London performance artist Travis Alabanza has released their debut chapbook, Before I Step Outside [You Love Me], which offers a collection of images, poetry, diary entries and essays. As a black trans femme writer, Alabanza's work largely reflects on living—or surviving—as a marginalized individual. "Every piece within the book is written whilst on a tube, a bus, walking, being harrassed, stared at, looked at, and surviving," Alabanza says. "This collection of work is designed to be taken outside. To be read in public. To be shown in spaces. To be seen."
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Speaking with OUT this spring, Alabanza said they create "from a place of healing," and believe queer black and brown, trans femme, gender non-conforming poets are the future of literature. "I think queer poets need to be heard because queer people need to be heard," they said. "We have things we need to say, and poetry is dominated by cis, straight, white men, but queer narrative can help change that scene, invite new voices and create a more interesting dialogue."
Click here to purchase Before I Step Outside [You Love Me], and watch a preview of Alabanza's breakout work, below.