Saturday 30 June 2018

Bridging The Divide (June 18, 2018)

We talk about peace
With a spiritual holiness
Bordering on
Religious faith.

And yet
At the same time
We fill our lives
With a dogmatic violence
In harming others
Who appear different.

I say this
As a person
Who has experienced
LGBTQ+ bashing
For being too feminine
Living in a male body.

Attacking me
For being a gay male
And transgender

(When most people
Didn't know
What the term
Transgender meant.)

In being jeered
As a “c--k sucker
Momma’s boy"
To a “f---ing sissy.”

And that's
Only the polite terms
I had hurled
By kids and adults

Please don't delude yourself
This type of labelling
Has stopped
In the past half century
Since the 1969 Stonewall Riots.

There's a reason
Why Toronto's Gay village
Has banks of payphones
Directly linked to
An emergency operator.

With the arrival
And spread of cellphones
Need for these banks
Has lessened.

The root causes
Of this hate
Is alive and well
In fear and ignorance.

That'll never disappear
As long as
Humanity exist.

We may wish.

Therisa © 2018

Author's note: Within the week, people, whether they identity as gay or straight, trans or cis, will be lining Toronto's Gay village for the 38th annual Pride parade. Although, I may complain about Pride Toronto, this is a constructive and healing way to bridge the gap of ignorance and fear, with love. Besides, no one has ever died, from attending Toronto's Pride events.

Another poem for this year's Pride Poetry.

Pride's Meaning (June 25, 2018)

It's June 25th
Toronto's Pride celebrations
Are wrapping up
As the month ends
In 5 days time
Before Canada Day (July 1st).

A celebration
At its heart
Acknowledges the darkness
That we
The LGBTQ+ community faces
On multiple fronts.

Where love is
Openly displayed and used
As a weapon for change
By a community
That knows death and pain
All too well.

Despite the multi-billions of dollars
Spent on HIV/AIDS research
We haven't found an universal cure
Or vaccine.

We've developed drugs
That allows those Infected
To live long and productive lives

In 72 countries
Still illegal
For gay men
And straight transwomen
To have sex.

Or that
In 8 countries
It's a death sentence
For being true
To one self.

Never mind
In an open country
Like Canada
Problems still exist.

For the second straight year
Toronto Police Service
Been politely told
Their uniformed or float presence
Isn't welcomed.

In deep historical reasons
That affects all parts
Of the LGBTQ+ community.

Magnified by
The police handling
Of Bruce McArthur’s
Alleged career
As the mass murderer
Of 8 gay men.

As these deaths started
A few years after
The Infamous bathhouse raids
Sparking Toronto's original
Pride parade (in 1981).

It may take several months
Even years
After the public inquiry
And a possible second apology
From Toronto's police
For true healing to happen.

Before uniformed officers
And Police Service’s floats appear
In future Toronto's Pride parades
Spraying parade celebrants
With toy water guns
Once more.

Therisa © 2018

Author’s note: another poem, as part of this year’s Pride Poetry.

The Little Engine That Did (June 25, 2018)

oo often
We are
The LGBTQ+ community’s
Forgotten child
Who helps everyone else
To get their rights recognized
By society.

In 1966
Three years prior
To the Stonewall Riots
San Francisco’s transcommunity
Fired the very first shots
For LGBTQ+ rights
At the Compton Cafeteria Riots.

Even then
At New York’s Stonewall Riots
We “manned" the front lines
Fighting beside our gay brothers.

And now
On June 22, 2018
Toronto's transcommunity marks
The 10th anniversary
Of the Trans March
At Toronto Pride.

A right
We fought for
Just like Canada's enshrining
Of legal protection
For the transcommunity
Under Canadian law
In June 2017.

Taking to the streets
Without recognition
From the Pride Toronto committee
In 2009.

For four Toronto Prides
We marched
Demanding our right
As part of Toronto's LGBTQ+

Until 2013
When Pride Toronto
Acknowledged us
As part of the community.

Even now
The struggle continues
For true equality
Within Toronto's LGBTQ+

As we fight
For ethnic diversity.

In realizing
That Toronto is
A multicultural city
Within the LGBTQ+ community
Is a part of.

Therisa © 2018

Author’s note: Another poem for this year’s Pride Poetry.

United - Strong (June 24, 2018)

Gathering storm clouds form
The darkening sky mirrors
A troubled soul
Seeking answers and safety.

While neither exist
Beyond a brief moment
Like a lightning flash
In the distance horizon
Before vanishing.

Sudden downpour
From the heavens above
Like long suppressed tears
Held in check
Soak the parched land
Needing fluids and healing.

From a world that views it
Visible sign of weakness
By a diseased soul
In need of correction
At any costs.

Destroying the soul
That's fought over
In the healing process
Vainly preserving
Society's false status quo.

At what price
Does the cost outweighs
The cure’s end?

As the coroner pulls away
Loaded with the remains
Of another victim
From society’s homophobia
And racism.

Therisa © 2018

Author's note: I started writing this poem, on the rainy Sunday morning of Toronto's Pride parade (June 24, 2018). As they honour the 8 confirmed gay male victims of alleged mass murderer, Bruce McArthur. While Toronto Police Service say, there may be more victims and charges, before the investigation is done.

Another poem for this year’s  Pride Poetry.

Just A Dream? (June 23, 2018)

For one weekend
Dr Martin Luther King Jr’s dream
Is alive and breathing
For all to see.

Of one's gender sexuality
Or ethnicity.

We gather to celebrate
Diversity and harmony
Of the human spirit
In overcoming barriers
That society puts before us.

By reveilling
Our innermost feelings
Of identity and self-acceptance
Who we are
As a greater society
And individuals.

Where love isn't
Just a word found
In greeting cards
Wedding ceremonies
Or to religious sermons.

An expression
From within
A beacon fulfilling us
With hope.

Enabling society
To overcome hate
And ignorance
That threaten
To consume us.

Therisa © 2018

Author's note: Maybe, I am a hopeless romantic, who dreams of a brighter future than the bleak present, we live in. Where it's so easy to be depressed and indifferent to the problems around us.

Another poem for this year’s Pride Poetry.

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