I am different from you and I will not be ignored.

Are you uncomfortable yet?

I have fought for every scrap of my soul,
I fight for the land I stand on.
I bleed into the soil every day.
If my heart grows green and verdant,
It was watered with my tears
And paid for with torn strips of myself.

This is how it feels:
It feels like I am nothing, nothing,
Nothing but what you want from me.
It feels like I throw myself against the bars everyday
To mold this form into something I want to live in
Something I can look at
Something I can wear and walk and talk and speak
And not feel dirty
While all around me you stand and mutter,
Wide eyes and anxious hands,
And offer nothing.

Are you uncomfortable yet?

Give my back myself.
My soul is not your banner.
My soul is not proof of your tolerance and acceptance
I am not your pet project
And I am not here for your benefit.
I am uncomfortable with being gendered
Near-all of the time
I ache and itch through my own skin
And I have longed to tear it open
And destroy every last traitorous chromosome.

Every structure on this planet
Tells me I don’t exist,
And winds the gag of shame
“Hard change to make”
“Takes practice”
“Just a slip”
Adds a link to the ponderous chain of guilt
That shoves me away from correcting people.
Every person I love is part of my cage.
Everything you have learned is wrong,
The problem is not the children,
The problem is the adults. 

Are you uncomfortable yet?

Listen to me
Because I need you
And I have to make you understand.
Listen and keep listening.
Tear your ears open and make this your problem.
My sisters are beaten, raped, and murdered.
This is my family, this is me.
My brothers are scorned, abused, and desperate.
This is my family, this is me.
Every hand on them is a hand on me.
All of us are in love with death.
Half of us will seek him.
This is your problem.
Listen to us.

Don’t recoil from our rage.
We have reason to be angry
And you can handle it.
Don’t turn from our tragedies.
They are yours
And the whole human race’s.
We have to remind each other everyday that
We are real
And we are worth saving.
We are clinging to our humanity
With everything we have.
Are you uncomfortable yet?