Identity Disorder

They have a diagnosis for it all.
In a hospital, breathing runs you 300 dollars and it’s not complete without the insurance telling you it’s your problem, not theirs-
Did you know that they say the word “contusion” instead of bruise?
Poke and prod you like they’re paying you to be there,
And by the time you actually leave you’re left with more questions than when you started and a faint inkling that you might have cancer.

Break means fracture,
10 minutes means two hours,
Imaging means X-Ray,
and with a shelf of antibiotics their favorites are the ones you’re allergic to,
Or Ibuprofen.

So naturally,
I’m left here wondering what the cure for my diagnosis is-
“Gender Identity Disorder”,
Printed big and even italicized as if to convince me there’s a problem,
and I reach into my pocket and unfold the paper because it’s one of those things you have to see to believe and right under it they’ve typed “transgender identity”,
Like you need a doctor to tell.

Like they won’t take me seriously when they’ve stopped asking for gender and started asking for sex,
Like I’m going to say yes because all men want it,
Like explaining to the man at the DMV that I understand it’s a federal offense not to sign up for the draft but it’s not like they’d take me anyway,
They don’t want their soldiers to be trans,
Just like they don’t want their doctors, or lawyers, or chefs, or coaches, or teachers, or sons, or daughters,
Just like we call it a celebration of life and not a funeral because funerals are for the dead,
But I’m clearly not living unless I have this disorder duct taped to my forehead,
Like I’m not really trans unless everyone knows it,
Like someone has to cure me for me to have been really sick,
Like there’s another word for homophobia,
Like there’s another reason than just blind hate,
Like inbetween syringes and insurance and therapists,
Like the moment before the needle hits my skin I hear my mother echo “is this really what you wanted?”

And I turn my cheek away as the nurse presses down,
Feel the weight of the dead around me,
Feel the weight of silence drop like a lead ball around a room when the pastor introduces me as woman, not man,
Feel the tears bubbling up on my best friends cheeks because I’m not there to defend myself,
Because 1 in every 10 trans kids kills themselves before they ever get to make it to when it got better.

I don’t know mom,
Is this really what I wanted?

This poem is about: 
My family
My community
Our world


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