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Gay Poets Society

We want to end National Poetry Month with a lasting impact so this is a new group that will be starting on Thursday, April 27th 2017 in Norwalk, Connecticut. Please feel free to drop by at our first meeting which will be at
Café Aroma
55 Wall Street. , Norwalk , CT.

Desired Outcomes:

* -Give LGBT individuals of all ages who benefit from the community an alternative for self expression and creativity
* -Connect poet enthusiast and amateurs through socialization and community
* -Craft and coordinate activities that are beneficial to members- coffee house, open house, Pride in the Park, youth group, performance, open mic, etc.,
* -Use poetry as a way to drive creative interest in writing, art, film etc.
* -Educate and inspire aspiring poets
* -Inspire members to express their feelings and difficulties so that they can heal and better themselves in a safe and non-judgemental environment
* -Embrace our identity, culture and shared commitments and communications
* -Encourage the use of poetry as a therapeutic skill
* -Form a community of LGBT poets
* -Develop an album of poetry from community members who may or may not self publish

Facilitator Contact
Edward Lent
Email: edwardlent@icloud.com

For more information, visit: https://www.meetup.com/meetup-group-NdOxnlyA/events/239211702/?isFromReg=true

National Coming Out Day

Today is National Coming Out Day!

Today I wear my rainbow colors and if you want to do the same, I encourage you to, because who could careless if someone is going to hate you? Quite frankly, “if they are going to hate you, they are going to hate you anyways.”

This is my way of coming out and its simply not giving two cents about what other people think.
By the way, its great to be in a school that strongly supports its LGBT students. Much credit to Norwalk Community college.

In my last post, I hinted at the thought: ‘Not all opportunities are to be taken” and I brought this up because I think about anyone who may be in uncertainty about coming out. I remember being in a situation where coming out was not a choice – there were no ‘ifs’ or ‘buts’ about it. It was practically not safe to say you were gay. That has somewhat changed for me but I know that there are many youth in the country that I was born who are living a life of misery simply because of who they are.

So there are times when its OK to risk coming out, but at other times, its just not.

October 11th is National Coming Out Day and the significance of this day is to encourage people to live authentically and to bring awareness to the challenges of coming out.

Practically many of us are caught between a movement and actual reality.

But on the bright side, the first day that you come out to someone, share your story – is probably the fist day of your life.
I remember the first day that I came out to someone, face to face. Its unforgettable. I immediately found the zest for life and it reminds me vividly of the burden that was lifted. I was set free, but I was yet to understand the context in which I was living and the real attributes of this new found freedom.

In my own mind: you come out, there are great people you get to invite in your life, there are probably people you would loose and more than ever, your happiness is in your hands. You made the choice – you face the consequences.

The truth is, not all coming out stories are the same, not everyone has the same experience after coming out and regardless of our intended feelings, it doesn’t always get better.

I’ve learnt to admit this and in the process realize that in as-much as I would want to believe, there is no definite result to any life. The only thing that holds true is that your life changes. Every decision from then on is accountable to you and only you. Who you choose to come out to, who you invite in your life, how you choose to live, are entirely personal choices.

There are still people who I choose not to have certain conversations with and there are people who you could careless about what they think about you. But then There is the question of your safety.

I can still hear the words of my very first counselor, “be yourself, but be careful.” Those words are still real and true. Its not meant to take away from being who you are and living your life as you please, because in all honesty, its no one’s business to ‘know’ and its not your business if they do.

I wish I could tell this to my 15 years old self… “Be whoever you are and just remember that not all opportunities are to be taken.” Because its simply true…

Today, the one question that you could ask yourself,

“What could possibly happen if I come out?” Be the commander of your day, its really up to you. Happy Coming Out day!


As a ‘must see’, I would recommend a new docuseries by Ellen Page and her best friend, Ian Daniel, called Gaycation which explores LGBT culture around the world. I’ve been watching some of these videos over the last few days and at times it has been heartbreaking but at other times uplifting.

So far she has been to Jamaica, Brazil and Japan… these videos can be found on YouTube/VICELAND.

From the dancehall scene in Jamaica, the carnival parades in Brazil to a son coming out to his mother in Japan, it’s really eye opening and humbling.
Ellen Page came out in 2014, in a very inspiring speech at HRCF’s Time to Strive Conference…

And it’s always inspiring to see a childhood star, who has been through similar struggles, come out and stand up in a bold way for something that matters a lot to you.

Gaycation is just one among the great projects that she has been doing… she was in Jamaica last year for the country’s very first gay pride – something I’m still at awe about.
It was a very small celebration but it sends a very strong message to the people in a very homophobic country, that we are still alive and proud. Some of the scenes from that pride event are shown in the documentary she did in Jamaica.

She also spoke with a very homophobic politician and a serial killer in Brazil, who of course, refused to show his face. His unquestionable hate for gay people is really sad!

Please check out this series and share your thoughts!

