When you are born, you receive two gifts.
You get a gender, and you get a name.
Most of the time, these gifts are kept. Most of the time, people are content with these gifts.
But sometimes, people don’t like these gifts. They want different gifts. And when they ask for different gifts, they often get the answer that they had hoped would be out of the conversation entirely.
They get an answer that tells them to be somebody who they are not.
You are imprisoned in a body.
A body your head is attached to.
A body that is not your own.
Now imagine a human,
A human with a gorgeous body.
A human with your body.
What would it look like?
Some people would say they want fuller hips,
Maybe their nose to be a bit smaller.
And some people say they want a flat chest,
Instead of those
Growing every day.
Flat chest, instead of wearing the binder that just reminds me that I have those.
Penis, instead of wearing a packer that reminds me that I have that.
Smaller hips. Smaller butt. Bigger muscles. Wider shoulders. Lower voice.
Oh, that would be so beautiful.
My mother named me Mackenzie.
I wish she had named me something sounding a bit more masculine,
Because Mackenzie just screams
“It’s a girl!”
Like how the nurse did at the hospital
Where I was born.
Maybe she could’ve named me
A bit more
Or maybe she could’ve named me
When I was little, I was always thinking about
And one day, I was reading a story
With a character called
And I knew
Almost at once
That that was my name.
Not the one on that sheet of paper
That tells my first two gifts.
Not that one
Because that one isn’t mine.
That’s my name.
Isn’t it funny how people know they’re doing wrong, but still do it anyways?
Been practicing in the mirror for days
And I get back
“You will always be my little girl, Mackenzie.
Don’t talk to me with your made up bullshit.”
She strode off
Without another word
And left me
To my thoughts
And the muted TV
On the wall.
I think they started to happen after that night
Lying, curled up,
On my floor
At three a.m.
Feeling so dizzy I thought I was
Which I Was,
Drowning in my own thoughts,
In my own emotions,
In my own pain.
The water was only rising.
Twelve hours after I told Mother.
Sitting on the floor
Tissues spread around me like stones encircling a campfire
Arms tight around my bare chest
Staring at the wall.
That pink wall
Forced me to let her buy,
Even when I begged,
At her knees,
Asking for something,
I turned my head towards my open closet.
Last night, I had thought it would be a funny
To look back to
After everything was alright
It wasn’t so funny anymore.
I turned my head to that closet
And what I saw on those glossy hangers
Were sparkly, pink, purple, white
All hand-picked by beloved Mother.
Told me to stop wearing oversized T-shirts and jeans.
We were going on a shopping spree!
Hundreds of pounds of
In the cart.
Try this on!
Oh, this suits you so well!
Definitely getting this…
Returning home, My mother was
Couldn’t stop smiling.
Took the bags to my
And dumped them on the floor.
Then I went to sleep.
I remember that day like it was yesterday.
I remember every one of those days.
My mother pulling me to the girl’s department
To the pink paint
To those makeup stores
To family holidays
Forcing me to wear a dress.
What a beautiful girl you are.
And then after
Only the endless thoughts
And my bed drenched with tears.
I remember all of them
Each one of those
As my mother would call it.
Each and every one.
My mother tells me she doesn’t know
I’m so emotional
Does she really not get it?
Can’t she see?
When I was little, I loved wandering off to the boy’s department
But she would always drag me over to the girls,
Filled with stuffed ponies and
Me and Mommy dolls
That you could feed and it would poop on its own
I had enough courage in those times to tell her that I wanted action figures and shorts.
She wouldn’t listen,
But she would listen to me
With her plastered on
Not saying a word.
She has always pulled me down,
Pushed me down that black hole
That only leaves me with darkness.
I have had enough.
This piece is dedicated to the LGBTQ+ community.
You are loved.