Poet Laureates

On a hot summer’s night in New York on June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay club in Greenwich Village, which resulted in bar patrons, staff, and neighbourhood residents rioting onto Christopher Street outside. Among the many leaders of the riots was a black, trans, bisexual woman, Marsha P. Johnson, leading the movement to continue over six days with protests and clashes. The message was clear — protesters demanded the establishment of places where LGBT+ people could go and be open about their sexual orientation without fear of arrest. Pride Month is largely credited as being started by bisexual activist Brenda Howard. Known as ‘The Mother of Pride,’ Brenda organised Gay Pride Week and the Christopher Street Liberation Day Parade a year after the Stonewall Riots. This eventually morphed into what we now know as the New York City Pride March and was the catalyst for the formation of similar parades and marches across the world. The Poet Laureates have created poetry for this celebration.


Pride by Lois Knight - KS3 Poet Laureate

1~

For centuries, ‘pride’ felt nothing but wrong,

as people on earth would go on and on,

about the way homosexuality would be portrayed

as a sin, not a way to live, it wasn’t okay to be gay

but Earth began to bloom like a huge blossom tree

the word ‘gay’ started to mean more than ‘happy’.

One misconception after another and more

different beliefs were opening all new doors

now there’s no need to hide anymore,

So yes. it is okay to be gay,

lgbtq+ will be fully supported one day,

but just know that there’s no reason to hide who you are,

in the fear of someone making commentary or acting bizarre,

you are your own person not to please someone else,

don’t be scared to just be yourself.

2~

For centuries, being gay was looked down upon

like a frown in earth's core, her feelings outshone

by every misconception

people muddling her words

to the point she no longer felt understood

her voice never heard

until other individuals gained more opinions.

Protests began forming, bringing millions and millions

of people together who felt the same,

feeling more confident than ever again,

about who they are or where they belong,

because in the end there’s no time for lifelong

debates over other people's lives,

because we all have our own,

all as strong as each other.

Nobody is alone.

Being gay isn’t bad, it doesn’t make you weak,

it doesn’t make you weird, nor a freak.

Embrace yourself in every way

because nobody’s words will matter one day.

Forbidden Fruit by KS4 Poet Laureate


You’re tall and dashing

With towering elegance like

That of a prince.

Each petal more precious than the prior;

Although I know you are forbidden.


The bloom of your smile

Brightens the choke of this dull harvest

And you never seem to miss

The shallow pip in which you grew.

I crave the taste of your floral kiss.

The one I begged along the hay I knew.

Although we know it is forbidden.


The scent of your beauty

Enchants these fields and entices my sight

With each wandering stare. I promise each pumping pulse,

the proposal of your security.

Wrapped in my heart, i swear to you my trust, my devotion,

My lust.

Although they say we are forbidden


The taste on my tongue is still warm after harvest.

Your pristine glory like a lantern in the empty field you stand.

The heat of your passion still glossing through my veins

Like lightning striking my mind like fresh brewed mead.

I trade my sanctuary for your safety.

My tears for your laughter.

You fill me up with sugar and sincerity,

Yet I still crave more.

Although they tell us we are forbidden


The empty chest I hold is finally warm.

You’re the fire to my cabin.

Your presence in this desolate isolation of a world we name i beg you stay in

So you never forget your value nor the stems in which you sprout.

You grow among my branches, my pride and my love

The trust in my chest to keep you from the foes

Bellow, just hold on my love. Promise you will never let go.

They toss and turn under your sweetness,

Drooling for a taste of what’s above.

They want us bled and bottled, beheaded on display like mead.

Although we refuse to be forbidden


My first, last and only rose to grow among this field of hay,

So tender and taught with a face worth display,

Your colours possesses the strings of my heart

And I pray my soul will be yours to keep.

Marsha P. Johnson

Brenda Howard