Pride

My fingertips go numb
Yet, somehow I am able to clench a fist
The thought of punching you in the face overtakes me, but I stuff it down
I want to watch you suffer
Just as you had made me

Your arguments kill me
The hope you provide me when you state you will call me by my real name
The only name I have ever wanted
The hope that you will be able to see my perspective
The only perspective you should consider

Yet you defy it

Your body comes closer
In this empty classroom covered in posters about math, I only want to multiply the distance between you & I by subtracting you out of my life
Your tongue lets the words roll off bittersweetly

My numbness turns into shaking
The anger & anxiety you caused me had converted into panic
You aggressively tell me your side
I reluctantly listen

I want to see you suffer
I contain my violence by letting key words flitter past my lips & into your ignorant ears

“Church & state”
“Government facility”
“God”
“Transgender”
“Title IX”
“Respect”

I wanted to say that I was, indeed, legally threatening you
But I wanted the administration to see what you are really like
You are the devil meeting his wife, as it is sunny with a peaceful facade, yet sprinkling little drops of red

Those drops of red stain my armor
A pride flag with the blue of my brothers, the pink of my sisters, & the white for those transitioning into their true selves
I shed the skin of the cage once holding me, I break free of the chains your words formed around my ankles & wrists

I will win
You will suffer the consequences of blindlessly being a sheep whilst I am the wolf you fear

I divided that math class by zero, because of you
Your zero empathy
Your zero compassion
Your zero heart
Your zero humanity
Your zero acceptance

My clenched fists turned into clenched teeth as I later informed the administration - your bosses
You will not get away with your actions just as you have many times before
The pride in my heart that beats blood of gold comprised of love compared to your blacked out veins of hate overpowers the wounds you have caused me

But it doesn’t matter anymore
Because you don’t matter
As I stand with an army of men & women & lovers & friends & those in between & multiples of genders, occupations, relations, & more…

I stand with my fellow poets in the crowded sea of those with me
The army we have created strikes me as happiness
Instead of our fists, we used our minds
Instead of our profanities, we used our similes
Instead of our violence, we used strategic silence
Instead of being brash or abrasive, we became filled with intent & thought

We learned that screaming will never get us anywhere if it isn’t purposeful
The screaming it took me to finally pick up the pen again, it nearly stole my want & my need
My want of being heard
My need of being listened to

We learned that this - this - what we have - it does not have to be soft
It can be as loud & as proud as we want it to be, across the continents to those who understand
Understand you
Understand me

The benefits of screaming & being loud became obvious

My aggressive tactics that hid my shakened heart paid off.
I know my freedom came at the cost of your job.
You, Mr. T, my high school, junior year algebra two teacher, will no longer deny me of my freedom to be the transgender man I am.

This poem is about: 
Me
My community
Our world

Comments

Need to talk?

If you ever need help or support, we trust CrisisTextline.org for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741