New Trans Voices: Hear From the Trans Poets Workshop NYC

Members of the Trans Poets Workshop NYC offer pieces from their diverse bodies of work.



J Mase III


To the woman that frequents my girlfriend’s apartment complex
with the stank face that always reads
Here come that gay bitch again
I want you to know that I get it
You are not used to gay people
They’ve been the stuffing that jokes whispered on sidewalks
and behind the backs of strangers are made of
Not real
Not very tangible
Not even very human

As a teenager my father (or the way I imagined him)
Would tell me that we’re all the same
and anyone that didn’t like me ‘cause I was gay
was simply just ignorant of that fact
We’re all the same
like a handholding
‘We are the world’
sexually indifferent
block party

My father was pretty corny like that
And you my friend
are more right than my father ever was (even his imaginary parts)
There is a very distinct difference between gay people and straight people
that is sooo slight
I’m glad and a bit surprised you’ve noticed it
Gay people just fuck better
And I know you know that
because you live next door
And the particular intensity of anger you are expressing comes from a focused type of sexual frustration
that can lead to ailments such as delusions of heterosexual grandeur
snarled lips
and rampant unchecked homophobia
that leaks out into cultural norms as emotional and physical transgressions
from a lack of clitoral release
If I were you I’d hate gay people too
Because we have been interrupting
quiet nights at home with your cat
and repeat episodes of Meet the Browns
America’s Next Top Model
and The Housewives of Orange County
That is some seriously important shit!
I mean
A better question
is not why are you gay
but rather
Why do y’all fuck so much and so good when I’m trying to sleep
or in the four corners of my mind?

See I added that last part
because every time you say the word gay
I can see behind those perverted eyes your ass is only thinking about sex
(To the point I often wonder if my butt looks good in your preoccupied heterosexual fantasies)
So let me answer both of those questions for the two of us
Of course it does and
I don’t fuck more
I fuck harder
I fuck harder

For when my mother slapped me across the face at Christmas for looking
like a boy

I fuck harder
For the boy that thought he could fuck the gay out of me
I fuck harder
For the 13 year old trans girl turned prostitute
because her parents forced her to sleep on the streets

I fuck harder
Because Ugandan activists like David Kato
don’t deserve to die at the hands of American Evangelism

I fuck harder
Because my government thought it was more important
for me to be able to die for my country
than to live in holy matrimony
or with equal job and housing protections

I fuck harder
Because the trans life expectancy in this country is only 37
So don’t blink
I might not be here much longer

I fuck harder
To prevent forgetting
that the ability to come into the warmth of your partner
from the cold of outside
is a luxury not everyone is allotted
I fuck harder

To let her know
that this very moment is sacred
I fuck harder

Because every time a post-dyke transfag thrusts
A fucking faerie gets its wings~
So that being said
If you have any more questions
you can feel free to give a knock on the door
of apartment 305B
and I’d be more than happy to answer them for you
I hope you have a good night
See I’d say good night’s sleep

but between you and me
I just got back from a looong trip
and the way my girl looked today]
Ain’t nobody in this place gettin’ any type of rest
for the next week
But just in case we’re both up later
You should leave your light on
So we can chat again
Ya know,

J Mase III is a black/trans/queer poet currently based in Queens. The creator of the traveling performance event Cupid Ain't @#$%!: An Anti-Valentine's Day Poetry Movement, J Mase has shared his special brand of poetry on stages around the U.S. and U.K. Feel free to follow him on Twitter @jmaseiii,, or track him on his website at