POEM: Stonewall

Marsha P “Pay It No Mind” Johnson


The first Pride was a riot, they say
The first Pride was a moment of Wrath
A moment of Had Enough
A moment of Fuck the Pigs
The first Pride was a riot
that began with a brick thrown
by a woman
by a black woman
by a Black, trans woman
named Marsha P Johnson
What does the P stand for?
Pay it no mind, she said
it might as well have stood for
Passing is for the weak or
Pride means no more police raids or
Parades are no substitute for justice

St Marsha of the Pay It No Mind
didn’t throw a brick so you could
have marriage equality
St Marsha of the Pride Is A Sin
And I’m Proud of My Lust
didn’t start a riot
so two gay men could hire a nanny
a black or brown woman
to raise their adopted child
St Marsha of No Pigs at Pride
didn’t suffer and die
so lesbians could have
a joint mortgage
St Marsha and her dear friend Sylvia
Sylvia Rivera, a brown trans woman
a brown queer woman
did not fight the power
so you could fit in
at the suburban barbecue

The letter after P is Q
and Q stands for Queer
Queer as in here
Queer as in fuck you
Queer as in no gender is illegal
and every binary is a lie
Marsha and Sylvia and Miss Major
didn’t dirty their hands
so yours could be clean
didn’t shed their blood
so you could be white and bloodless
and safe and nice
and buy rainbow merchandise
from nice friendly corporations

We are still waiting, some of us
us queers and enbies, bi and pan,
ace and aro folks, we are still waiting
for you to make St Marsha proud

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