A Plea


A little about me before reading this poem. I'm a 17 year old transman (meaning I am transitioning from female to male) and wrote this poem that I slammed in class.








You wanna be a Superhero

You want to swing from the buildings of New York on thread-thin spiderwebs

You want to fight pirates, slay dragons, tackle wide receivers, and rip your jeans climbing trees

You wanna be a boy

And you can, up until you’re thirteen

Because then it’s not cute anymore

It doesn’t make your relatives chuckle when you ask for “boy clothes” for Christmas

It makes them sigh and shake their heads

It makes them ask “when will this phase be over?”

“She really needs to grow her hair”

“Why do you still let her wear that?”

“She’s too old to play with boy things”

“Why can’t she be normal?”


When you’re thirteen the boys you played football with seem to finally realize “girls don’t do this”

The girls start nitpicking each other’s appearance and hating one another for the shape of their bodies

But they all start asking the same question “do you want to be a boy?”

And your stupid ass is honest and you say “Yeah I do”

Apparently that was the wrong answer because After school you get beat up and they tell you “real boys can take it”

In fights that’s four against one “real boys” win

You’re being punished for a defect, a genetic blip

Something that went wrong while you were cooking, a split second decision made by the gods who govern bodies

“No, this baby will be a girl” but it’s already too late

Because that “girl” has already developed the mind of a boy

And is now cursed to stumble through life with a head forcibly sewn onto the wrong body

They don’t know it, but they’re already punishing a trauma patient


There is a war being waged inside her brain

Each side breaking down walls of serotonin and building them back up

To satisfy a need for a chemical that she wasn’t born with

And when she gives up and puts on the eyeliner, the leggings, the dresses

The battle inside of her head doesn’t stop

She just ignores it and conforms to a society in which even when she’s a “proper” girl she isn’t good enough

She's still a "freak" to everyone else

But now, she starts to believe them

So she cakes on more makeup to mask the man trying to burst from her every cell

And he can’t take it

It makes him want to rip the skin from his bones so that he won’t have to deal with seeing a girl in the mirror everyday

And when he finally comes to terms with who he is, they're not proud

They're ashamed, afraid, disgusted.

They blame him for trying escape this prison

Tell him it's just another phase

Would you tell a cancer patient waiting in hospice that it's just a phase?


So why would you belittle someone for trying to make the best out of a genetic defect

Someone who puts on a corset of ductape, squeezing their lungs down to half their original size just to hide two of the tell tale signs of a gender he needs to escape.

Someone who wears a sweatshirt when it's 95 degrees outside so others won't walk past and do a double take, staring at the womanly lines of his frame

And when he goes a day without being called ma'am or being made to use the name branded into him since birth,

He has hope

Until the next day when he can feel the stares,

Eyes searching, scanning for the tell tale breasts, curves, and smooth face of a woman

And he knows that they won't find muscular arms and an Adam's apple

Then they ask the question he's been running from since third grade

"Is it a boy or a girl?"

They don't use "he" or “she” because if they can't tell what's in your pants, you're not human to them.

And he stands here before you spilling his guts and trembling under a blanket of anxiety that grips his very being

And all he asks, is that you read the instructions on the side of the box, because I am a man, I just come with some assembly required.



Dysphoria, is the itch of an addict, trying to remember the feeling of heroin. We long for the state of calm and comfort.

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