We Were Always Here: How Poetry Aligns with the Timeline of LGBTQ+ Visibility
Olivea Wiggins, HON 400: All College Honors Colloquium
Faculty Mentors: Professor Jennifer D. Ryan-Bryant, English and Professor Michael Johnson, Modern and Classical Languages
Throughout literary history, there have been lovers of all forms, yet it’s only the heteronormative stories that are encouraged to be told worldwide. When did the existence of the LGBTQ+ community really become accepted by the literary world? Adrienne Rich’s essay “Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence” and John D’Emilio’s essay “Capitalism and Gay Identity” present two sturdy claims as to when LGBTQ+ existence was accepted. After taking even the slightest glance at poetry both past and modern, however, it is evident that this history extends even earlier than the LGBTQ+ theory trailblazers had envisioned. A thorough look through Arthur Rimbaud, Paul Verlaine, Gertrude Stein, and Allen Ginsberg will prove that the literary scene has always represented “not-heterosexual” love. In addition, Blythe Baird, a contemporary poet published and well-known through Button Poetry, weighs in on how these poets and many others inspired her art to grow to its present status.
Arts and Humanities
Wiggins, Olivea, "We Were Always Here: How Poetry Aligns with the Timeline of LGBTQ+ Visibility" (2020). Communication and Humanities. 22nd Annual Student Research and Creativity Conference. SUNY Buffalo State.