everything off and I found you in hell and Iâ€™m not letting go.
by Ariana Anderson