Merritt- "April 18th, 2017"
I used to think life was like a funhouse
hall of mirrors. long and twisty and dark,
filled with reflections that never
quite saw what we knew to be true.
dozens and dozens of dim lit mirrors
and dozens and dozens of accentuated flaws.
until it’s all you can see.
all you can do is look in the mirror and try to see past the hooked nose or muddled back.
but even then a part of you longs to be beautiful, to reflect what you know is there.
so reshape your face for the mirror
and stand in it-
tall and proud.
And i’ve done that.
i've ripped the flesh from my bones
and wrung out my heart.
i’ve rethreated the sinew
and sewn myself into a new face.
created a deststable form,
one without flaw in the mirror.
and not once did i question
“why?” or “what was the reason?”
just that I wanted to be beautiful,
like the others.
but each mirror is different,
and shows a worse, more grotesque face
than the last - and you can only rip yourself apart so many times until your bones snap, and then there’s nothing left but sawdust.
no face of your own.
only pieces of ones left behind,
quilted in a shifting formless face.
you can’t pick out the different stitches from flesh and there’s no use trying.
my understanding now is that life is a hall of funhouse mirrors.
but now the glass is inside me.
-Merritt "April 18th, 2017"
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Get Loud Spotlight: Edafe Okporo
Born in Warri, Nigeria, Edafe Okporo is an activist, businessman and author. He is passionate about extending a hand to communities in need and teaching leaders in communities and organizations how to motivate their members to act. Self-identification as a gay man led to his displacement from Nigeria in 2016. His memoir, Bed 26: A Memoir of an African Man's Asylum in The United States, shares how he fought his way out of constant persecution and reclaimed his freedom. He became a fearless activist and an unstoppable force for change, determined to expose the truth. Today, he lives in New York City where he is executive director of RDJ Refugee Shelter in Harlem. Upcoming book: Compassion is Worth More! Using your civil power to create change will be out on Oct. 7th 2020 available for pre-order on his website below. Inclusion of LGBTQ people, refugees and marginalized people is a path to building a joyful society.
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Artist: Kaiden Wilde
"Despite it all, we breathe out love"
Our first collaborative poetry zine will hold vulnerable and powerful stories of queer experiences, overcoming adversity while living in their truths. Our hope with this zine is to build connections all over and create a piece of hope for our LGBTQIA+ youth and anyone who feels rejected. We see you, we are here with you, you are valid, you are loved.
As a contributor, you should send in one poem you feel connects strongly with this zine. You may choose to be anonymous if you'd like. Include a small bio, location and any other information for the reader (social media handle etc) We will cut off submissions once we get up to 20.
---We look foward to creating with you!
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