You’ve been poemed

You’ve been poemed

poemed (v.)

to be asked to listen with your heart to the words of the concerned.

This collection of poems was written in community solidarity for Queer youth this week of Trans Visibility Day 3-31. Advocates gathered, researched, brainstormed and wrote from the heart the importance of taking action to create a better and affirmative environment for Queer and questioning students as they have the highest rates of suicide compared to their cisgender and hetero peers and suicide is the leading cause of death for youth. School environments, as you know, play a major role in the lives of these students and abandoning or remaining silent about their identity is playing a complicit role in perpetuating their invalidation and negating their identity: creating unsafe spaces. There is never a wrong time to start or stop advocating and learning for and about marginalized youth and changing the conversation to one of healing over hurting. We are not calling here for major changes. Just small things that can improve the day-to-day at school for LGBTQ students and make space for them to explore their identity, consider it a daily edit in culture. It might save a life.

This is our message to you:

This time is dear to send a message that all are welcome here

Black, Brown, different and/or Queer

Queer is always here


How do we talk about parents’ names

When Sam’s parents are Brittany and Jane?

First Grade

How do we draw a family tree

When Clover’s parents are Dylan and Billy?

Second Grade

How do we offer redirection

When Oliver uses a slur, an inappropriate vocabulary selection?

Third Grade

How do we teach grammar and pronouns

When their teacher is not referred to as “they” frowns?

Fourth Grade

How do we talk about not being a bully

When Sam is taunted for coming to school in a dress and the other boys prefer a hoodie?

Fifth Grade

How do we address Ivy

When Ivy’s name on the roster is Ivan?

Sixth Grade

How do we talk about crushes

When Susie talks to Sally she blushes

Seventh Grade

How do we enter open a conference about Ivy

When Ivy’s parents would convert Ivy back to Ivan?

Eighth Grade

How do we talk about healthy relationships

When Susie and Sally are getting cyberbullied for who they love?

Ninth Grade

How do we Get changed for gym

When Lee would prefer to share a locker with her and not him?

Tenth Grade

How do we teach Wilde and Whittman

When Dylan avoids the hallways for fear of a hitman?

Eleventh Grade

How do we have dances

When heteronormative choice dances dismiss queer chances?

Twelfth Grade

How do we talk about the news

When we see so many Queer people of color being abused?

As you can see

In the school, there is a place for the word gay to be.

You can not shove it in the dark

Doing so is an attack on Love

And safety for those with the queer spark.

For the Love

Do something every day

to affirm that it is ok to be gay

For affirming this will literally save a life

Schools are where Queer kids often face the most strife

Being affirming and kind will not cost a dime

But spending a little on staff training

On implementing pronouns and preferred names

Would be money well spent towards life saving.

Suicide is the leading cause of death in teens

And queer teens are 4 times more likely to die this way.

It doesn’t take much, researchers say

Education, affirmation and conversation

are indeed within a school’s means.

The time to start is today

The time to stop is never

It’s ok to say Gay

It’s ok to have an expansive gender

The Gender Bend in the River

Man and woman leaves no-inbetween

No space for non-binariy people to be seen.

To move beyond the binary

We must see gender with variety

Fluid like a river so is Gender

We are simply sediment

sometimes sediment starts on one bank

and settles on another

Sometimes a rock sinks in the middle

And it feels happiest there.

There are ways

that we can explain

The river-like nature of gender

And doing so will create safety

and prevent offenders

A haiku to they/thems’

Grammar lesson time

“They” can be singular

Say “they”; it’s ok.

-Poems by Lily, Artist


Victoria M. Evens

We were invisible,

searching for each other, and ourselves, in every room.

Cycles of emotions

fighting from confusion, to realization, to gloom.

With each step in a cold school hallway

from a class dismissed…

Our thoughts dismissed…

Our identities dismissed…

Our feelings dismissed…

But, slowly, quietly,

we recognize the soft, confused eyes of another misplaced, dismissed face.

We grow stronger with every locked eye,

every realization, every kind teacher, every friendly classmate.

Every resilient, gay, loved character in a new book…

We begin our new chapter.

Now, with every strong step in a cold hallway

from a class dismissed…

Our fears dismissed…

Our oppressors dismissed…

Our facades dismissed…



I want to be in the Classroom

Where my action becomes their affirmation

Where I show solidarity

To my little wonderful learners

I want to be in the classroom

Where my action becomes their affirmation

Where we expect love and acceptance

And reject violence and exclusion

I want to be in the classroom

where my action becomes their affirmation

Where we say Gay

Because it is a part of who we are

I want to be in the classroom

where my action becomes their affirmation

Where representation means

Learning and living our truths

Hannah, Teacher
My heart, Like any heart, meditates on love

Through stability, through security, the heart belongs


You have the power

to let someone be themself

I want you to feel good

In this world

In your skin

Life is too short

to exist as anything not within

You belong in this place

This world

As he or she or they,

I say hey

I think you’re cool

You’re important

So is school

So please be here

As you want to be

As you are

You are welcome

We all are


*I wrote it as if I was a teacher speaking to my students.
Further research and sources that were referenced in this project:

The Trevor Project: LGBTQ Youth Suicide Prevention in Schools

Shedding Light on the Experiences of LGBTQ Students: Sobering Data and Reasons for Hope

LGBTQ Students of Color Speak Up

Supporting LGBTQ+ Students of Color

6 Things White Educators Can Do to Support Native LGBTQ+ and Two-Spirit Students