As a young queer woman growing up in South Dakota, my sexuality was more a cause for fear than pride. When word got around my middle school, I was told by faculty that I would stop “this behavior” or find another school. I was silenced, so I turned to poetry and prose. Writing was my way to express myself. On paper, there was no reason to fear, and that gave me courage in my real life.
Today, poetry has grown especially among the queer community, as well as among young people of color. Not only is it a form of self expression, but it has become a platform for people to start important and uncomfortable conversations. Topics such as racism, homophobia, sexism, sexual assault, to name a few. Those who are oppressed are often persecuted and shamed for their anger.