Poetry, Poster Contest Winners Chosen

Photo by Veronica Rylander    Poet Laureate Gene Kahane (right) and Penny Chai, an eighth grader at Lincoln Middle School, celebrate Chai winning the 2019 Everyone Belongs Here Poster Contest (the seventh annual). The theme was “every pronoun belongs here.” Chai’s poster will be on display at the Alameda Unified School District offices. The district will make copies for all classes in the fall. The poster contest was accompanied by an Everyone Pronoun Belongs Here poetry contest.

LGBT Roundtable event celebrates every pronoun

 

First Place: 
Don’t Breakdown the Pronouns

Joaquin Bayani 
Alameda Science & Technology Institute
don’t shame upon what we decided on
let the truthfulness of my outward title live on
you can’t erase us like words on paper
can’t tell us that you’ll validate us later

our existence is more than he-she duality
so don’t come and remove us from today’s normalcy
don’t diagnose us with some type of abnormality
treat us with hospitality, empathy, generosity

accept the transcendency of my inner me
i don’t need credibility to stay true to my identity
cause being my own self ain’t a felony
but a conviction to play loud the outcasts’ melody

i be who i want to be and see — my prounoun ain’t something anchoring my well being
i ain’t mistakin’ my self-conscious with “misguided” nonsense

i’m me
and i’m beautiful

Second Place: The Other Options

Katherine Higgins-Kiang
Lincoln Middle School
At birth we’re asked to check a box
That sets the way we dress and talk.
And if you don’t conform to this
The hating world will boo and hiss.
But there are those who do not share
Their flesh and name (and yes, they care)
If your name feels like a glove that doesn’t fit,
Don’t make the choice to wait and sit
Lost in silence, in the dark.
Your word choices have the power to 
make a lasting mark.
There is an option, a hidden choice
That transcends the limits of girls and boys.
Gender is not just a line
That stretches on, compacts, confines.
It is instead an endless spectrum growing
Every day without us knowing.
Neutral options are a thing;
They allow your mind to sing.
Oh, finally the light is here
For every pronoun is held dear.