Pride: a feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of one’s community, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.

Ahead of the Pride festivities in London this coming weekend and in collaboration with Penguin Pride, we asked trans activist and poet Travis Alabanza to share with us a poem on what the Pride season means to them.

While we celebrate the vast achievements of our community, Pride should also act as an opportunity to reflect upon the issues that many in our queer family still face.

There is pride in my bite.
Lipstick smudge on neck,
vampire teeth in,
are you afraid you will turn into me?

There is pride in the bashing,
bashing of my back.
Bash back, to face.
imagine fist into your jeer.

There is pride in the way I yell.
“Who you calling faggot?”
“What the fuck are you looking at”
Did you not know that us freaks have mouths?’

There is pride in my heels wandering.
Forceful, stomps on grounds
Pushes into knees that stop
Who knew fear could look this fierce?

There is pride in my flexibility.
To go from death drop
To dancing with death
It is your loss that you only hear my fingers click..

You tell me of pride in rainbows,
In flags and flat stomachs, muscles and chests,
Pride in our celebration,
In unity and glee,
And I spit out my pride in rebellion.
The pride in saying:
I am a freak, and you cannot fuck with me.

Travis will be performing at Penguin Pride London this Thursday 5 July.

Find out more info here, and use code GAYTIMES10 for £10 tickets!