SPIT, POET! 10 Trans, Non-Binary, Gender Non-Conforming, Gender Fluid, and Genderqueer Poets You Need to Hear

Taylor Steele
Jun 21, 2016 · 8 min read

The alternate title to this piece is: “15 Gender Non-Conforming Poets That Will Inspire You to Eat Glass With Your Hands,” a title that came about after a brilliant GNC poet (*cough*Linette*cough*) commented on the lack of gender-queerness on a plethora of recent “Top 10 Poets” lists. As a queer poet of color, I understand the frustration that accompanies a lack of visibility within an artform and community within which we fight to make ourselves seen and heard. I hope this list honors these poets, their work, and the wider non-cisgender poetry community.

1. Linette Reeman

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They/Them/Theirs

Linette Inspires Me To

What Linette Says

Instructions on Spelling Me

Linette’s Motto

Something my mother has said to me my whole life: “I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed.”

2. Chrysanthemum Tran

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They/Them/Theirs

Chrysanthemum Inspires Me To

What Chrysanthemum Says

“Discovery (For Jennifer Laude)”

Chrysanthemum’s Motto

My all-time favorite quote is Rita Repulsa: “After 10,000 years, I’m free! It’s time to conquer Earth!”

3. Justice Gaines

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Xe/Xem/Xyr

Justice Inspires Me To

What Justice Says

2 Poems

Justice’s Motto

My favorite saying is from my grandpa: “It’s a poor dog that doesn’t wag its own tail”.

4. Miles Walser

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He/Him/His

Miles Inspires Me To

What Miles Says

“On Vanity”

Miles’ Motto

Right now I think it’s: “And if I hadn’t come now to the coast to disappear/I may have died in a landslide of rocks and hopes and fears,” which tends to be my go-to before major life transitions.

5. Lee Mokobe

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(photo cred: Daniel Schaefer)

He/Him/His

Lee Inspires Me To

What Lee Says

“Seize Her”

Lee’s Motto

Fav line/motto: “Be like a spring, when pushed down, it bounces back up even higher” — something my mom always says to me :)

6. Francine Hendrickson

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(photo cred: Valerie Jane Kwok)

Pronouns can fluctuate but neutral is always fine

Francine Inspires Me To

What Francine Says

“Paper Crane”

Francine’s Motto

Ahhhh this is mad corny but as of right now, this Hamilton line has been saving my life: “Why do you write like you’re running out of time?” Cause the answer especially this week is: my time here can be taken from me at any moment, and I got to keep writing while I am still here and as a means to survive.

7. Venus Selenite

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She/Her/Hers

Venus Inspires Me To

What Venus Says

“A Night Spiritual”

Venus’ Motto

Motto, which is a small mission statement of mine: “I’m not here to make you comfortable. I’m here to f*** s*** up.”

8. Kevin Kantor

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They/Them/Theirs

Kevin Inspires Me To

What Kevin Says

“Honest Confession on Letting Go”

Kevin’s Motto

My tag: “Give love. Accept love” …

But also, for fun, an Oscar Wilde quote I really like: “Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.”

9. Cecily Schuler

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(photo cred: Guangpyo Hong)

They/Them/Theirs

Cecily Inspires Me To

What Cecily Says

“Use Your Words”

Cecily’s Motto

Despite its colonial origins, I have always found the following line to provide endless relief: “You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars. You have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.”

OR “You do not have to be good./ You do not have to walk on your knees/ For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting./ You only have to let the soft animal of your body/ love what it loves.” — Mary Oliver

10. Cam Awkward-Rich

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He/Him and They/Them

Cam Inspires Me To

What Cam Says

“Waiting in Line”

Cam’s Motto

Uh, well, if I’m honest there’s a line from Alex dimitrov’s poem “Lines for People After the Party” which is kind of my motto: ‘how long should I look at the world / before I go home?” But, I also just read Gwendolyn Brook’s The Second Sermon on the Warpland for the first time in a while so the words “Nevertheless, live” have been stuck in my head.

Anomaly

Features Supplement to the Online Journal of Literature and…

Taylor Steele

Written by

Writer: Anomaly. Bylines: The Body is Not an Apology, Philadelphia Printworks, AFROPUNK, RaceBaitr. Poet. Playwright. Triple-Taurus. taylorsteele.info

Anomaly

Anomaly

Features Supplement to the Online Journal of Literature and Art

Taylor Steele

Written by

Writer: Anomaly. Bylines: The Body is Not an Apology, Philadelphia Printworks, AFROPUNK, RaceBaitr. Poet. Playwright. Triple-Taurus. taylorsteele.info

Anomaly

Anomaly

Features Supplement to the Online Journal of Literature and Art

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