Have you ever learned something
so profound, beautiful, and haunting
that it commandeers your lost soul
and guides you towards a new path?
Have you ever heard something
so tragic, honest, and visceral
that it tears at your fragile heart
and exposes you to new emotions?
Have you ever lost something
so precious, innocent, and pure
that it forces you to contemplate
who you are in this lonely world?
Something that challenges you
to deconstruct your experiences
and change how you understand
moments that have defined you?
Three generations of women
a conversation about our lives
our shared feminine experience
But one doesn’t feel as though
she belongs in this discussion
an outcast not recognized
Because she was raised a boy
her identity and reality denied
unable to express her truth
Two women and one erased
no voice among loved ones
an exile in her own home
But she fights to be heard
and her elders turn to listen
unsure but filled with love
Their son becomes a daughter
as a beautiful tale unfolds
a child’s truth now recognized
After a shower I stand naked in front of a bathroom mirror
vapor and steam swirling around the enclosed private space
as it conceals all the horrible aspects of my own masculinity.
For once I do not turn away in disgust at my reflected visage
as clouds of water droplets present a much softer appearance
I’m now able to imagine what it would be like to feel feminine.
Unable to see body hair, an Adam’s apple, or broad shoulders
and more apparent is the luster and beauty of my supple skin
through the mist I can imagine myself as a vulnerable woman.
At first this brings me shame and guilt in denial and misogyny
but then I come to realize that there is some hope in this image
the desire to accept who I am and grow into my own reflection.
Sitting in a doctor’s appointment
with a supposed medical “expert”
who knows less about hormones
and gender-affirming surgeries
than me, a trans person with no
post-secondary medical education.
But of course this is to be expected
in a society where my own identity
as someone who is transfeminine
is perceived as more controversial
than all the imprisoning ideologies
which enforce gendered falsehoods.
And so I wish we lived in a world
where “professionals” were humble
and could admit to their mistakes
but instead I am the one expected
to contribute the emotional labor
required to create positive change.
The devil doesn’t need an advocate
and every time you lend a voice to
legal council for the lord of darkness
you silence a chorus of angelic truth.
Perhaps you don’t even realize that
Satan has power without your favor
and while I may not be very religious
I understand the violence of erasure.
You claim that our trauma isn’t real
despite your own inexperience with
our realities, our struggles, our pain
so confident in your logic and reason.
You call on powers you can’t control
and you don’t understand that these
very same ideologies are responsible
for the anguish that we all experience.
Fuck all the limited assumptions and labels
that encourage you to view this body as male
because I am a bad ass transfeminine tomboy.
No, I am not your stereotypical trans princess
and I do not exist to meet your toxic standards
so confident in my femininity and expression.
But there is always a voice that whispers to me
and it claims that my feminine is not authentic
so overcome with internalized hatred and doubt.
So when I tell people to go and fuck themselves
for trying to pigeonhole me to false conventions
sometimes I wonder who needs to hear that most.
My mind is like a fierce torrent
of swirling emotion and worry.
A cascade of turbulent showers
awash with dread and anxiety.
And sometimes it’s troublesome
to catch a glimpse of the sunrise.
But when I am in your presence
your warmth clears the dark skies.
Weird is as weird does
and weird does as weird feels
because weird feels wonderful.
So feel wonderful and be weird
because weird is not weird
and normal is not normal.
Weird is normal and normal is weird
so weird is beautiful and normal is crude
and to be normal is to be a prude.
Because maybe weird is who we are
and who we are is fabulous and deranged
so be weird, be abnormal, and be strange.
When you come to mind
it’s like a home invasion,
a trespass in my memories.
When you reach out to me
it’s like assault on my soul,
a reminder of the heartache.
When you hold me close
it’s like being held captive,
a prisoner of guilt and shame.
And a child should never
have to feel this hopeless
about someone they love.
Far too often
I take all blame
on my own shoulders
even though I know
I am not alone.