Tired eyes wrapped in soft black and purple skin
Shaking fingers and sweaty palms
Slowly lifting up my chin
Mouth open just enough to whisper
But nothing comes out
Wishing for my sister
I don’t understand how to say the words I need to say
The thoughts that have been inside for so long now
Making me who I am without ever letting on to anyone else
The looks I get from time to time
Not quite sure how to react,
Everyone is different.
When it starts I hold my breath,
Waiting for that bad response
Thinking, finally this is the one. The one that kills me.
But often times I get a smile, a nod of respect.
Respect for being able to be me.
Respect from those who don’t know me just for existing.
Other times I get a question…
“But what does that mean?”
“Is that really a thing now?”
The worst so far are those who pretend to know me
better than I know myself.
Telling me I’m confused, that I haven’t decided yet.
Those who don’t even wait for me to finish.
2 genders. 2 genders. 2 genders.
I ignore them, knowing they’re wrong but knowing that they think they’re right.
They think that just because they can’t understand my fluidity that it can’t exist.
That without recognition from the whole world I’ll somehow disappear.
These conversations are the worst because I cannot get angry
Bald headed feminazi dyke, obviously just angry for the sake of being angry.
Nothing to do with my peers being murdered on the daily.
With my siblings being thrown out, being beaten by those supposed to protect them.
So many being refused by their own blood.
Blood is thicker than water.
Blood is thicker than water.
The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb that held you for so long.
You thought you’d never leave it but here we are, choosing our own family with which to live our lives.
Every time I have this conversation I think about the generations of people my community has lost to illness and bigotry, to those who thought they knew us better than we know ourselves.
I think of every out and proud person with stories of abuse from people they loved dearly.
I think of every friend who came out to me first, with tears in their eyes because they thought they were broken.
So many have been broken.
By those supposed to protect them.
By those who promised to protect them.
I think of Stonewall and how this all started,
All the rage in those tired eyes staring down cops
Those shaking fingers gripping those bricks.
I think of how our “equality” was born in blood and anger.
How we are constantly told our anger doesn’t matter.
That we’re equal now.
I think of the young kids who only know clubs
Who sneak out at 15 and try to be a part of something
Who lie and steal just for a chance to be part of something.
The community that I love is being torn apart from the inside,
People on canal street telling me I don’t exist.
That my identity isn’t right for them
That I fight the wrong fight when all I want is M.X. on my ID
I want to be recognised as real by the media and my neighbours.
I want to be a part of something.
Our first Pride was a riot I scream in the street,
50 years on and still the L’s and the G’s tell us we don’t exist,
Even though we fought this fight for them.
We fought for them and they will not return the favour.
So their first Pride 50 years ago was a riot.
We went down kicking and fighting
And now we will rise again,
Eyes tired from staring down those supposed to protect us.
Fingers shaking as we throw our first brick.