Tag Archives: queer

Brockton Writers Series 08.03.23: Anto Chan

Anto Chan is a queer HK Chinese-Canadian spoken word performance artist, writer, facilitator, entrepreneur, producer, and caregiver. He performed his one-person show Love So Far at the Montréal Fringe Festival in 2019. He currently co-curates and hosts the variety show FreeFlow Showcase, and his poetry chapbook Romantic Reflections was released in 2020. He is passionate about mentoring the next generation of artists to overcome personal obstacles, leading to sharing their stories authentically. His life’s work is to create and support meaningful art that centres around the journey of growth, self-love, and healing intergenerational trauma. He recently started studying Expressive Art Therapy with Create Institute.


The unfolding of self-discovery has been a lifetime of feeling as if I’m not enough. Consistently pleasing my family’s views on sacrifice and big-picture living, left me disconnected from my reality and identity. Only this past year have I fully accepted my queerness, including it in my writing, my stories and sharing with friends/some family. The deep joy that has come from stepping into my full self has been immeasurable, and this poem was a checkpoint in this ever-expanding experience. 


The In-Between

She told me it wasn’t common 

that I loved flowers as much as I do

Realizing that I am not the norm 

Well for a guy she says 

I like that about you 

A soft kiss onto my beard 

That I wear to make sure 

you know I’m a man 

The masculine presented 

Ensuring the feminine repressed 

Just like every time my mom asks me 

If she can expect grandkids soon 

I tell her she can expect it 

Luckily I have a brother and a sister 

Both following the lead 

Of the classic road

Filling the void 

As I avoid the queries…

I am queer in so many ways 

I wondered how to explain to her 

The best way I could 

We ended on “if there was no women on earth I would with a man, 

I just love women too much”

The only vision of her children is in nuclear families

But maybe that’s why ours 

was so toxic and destructive and radioactive 

How did I myself realize? 

I just met enough straight people to know I’m not them 

For sure. 

And I’m queer in all my doings, 

my career

my friends

my performances

my gender roles in relationships 

The amount of comfort I find being the small spoon 

Small enough to be decorative 

Side note, whichever way you enjoy cuddling

is telling of what you enjoy in the bedroom too, 

I enjoy big and small spoon, 

vers/switch as they call it…

think about yours!  

For years felt the imbalance 

with the numb arm 

never resting my head on lovers bosoms 

Nurtured held 

I also enjoy being pursued

to have dinner bought for me too 

And my hair brushed softly 

And pulled 

Patiently pure care for one another 

But I date women still

so why is it important to share my queerness? 

I can be hidden from

the possibilities of judgment 

be among straight passing people 

Because this is my truth 

the reality of my existence 

deserves to be present

In silence takes away 

the representation of the in between

The crossroads of the intersectionality 

The not this/not that/just so 

The goldilocks and three bears

porridge just right 

Have a stove and pot to heat it up 

to your liking

Customizing our lives 

our love to exactly as we need 

Cause close enough isn’t enough anymore 

So just like my performance, I don’t know how to label what I do,

I wrote miscellaneous—misterlaneous 

These checked boxes are too general and generic 

These labels geriatric

I am just me

Flowers in my hair 

Surrounding me with scentimental aromas 

my love and gender and identity

Taking Pride in persistence 

We’ve made it 

In a space that’s here 

to be our big spoon 

to hold us wholly

Masculinity femininity infinity 

And beyond

Because we are Outta this world.

Original Art by Samantha Dennis @samanthadenniis


Photo by Andre Saunders @dreygasai


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Brockton Writers Series 08.03.23: Seán Carson Kinsella

Seán Carson Kinsella (ê akimihtt nêhi(y/th)aw/otipemisiwak/Nakawé/Irish) is migizi dodem (Bald Eagle Clan) and Indigequeer/aayahkwêw/tastawiyiniw with ancestors and extended kin who were signatories of Treaties 4, 6 and 8. They are a sought keynote speaker, storyteller, and smutty poet and are have been featured in the Toronto Festival of Authors, the Naked Heart Festival, and are a regular reader at Glad Day’s Smut Peddlers reading series.

triptych of Indigequeer desire (giimikan) 


the word for an orange 

in nêhiyawêwin speaks to the colour

of the juice currently splashed on your

chin. in the queer brunch please with

all the mutual cruising, i am fixated on

the small drip as it meets the creases

of your mouth and has dribbled down

poised to fall on the paper tablecloth. 


i want to tell you about how many of

the stories i wrote with oranges end 

with piles of sweat covered beings 

incorporating each other but it would 

mean leaning close to your ear and

i would be tempted to use tongue to

lap the moisture up. when we split

the bill and leave you lean over and

whisper that you are as slick and

juicy as those slices, cut the way

i would at home, and that you want

to find a place just private enough 

to avoid public fines and colonial

justice systems obsessed with 

decency but give no mind at

all to the small acts that add up

to genocide, the trauma of which


we come against over and over

until we find ways to spit it out 

like an errant seed that brings the

potential for new growth in us. 


sour key

i tell you i am like a sour key, tangy on the outside

and sweet and gelatinous on the in. you tell me it

is your favourite thing to suck on and smirk when

i ask “candy…or?”. we’ve moved on to topics of

land back and sovereignty and i find myself just

staring at your lips as they say the brilliant things

and realize when we shift positions that i am wet,

very soaking wet. when we leave the cafe, you 

ask, “still thinking about that sour key?” and i

drop my eyes and turn crimson. “you are lucky

red is your colour” you say as you pull a sour

key out of your bag, and slowly unwrap it. “now

let’s see if we can find a place to make this stick.”

your tongue is slowly wiping the sugar off and

i tell you “i have a few ideas, but you may need

to tie me up and try a few before we see where

it holds the longest.” you nod, look deep into my

eyes and say “let’s see where the night takes us.”


sacretest of liquids

i’ll always be one to stain pots and sheets with the sacretest of 

liquids. cedar can leave rings if you leave it too long, and i’m

one to always remind myself and sweeties that it is just stuff

that is meant to be used, thanked and honoured. i am as 

sentimental as anyone, and still keep my kookum’s dishes in a 

rubbermaid in the basement to use on special occasions – 

her first real set of china that my auntie and nimama got her. 

to exist as an ndn is to know we will cause these marks and 

to keep going – for like the tricksters in our stories we tell in 

when snow is on the ground, life is about learning, making 

mistakes and figuring out how to correct them, those little 

rings and marks on sheets reminders of all we have learned, 

and the simple pleasures of finding medicines that help us 

survive in whatever forms we can – away from the ideologies 

that tried to tell us we were savage and heathen, when we

are still just trying to find those sacred moments of creation,

and both tea and sheets are meant to be shared with as 

many sweeties as medicine and space will allow us to find.

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