Paneleiro [1] – Kegan Gaspar


Ele é um Paneleiro!

Ele é um Paneleiro!

Um Paneleiro, ele é!


Each morning my street ignites with this chant.

Every child sings with glee, ele é!


I am eight years old, an outsider,

My mother is not Portuguese, an English woman,

My father is not Catholic, a deviator,

My avós are burdened, a grandson or a demon?


Ele é um Paneleiro!

Ele é um Paneleiro!

Um Paneleiro, ele é!


Each afternoon they repeat the ritual.

I walk home from school, ele é!


I am a child, guilty,

I have no solace in church, rejected,

I feel as if I have nowhere to turn, deadly,

I always hear it, so are people like me sick in the head?



Today I shall sing a song.


Eu sou um Paneleiro!

Eu sou um Paneleiro!

Um Paneleiro, eu sou!


[1] Paneleiro is a Portuguese word whose English equivalent is a slur for “Queer”.



That’s Just Not Normal  – Jodi Marx


No sex before Marriage? 

Are you crazy girl?

You have been dating him for four years

It’s just not normal


These are the questions 

That I hear everyday 

From people who hear of my virginity 

And don’t know what to say


I always tell them: 


I love him so much

His familiar smile

His love for God

He knows me so well


We dance and laugh

We share our thoughts on life

We support each other through everything

I know him so well


Gentle strokes against our skin

Thoughtful kisses planted on our lips

Concerned eyes looking into one another

Always putting each other first but,

We haven’t had sex

It’s just not normal


So what if, 


Plastered in make up

She dances against a shadow in the club

One drink, two drinks, three drinks she downs.

She’s got everyone watching by the pub

Her eyes grow hungry as she finds her prey 

Which handsome guy will it be today? 


She grabs him by the hand

Throws him on the bed and without a thought

Thrusts herself onto him


Hard knocks against their skin

Forceful kisses against their lips

Apathetic eyes looking mindlessly into darkness

Growling in hunger for a short lived pleasure,

But they are having sex

So that’s normal right? 


Since when did the idea of harsh touches

 and meaningless “f*****g,” become

more normal that two people who chose;

to wait, to grow in fondness, to enjoy the little moments, to learn the corners of each other’s hearts and have sex ONLY when ready? 


Sex without love

Sex without respect

Sex without concern

Sex without support

Sex without understanding


Sex without all those things

That’s just not normal. 


Or is it… 



Queer – Thiruna Naidoo 



Adjective ?kwir

Queer: a state of acceptance, of the self and of others.

Queer: the last thing you’d ever want your child to be.

Queer: a rejection of labels with boundaries slashed into the sand of your mental island.

Queer: my sister’s best friend is more than just a friend to me (in my heart)

Queer: a celebration of diversity, diversity devoid of exclusionary practices.

Queer: a word my grandfather spat out in disgust in his youth.

Queer: my first intimate connection with a girl with short hair who called me Star

Queer: a slur used to dehumanize people who loved outside of heteronormative ideals.

Queer: the carrier of my shame when a girl caught me staring at the curve of her breast.

Queer: my mother’s tears when I told her that I will not birth any children of my own.

Queer: a description of the sexual practices no one dares talk about.

Queer: a phase, a state of confusion, a possession, an influenced state.

Queer: an extraordinary ab N O R M A L ity.



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