Myths that Religion Taught Us

Too often LGBT youth are reminded that the church or whatever it may be is not the place for us to be who we are.
For some of us, our stories with religion end with rejection, abuse, trauma, just to name a few.
And I can understand the frustration and anger because quite frankly, a lot of us feel betrayed by society and our religious intuitions.

Just Monday another case was brought before the Supreme Court in New Jersey by conservative Christians to challenge the ban on conversion therapy in the state. Luckily the Supreme Court rejected this case which of course is a big win for the LGBTQ youth who may not have a voice when faced with gay conversion therapy.

Growing up, going to church seems ever so normal until we begin to realize that popular theological interpretations of religious doctrines do not view us as moral people.

At some point, I stopped believing… wasn’t sure if I was an atheist or not… but I was very angry, not only at Christianity but at all religions that perpetuate societal violence against LGBT people.

Somehow, I had absorbed a lot of damaging lies. For a few years I had no intention to renew my faith because the message I received and the people who embraced it didn’t make much sense.

I was forced to accept that being gay was a choice and conversion therapy was effective. In my perspective, back then, there was just no logics, no rationale for the lies that I was told.

Among the lies:

You can’t be christian and gay

The idea that the Bible, as it is, condemns homosexuality is an old age rhetoric that was never true.
“You are a reprobate and you are going to hell!”
Leviticus 20:13 and 18;22 are all too familiar like the beating stick that was meant to make us straight. Religious fanatics who are only as religious to the extent that they hate gay people, based on their standards, stoning a man to death can divinely resolve one’s sexuality. Needless to say, it was taught that gay people are not welcome in the faith.
What the pastors failed to tell us was that the Bible does not address the subject of homosexual acts between committed gay couples, because the ‘concept’ of a person being homosexual did not even exist at the time the Bible was written.

God hates the sin but loves the sinner

First and foremost, according to many theologians, this saying is not found in the Bible in so many words.
Many religious conservatives believe in a magical spell that could remove the sexual orientation from the person.

The implication here is that the ‘gayness’ and the beholder are two different things.
Not True!

“All Religions condemn homosexuality”

Notwithstanding that Christianity does not explicitly reflect the bigotry of many of its followers, and bearing in mind that both reform and conservative Jews are usually accepting, there are still many other religious groups that are affirming or accepting of gay people… such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Sikhism, among some of the most popular.

Altogether, we all have different faith and we are entitled to our beliefs but it’s ungodly to use God in the name of bigotry. It’s senseless to believe that the intention of a loving God, for this world was to punish humans for things beyond their control.
Not true!

Conversion Therapy Does Not Work!

In December 2014, I remember coming across a story on Facebook about a 17 year old transgender girl from Ohio, Leelah Alcorn, who committed suicide.

Before she died she posted a suicide note on her Instagram blog, revealing her struggles and requesting for change within society.


She was one in the line of many more who suffered similar fates before her. She was raised in a conservative Christian environment and came out to her parents at 14 years old but they refused to accept her female gender identity. When she made a request to them to have her undergo female conversion therapy, they send her into a Christian-based conversion therapy instead.

Leelah lived with the fears that things will never get better… that she will never be fully accepted, especially by her parents – who should have been there to love and care for her.

But in spite of Leelah’s plea for a changed world including a ban on conversion therapy, nothing much has really changed since her death.

There are still people who we come across now and then, who think that one can ‘become straight’ or who deny the fact that there are actually people who identify with another gender.

In Christian therapy Leelah met some of these people who constantly reminded her that she was not the girl she thought she was and sadly, her parents approved this message.

I may never understand much of the struggle Leelah endure while going through conversion therapy but I do know the emotional and psychological trauma you experience when someone tells you that you have to be something that you are not and what you are is disgusting.

Back in 2014 there was an Ex-gay ministry traveling the world, especially to third world countries, in places such as Africa and the Caribbean, convincing the local populace and governments to reject the LGBT movement, calling it the ‘Gay Agenda’.

When I was in Jamaica, one of the board members, Dennis Jernigan, came on national television to share his story of ‘becoming straight’ and falling in love with a woman with whom he produced nine children.

At that time it didn’t occur to me that he was spreading the wrong message. I had the mentality that sexuality was alterable and his story was living proof. In fact, I was still actively involved in my local church and I worked tirelessly to find the secret formula to ‘becoming straight’.
I went to his site and messaged him my story, expressing my desire to become straight… how silly? I left my contact information hoping he would respond. I checked back for days into weeks but I never heard back from him. It was extremely frustrating but today I thank God he didn’t.

A few months later Exodus International released a new policy statement on the criminalization of homosexuality and Dennis Jernigan offered an apology for the work he carried out in Jamaica, which in his statement violated the principles of Exodus. The organization was ultimately dissolved in 2013.

It’s really heartbreaking to witness different organizations and the people who support them, focused on destroying thousands of lives in the name of ignorance.
Leelah would probably still be here today had it not been for the hateful dogma that some religious groups teaches.

Much more work needs to be done but fingers crossed, we will get there. “It Gets Better”.