More Queer Studies Class Poems

Everything has been so busy, I almost forgot to share the poems my students in Introduction to Queer Studies wrote this semester–they gave me permission to share them! (Spring 2017 poems are here.)

These are the poems they write as an entire class. My contribution is the opening line, “Growing up it was always expected…” They take it from there! The only rule is that everything goes in the poem. 

The 1:00 class wrote:

Growing up it was always expected
For me to act lady-like
That I would play hockey like my brothers
To get a boyfriend
Grow up and provide for the family
That I would grow out of it
That I would get married
Children, have a lot of children
To not embarrass my parents
To be strong in my faith
To keep my dresses clean
That I would finally do my hair
Oh shit no
Can I add laughter
Oh god
To join the armed forces
Oh no
Oh no I heard that again
What is happening
What I say is off limits
To go to college
Follow your dreams
Make a lot of money
I was about to say that
To go to church
To get a job in a math and science field
Don’t pursue the arts
You’re gonna be poor
Be successful in school
Don’t do drugs
To stop beating up boys
Don’t stop beating up boys
That’s funny
To contribute to the country
To always make the right choice like in quotations
We don’t have enough money
To let your voice be heard
To speak when spoken to
I was going to say the same thing
Don’t walk like that
Keep your legs closed
Respect your elders
Keep your head up
Don’t wear jeans that tight
Get a haircut
Why do you always wear black?
Stand up for yourself
Sit up right
No slouching
For me it’s always to stay at home until marriage
Tattoos make you unsuccessful
Don’t dress too revealing
Don’t put holes in your face
Be a leader
Don’t be the talk of your family
What you listen to is weird?
Why do you listen to that devil music?
What would grandma think
Respect others
Where did you meet that person?
In my room
Don’t date until you’re serious
You can meet a black girl
Girls don’t wear snapbacks
Except they do
They do though
No you haven’t
Haven’t what
We’re just protecting you
We know what’s best for you
You’re not giving me my space
We just want you to have a better life than we did
No boyfriends until after college
Toughen up
Stop being a baby
Boys don’t cry
Man up
You’re too emotional
What is a boy?
Why are you always so quiet?
You’re always hanging out with girls. Why?
When did you know you were gay?
How did you know you were gay?
Wait, are we still on topic?
You’re supposed to be smarter than the boys
Why did you make a lower grade? Are you not taking school seriously anymore?
Your parents are mean
Be active in school
Oh, you got this on your own?
The Suicide Hotline number
So you’re gay, does that mean you’re a drag queen?
Does that mean you’re having sex all day, every day?
Didn’t you have a boyfriend in 8th grade?
When you have sex are you the man or the woman?
What about my grandchildren?
Why are you so emotional?
You’ve got a few from me
How should we end our poem?
With a big middle finger
No it’s yaaaaaas
That was great
Ok no

The 2:30 pm class wrote:

Growing up it was always expected
My sexuality and gender neglected
Do we have to make it rhyme
Or like no no never mind
This actually works
This is modern art
To have children
Act like a lady
For my femininity to always be present in dresses and bows I never liked
I held my tongue
To pick the right toy
To hold the right hand
To abide by the rules and regulation
To please the right people
To make my parents proud
To fall for a specific identity
To fit into a certain category
Not be ashamed of who I am
But who am I?
To cook because that’s what is expected of a lady
To go with the grain
Is it always going to be a joke in pop culture?
Which bathroom do I go in?
I don’t know
And then she’s going to put lol
Who can I trust?
To hold open the door for any and everyone
I wonder if I can have a show on Disney channel
Probably not
Raven Simon has a show
Love that woman, love that woman
If I showed my true self who would stick around?
I know raven would
Would I stick around?
We need more queer people in the media
How will society look like when my kids are here
I must always smile when boys hit me because they like me of course
I don’t know what to say
I must be perfect
Boys don’t have to be rough and girls don’t have to be soft
I am very fortunate I didn’t have to deal with a lot of this my mom was very accepting of my sexuality
Will and Grace is coming back on
I wonder what Mike Pence is doing right now?
I hope when we do get representation the actors aren’t killed
I miss Lexa from the 100
Its characters not actors I hope the actors aren’t dying
I miss Brangelina
I want all the best for Shilo

They sure are powerful poets!

Dr. Andrew Joseph Pegoda