We have had the great pleasure of meeting and getting to know Brooklyn Brayl, a New York based transgender poet/writer/performer.
Her debut collection, Dirty Beautiful Words, is a raw, uncompromising and emotionally charged collection of poems that reveal the inner struggles, confusion and alienation felt by Brooklyn whilst coming to terms with her true identity.
Below is the press release we created for Brooklyn. We want to help her share her words, her story, and help touch the lives of not just transgender people, who are often marginalized and feel displaced in society, but to anyone who feels lost, searching for identity in today’s world.
Arcade Fire recently touched on the subject of transgender attitude with their song ‘We Exist’, and now is the time to help spread awareness and become a more accepting society. Please help us by sharing this post on social media.
Dirty Beautiful Words is a product of searching for the light, through highs and lows, love and loss, connection and alienation. While it’s true that most people never look in the mirror and wonder if they were born in the wrong body or understand the pain associated with that journey, we all go through a process of untangling the ‘Who am I?’ question.
This book of poetry is a part of that untangling – that yearning for a complete identity.
Beyond that question, in all of us is the relationship that exists with ourselves and the relationship that exists with those who are present while figuring it out: those who have held our hearts, lifted our spirits, and forced us to believe in ourselves – and unfortunately, those who have screwed us over, took us for granted, and left us to pick up the pieces.
Regardless of background or past experiences, we are the same. The story of struggle, heartbreak and finding the strength to be our most authentic self isn’t always a dress covered in sequins.
These poems arise out of Brooklyn’s deep desire to tell the truth. Brooklyn’s journey has not been an easy one, but immense strength of spirit has led Brooklyn to own a beautiful and very particular deep truth.
The journey revealed ‘underneath’ these poems is a unique journey like that of each reader.
Whoever you are and whatever your gender, orientation and sexuality, Brooklyn has a message for you. It is this. The journey to integrity and alignment with all its challenges and pains must be for all of us and is the only way to be truly alive.
Brooklyn Brayl is a New York based transgender writer/performer currently living on the gender divide.
This is her debut collection of poetry.
Born into poverty to a mother who worked as a maid and a father who is deaf and a retired coal miner, Brooklyn grew up in the Bible Belt and was raised in a fundamentalist Pentecostal environment, which finds itself into the book (religion and the separation of it).
Brooklyn is currently living on the gender divide and that is reflected in her work.
“Music is a passion of mine and I do believe the book and video are influenced by the music industry.”
“In many ways, this is my creative way of trying to break out of my own prison.”
“The idea of creating a visual for some of the poems was also influenced for my love of storytelling and film. I also wanted to do something creative and out of the box to bring attention to the book and I thought this would be a unique approach. I realize that it’s often hard to sell poetry, and I wanted to do something interesting to draw readers to the book and to a somewhat lost art form.”
“I feel like I was made in Brooklyn, which is where I reside (Williamsburg) and where I got my new-found name. Although I have always loved the name even before moving to NYC over six years ago.”
Check out the video to Brooklyn’s poem ‘Bones’:
For more information or to buy the book, visit www.brooklynbrayl.com
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Brooklyn is also available for interviews via Kris Barnes.