A fellow college classmate, Diana, and I wrote this poem together as we were inspired by the likes of Adrienne Rich and Sara Ahmed. We wanted to touch on the animosity between trans folk and cis women that often exists between them, and bridge our collective and often shared feelings of joy, rage and injustice into writing. We welcome you to walk the bridge with us.
What is a woman? A woman can’t satisfy.
Because if she’s not “woman” enough in one aspect or the other she’s not deserving of that title at all.
Gender is a societal construct so I wouldn’t really know how to define a woman.
For many, being a woman means that her brain is in between her legs but how do we persuade them that it’s fucking not?
I know a lot of women who aren’t born with the biology of what a woman is expected to be
I know a lot of women who don’t have breasts, who don’t carry typical reproductive organs within their systems.
I am a proud bi/ pansexual being,
I won’t shy away from who I am, though, my gender expression has often impacted the world around me and how others perceive me
Because I am more masculine, I am always characterized into a masculine stereotype,
Leaving me out of what designates femininity
I am not the problem, the world that surrounds me is,
I always find myself trying to break out of the expectations that society has built around women and people like me,
Because I am a threat in cis-gendered lenses
Society only labels me as a woman because of the body I have but I don’t feel like the woman
they expect me to be.
I’ve never wanted to comply with society’s definition of what a woman should be but I’d be lying if I said it hasn’t formulated certain opinions about me
I remember one night I was told by a group of boys, “ You know what Sam, we were looking at your senior portrait and you’re actually kind of hot. But we’ve never wanted to mess with you because we don’t know what you are.”
For decades men have dehumanized women as objects to pick and choose from, what category we fall under depends on how they feel about us
I never really thought that the way I presented myself was a problem until then.
I wish to live in a world where there wasn’t a border separating what’s acceptable and what isn’t
I wish to live in a world where men didn’t scan my body to decide whether I am worthy enough of their attention because my story lies within the power my eyes withhold not what’s in between my legs.
I wish to live in a world where scripts didn’t exist, where the discomfort of others as Ahmed explains in Queer Feelings didn’t predict my future
And I wish I didn’t have to comply with gender norms to feel accepted
I don’t want to fucking conform to what everyone wants me to be in order to feel like I belong,
I am a woman regardless of what other people see me as.
I am a woman despite the fact that I express myself in a masculine matter and not
What society wants me to exist as
I am who I am and I love myself,
Being a woman is an internalized feeling of empowerment,
whether she’s attracted to women, is transgender, doesn’t want kids, chooses to express herself in a masculine way,
a woman is a woman, a woman obtains diversity and nothing should take her away from that.
Society wants to see us tearing each other apart since we are part of a system that was not made for us.
We are seen as creatures who are too sensitive and shouldn’t be taken seriously but the truth is,
Women are some of the strongest people I have ever met
Us women must no longer let the poison that they spit on us burn at our skin, we must instead use this fire that illuminates within us to burn these bridges that keep us apart, from humanity and within ourselves.
Post trans day of remembrance/vengeance is a cacophony of light and dark
What is a trans person? A variance with no monolith
Because the beauty we hold is not in the title but in the diversity
If gender is a societal construct then let me define me
My body is a constant preoccupation, by the hand of law or by the hand of geriatrics
I know many trans people whose flesh would concern the judge and the jury
Not because of illness or pain or plight but their flesh goes against the compulsory
The blood in my trans siblings’ bodies is running
Our system inactive
My pride in motion
I won’t shy away from who I am even if I make the world dizzy
Because I say fuck you to gender
I am not the problem, the world that surrounds me is
My fat trans body will fit where it may, but I demand a recall on these seats
The expectations of my sex are of no importance
As they surround me like wild dogs
I throw the meat, not my flesh
Because I am a threat in cis-gendered lenses
Formulating an identity comprised of ambiguity
Of suits and red nail lacquer, of facial hair as equally flowing as my dress
I disinfect the venom and vitriol of my public display of faggetry
In its bounty, in its endlessness
Often disregarding my janitorial work of yesterday
My trans siblings are visible and so am I
I remember one night, but it is every night that my mother calls me, “she”.
Even if they/them or he/him were drawn in spit
I wish to live in a world where my trans siblings were not being fucking murdered
Where our suicide rates and our unemployment rates were deemed a worldwide pandemic
And our hazmat suits all with the proper pronouns
In pink if you’d like, green is an option too
I wish to live in a world where the only ones who scanned my body were reenacting the bar scene from Cruising (1980) minus the murderer
I am worthy despite your decision or contemplate
But your venom is too often and not asked for
I suffocate when you invade my space
I am trans regardless of how you see me, or treat me, or ignore me, or fail to help my siblings, or fail to document our histories, our murders, our accomplishments, our pride, and our adversity.
It has taken me years to love myself
Post trans day of vengeance, the statistics are too high
Being transgender is fucking beautiful
Whether you take hormones or consent to the scalpel
Your trans-ness does not wain
Society wants us dead, but I want you here with me
In the pages, in the text, in the flesh, and in the streets
We are deemed as adjectives the bible and bureaucracy elate over
As there need to feel pious is confronted with our existence
Transgender people are so fucking strong, Charles Atlas writhes with jealousy
Post trans day of remembrance is an everyday observance. We must continue to be the fire they fear
And we’ll build the bridges they deny us with their bones.