Being Transgender

Slam poem about what it's like to be trans.
If you have any questions, I'll answer them if I'm comfortable with them, drop me a message at Please don't ask me stuff in public comments. I'm happy to help you understand, if you're willing to use your brain.

“You’re not inviting tranny are you?”

I get that a lot.

“Oh, but you made such a pretty girl.”


"Sure it's not just a phase?"

Gender dysphoria is my unchosen way of life.

You go ahead, worry about your bad hair day,

What you wore out last Friday.

You didn’t look your best,

But you laid all worries to rest.

I can’t.

I don’t have that luxury,

Extra things to worry about, see?

Does this shirt show of my chest? My hips?

Hunch over to hide the worst of it.

People still see it.

Can’t breathe, this binder’s too tight for that anymore.

Can’t afford a new one, though.

Bits stick out,

I’m too big for this elastic prison.

I’ll just have to hope I get my surgery soon,

Hanging on the opinion of doctors and psychiatrists,

Who have the power to make me.

Or break me.

My life is in their hands, and at any moment,

They could just turn around and say


People get plastic surgery all the time.

They don’t have to wait up to ten years to make their body

Look how they want it to.

I’ve heard people describe dysphoria like this:

You’re born with a broken arm.

Only you can see it’s broken,

Bent at a sickening angle

And it doesn’t hurt too bad really.

But it’s wrong.

On a basic, instinctive level,

Everything about it is wrong.

I sang my lines,

I played the part everyone else wanted me to play.

Three years ago, I paused long enough to say

“This isn’t what I want.

This isn’t right for me.

I will not fit your cookie cutter,

I will not be a one or a zero, part of your life’s binary code.

I will be true to myself, just like you’ve always told me to be.”

Only for my friends and family to react with horror,

Or disgust,

Or to tell me that it’s like their little girl died,

And was replaced with a stranger.

It’s still me, in here.

I just have a beard now.

It’s not a disease,

Just a biological mishap.

They happen all the time,

Maybe your hair should’ve been a few shades darker,

Or your eyes another colour.

Maybe you’ve got a heart condition

Or epilepsy

But it’s treatable.

So’s this.

Why, then, do so many doctors laugh in their patient’s faces?

Why is it we must be pushed aside and spat on?

Why are so many trans people murdered every year, just for existing?

Have you ever listened to the list of names read out at trans day or remembrance?

Maybe you should.

I went once.

They read out the name of a toddler

Who had picked up his sister’s dolls instead of the trucks his parents got him.

I’ve not been to another since.

We are not subhuman,

It is not a choice,

It isn’t even a sexuality,

Yet companies and organisations that pride themselves on including us on equality forms,

Put “transgender” under sexual orientation.

The clue is in the word. That tick box belongs with the “male” and the “female” boxes.

This is only a small part of it. 

This is only the part that I can even begin to put words to. 

“You’re not inviting tranny are you?”

The End

22 comments about this poem Feed