Meet Dean Atta. And his beautiful, and yet honest poetry. This inspiring writer from the LGBT+ community says it as it is with carefully knitted words. And we have more than one reason for you to be checking it out.
Performance is a big part of the LGBT+ community. Individuals have been forced to stay closeted for so long that performing yourself is a feature of freedom. Speaking about LGBT+, performing drag, or just dressing in ways that are not dictated by gender. Even these basic things become a part of the performance.
And watching The Black Flamingo in all his spirit performing a piece from his poetry collection is LGBT+ performance at its ultimate. According to Queerty, the artist was “named one of the most influential LGBT+ people in the UK by the Independent on Sunday”.
Finest Poet, Finest Poetry
The writer was also tagged as“one of the UK’s finest poets” by Time Out London. And his poem “How to Come Out as Gay” is a part of this year’s anthology Proud. Check out his video by Pink News as he reads his poetry as The Black Flamingo. and talks about how he conceived it.
The Black Flamingo
Dean Atta’s avatar of The Black Flamingo holds a lot of weight and value. It is not simply a costume that he dons, or a personality he chooses to switch into. The Black Flamingo has a symbolic meaning for Atta. Not only is it the title of his first-ever novel, but it also reflects his personal blackness and queerness.
The Black Flamingo discusses his journey of being gay, coming out, falling in love, and rejection too. In the video, he elaborates on what being gay is to him.
“Being black and queer means being doubly fabulous!”
“But also, the intersections of homophobia and racism do affect me.”
Power Times 2
Atta also explains how belonging to two different communities empowers him twice as much. He says he feels “very empowered by and supported by, where I found so much strength and see that so many people have struggled in order for me to stand proud as a black, gay man.”
Communal support can help raise confident adults. Adults who are comfortable in their own skin and can contribute their best to the society. That’s probably why the LGBT+ seeks support and acceptance from the world outside. Coming back to Atta, until some point in life, he was closeted as well. But like many gay men and women, he got out of the closet because of his love for someone.
“For me, coming out was kinda incidental to liking a boy and wanting to ask him out on a date or to be my boyfriend,” he reveals. “And I got rejected. He said no. But I was then out.”
His poetry manages to encapsulate all of these experiences and more. But mostly, the poem is his advice for his younger self. You will definitely relate. And so will your younger self. Atta says,
“The thinking behind my poem … is advice I would give to my 15-year-old self. I wanted to send the message that there’s no right way to come out or no right time to come out. It’s just when you feel ready.”
We picked out a few more gems from the Dean Atta’s video that will knock on your teen self’s closet door to check with you.
“Don’t come out unless you want to, Don’t come out for anyone else’s sake. Don’t come out because you think society expects you to. Come out for yourself. Come out to yourself. Shout, sing it, softly stutter.”
“Being effeminate doesn’t make you gay. Being sensitive doesn’t make you guy. (pause) Being gay makes you gay.”
“Don’t worry: It’s okay to say you’re gay and later exchange it for something that suits you, fits, feels better.”
“Be a bit gay, be very gay. Be the glitter that shows up in unexpected places.”
“Remember, you have the right to be proud. Remember, you have the right to be you.”
A personal favorite, the glitter one. Something about that phrase is so hopeful and notorious! Quirky and effeminate. And maybe a tad bit annoying. But glitter honestly makes everybody’s eyes light up.
But think about it this way. Words have the power to make a difference. Strike a chord in your heart. Poetry has made a gradual come back. And even though our LGBT+ history has seen some struggle surfacing back into relevant, we now have the power to make history for the future to come. With poets like Dean Atta, being LGBT+ is going to be an experience for the upcoming LGBT+ generation.
Related Reading: THE REAL-EST POETRY PIECES THAT CELEBRATES QUEERNESS AND QUEER LOVE!