Hermaphrodite. Tranny. Freak.
These are just some of the words that have been used to describe me.
I have learned to answer the offenders as nicely as I can even though I
should be the one asking the questions, like,
“are you an asshole, or just an asshole?”
I'd like all those inquiring to know
my gender identity is not some guessing game for you to play.
Allow me to explain.
When I was young, I didn’t let two colors define me.
I hated the color pink, as well as the color blue,
so I painted myself a rainbow.
And let me tell you most days I don’t know if I feel more like a boy or a girl so
I make like Miley Cyrus and get the best of both worlds.
I make no apologies for who I am.
I am one of many who are too beautiful for your binary.
This language has no words for us
so strangers resort to calling us “it's” and “she-males”
before they even learn our names.
Most tongues cannot keep up with my complexity
but don't misunderstand me,
no one is allowed to tell me what I am based on my hairstyle and childhood activities.
If G.I. Joe says violence is the mark of a true man I’ll remind him of Ghandi.
There should be more to being masculine than demeaning everything feminine.
There is more to all of us than we could possibly imagine
Why is it so easy for us to forget
that men can be graceful
that women have strength?
You see, categories don’t look so small until you try to put people in them.
For 18 years I was a contortionist
I tried to force myself into a mold in which I would never fit.
fortunately, I grew out of it.
Loving myself was a hard lesson to learn
but I have since stopped waging a war against my body for being unique
for it always wants the best for me.
We are taught to believe our bodies are more like public property than temples.
When, at long last, I un-learned this,
I stopped allowing others to measure my attractiveness
by the length of my hair and the width of my hips.
I no longer require the validation
of those who tell me my beauty can only be realized
if it comes from Cover Girl.
My self-worth is worth more than cheap compliments.
I am more than my thick eyebrows and skinny wrists.
I have signed peace treaties with my pockmarks
that pepper my face like braille.
Finally, they no longer read “not pretty enough” to me.
I have stopped asking for whom I am supposed to be pretty enough
as I am the only one I need to please.
So trust me when I say I have discovered
there is no one size fits all gender identity.
We are all of us having to love ourselves uniquely
so do not treat me like I am less than you because I am different from you.
My parents dreamt of me for years before I was born.
It's safe to say everybody is somebody’s dream come true.
So I ask you to respect this temple--
It is where I worship.