C.W. Emerson

The Impossible Time

“I was falling in love with the world, and everything in the world was dying.”

Cheryl Clarke

Five Poems

“call it weight reassignment and transition
this post post menopausal machine of bulbous tits
bulging belly
and varicose veins”

Patrick Donnelly

Three Poems

“It’s just two days since I read you
two days since your Elegies for Rog grabbed me
in the stacks at the Brooklyn branch
grief eating through the binding like dragon blood
dripping through four stone floors”

Laura Hershey

Two Poems

“It is music
when you practice opening your mouth
and liking what you hear
because it is the sound of your own
true voice.”

Ginny McReynolds

I Am a Lesbian

“When I came out to my mother at 21, she asked me how long I’d known I was gay. “Probably forever,” I said, thinking back to the nervous 7-year-old I once was, the one who knew there was something “wrong” with me.”

Sassafras Lowrey

We Know How to Do This

“If you don’t remember a time when your government hated you, those of us who do will help you learn how to survive it.”

Judith Barrington

The Closet

“Lorca said “to burn with desire and keep quiet about it is the greatest punishment we can bring on ourselves.” I recognize this punishment. But did I do it to myself or was it done to me?”

Jennifer Perrine

Two Poems

“Dear girl waiting outside, alone,
just tossed out of your parents’ house:
I offer this age’s adage—
it gets better. Sometimes it does.”

Nic Leland


“Childhood had a space where I could fit. As long as I never grew up, I would probably be okay. I knew how everything worked. I had it all figured out.”

Miguel M. Morales

Three Poems

“Maybe we are too old to go back out
on the streets and protest but
they need us and we need them.
We are the elders now.”

Linda Cue

Love: That First Time

“Never mind these last days of spring.
Still, I’m walking as the sun sets.”

Merril Mushroom

The Gay Kids and the Johns Committee

“In 1956, when I was in my third year of high school, the terrors of McCarthyism came home to the lesbians and gay men of South Florida where I lived.”

Penny Guisinger

Fight Songs

“The orcs have pushed through the gate, clambered into the castle, and are preparing to lay waste to everything we care about, everything we have built. Does the acrid scent make the hairs on your arms stand at attention? Do you want to be a warrior? I do. But I also don’t. I’m not sure I can. I live in rural America. I live in Trump’s America.”

Mariel Masque

De La Luz Letters

“No sabes que gusto me dio recibir tu linda carta y los ricos chocolates. How did you remember that dark chocolate cherry cordials are my favorite? The hint of chili pepper made them a delicious treat.”

James Penha

Why I Won’t Be Taking My Muslim Husband Home to America

“Although a passionate native New Yorker, I have lived in Indonesia for a quarter-century in order to be with my same-sex partner, a Muslim born in Sumatra.”

Kate Gray

Stand Out

“When the scrub oak leaves around me turn brown and fall, they’re loud. I come here for quiet, seventy miles away from Portland, into the hills outside Mosier, a town in the Columbia River Gorge with few residents.”

Joan Annsfire

Two Poems

“Armed only with ideas and determination
we staked out our territory,
and began to lay the foundation
of something entirely new.”

Edward Moran

Excerpt from Notes from a Queer Noisemaker: A Memoir of Coal Country and Beyond

“The day my kid brother was born, my father strangled the cat in the coal cellar. Delved her with a shovel. Consigned her to the furnace. For, as old wives know, ‘a cat will take away a baby’s breath.'”

Kathleen “Corky” Culver

Three Poems

“I could have told him, “Sir, we are
radical, utopian, fallopian,
lesbian, Jewish, Christian.”

Bruce Owens Grimm

When Ghosts Have Gone

“I often wanted to go back in time to talk to the ghost of the boy I was in suburban Cleveland to let him know none of these things he worried about would come true.”

Bonné de Blas

The Long Tail of the Day

“Bundle him in blankets and a striped scarf. A blue beanie. Woolen socks on her feet. Drive him to one appointment. Drive him to the next. Wait.”

Jonathan Silin

SCOTUS Thunderbolts and the Long, Slow Work of Social Change

“I became a gay reader early, at age 9 or 10, when a well meaning librarian introduced me to the Hardy Boys books.”



“I am an old lesbian who came out during the 2nd wave of feminism, which we called the women’s liberation movement. But my story begins three years earlier in 1969 during my senior year at a state university. ”

Patricia Smith


“Listen. It isn’t as if we haven’t been here before.”

Joshua Adair

Safe as Houses

“In those pre-internet, pre-cable TV days, I enriched my inner life with books. I spent all my free time at home reading everything I could get my hands on. In those days I knew I liked boys in a way no one thought I should, but I had no idea that there might be books out there that would help me feel less alone.”

Allison Green


“Recently, I worked with a woman for over a year before I realized she was a lesbian, and only then because I was talking about coming out in the mid-1980s and she said she had come out then, too. “

Jamie Satcher

Reckon He’s Queer?

“Queer: Such a powerful word. One that I spent most of my life hearing, hating, running from, and finally accepting as truth of who I am. “

Bonnie J. Morris


“During our spring 2013 women’s studies faculty meeting, we discussed how to develop and expand the new LGBT Sexuality Studies minor…but the “L” in LGBT was not apparent in our curriculum.”

Carole Fults


“Mom escorted me into the emergency room and whispered, “You tell them what’s wrong with you. I don’t know how to explain it.'”

John Daniel

Three Vignettes

“In the 80’s, I visited my first gay bar. A gargantuan drag queen named Tammy “Whynot” was the only person audacious enough to talk to me, not that I deserved the attention.”

Eunice Tiptree

A Dash of Humor Eases the Way

“Where there is humor there is life. Humor is an excellent means to maintain a sense of yourself. And break down barriers.”