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For Kathy Flores

The following poem was written and shared by Vanesha McGee at the closing of the Celebration of Life for Kathy Flores on December 11, 2021.

For more information about Kathy's legacy, please visit the Kathy Flores Memorial Fund.


a person who came before, linked as family, and has passed on


those who told stories with their eyes, shared love through their touch,

those whom we’ve met, whom we’ve loved,

those whose names ring truths in our beings

those who honor our existences

beyond bloodlines,

ancestors are our connection to identity

those from whom we descend

yes grandmothers and great uncles,

sisters and cousins and mothers - our beloveds

so too are they our queer elders and leaders

our icons and mentors and teachers

the ones who stood up for our freedoms

who taught us that love can be enough,

that life can be for us

they are those from whom we receive guidance

those who remind us that we are seen

and we – have been chosen to uplift their legends,

to bring grace to their illuminating presence

in our actions, through our words, with our bodies

we honor our love

those who carry our dreams, our hopes, our goals

as if they were their own

we raise our glasses

and slip gratitude into every moment

and as we move our bodies into the tomorrows we hope are still to come

may we remember the feeling of lightness and of joy

the fill of nostalgia and of praise

that rock our steady

spoken words from the heart, a story for every memory

may we remember how it feels to laugh and to cry

with those we hold dear, for those we we hold near

may we offer ourselves to each other

honestly, wholly, and daily

may we not hold our tongues,

but lift our language to the light

let us love ourselves and each other into the future

saying thank you and i love you and you matter

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