by Trystan G. Dean
Monday, August 31, 2009
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A poem about reconciling male gender with female biology, putting together all the clues gathered over the years.
Wondering as I type this
if I will have the courage to hit "publish "
Carma warns against too much honesty
but I feel drunk today
with a need to spill my guts
If I do not write my truth now
it feels like a piece of me will burn up
inside and perhaps be lost
I don't want to be lost
These moments of clarity
I remember the conversation
I overheard between my grandmother and my mother
I was still a toddler
but I felt the energy in the air turn tight and hard
When my grandmother said
"I read in the paper recently that a crazy man
is attacking little boys in bathrooms
and cutting off their penises.
Doctors are turning them into little girls."
Her words sunk to the core of me and clung
My mother's face tightened, but she did not speak
Neither looked down at me, sitting on the floor,
looking up at them.
Sometimes the most important moments of one's life
do not fully reveal themselves
until decades later
But they float like globes of light in the mind
calling for attention
refusing to be filed away in memory
I tried to write a poem 20 years ago
entitled "Woman with the Batwing Labia"
I didn't know until the look on lovers' faces
that I was different
that my labia were not like theirs
They're not...I have sacs
big droopy empty sacs
that stretch out like my beagle's ears
I've often wondered what they would look like
if I blew them up with a syringe full of air
LOL If I'm lucky, I get oral sex once
from a new lover
it's a freak zone and lesbians don't suck
scrotums, even when empty
I have always wondered why my clitoris is so small and recessed
and doesn't feel very much
And why orgasm, for me, is nearly impossible, as if something is too scarred
Maybe that's because it is.
I would imagine any midwestern doctor, given the chance, in 1964, would happily
cut a penile-like clitoris down to the tiniest nub, to save the girl he just made
from being dirty. Of course.
These are the questions
that shove up and up and up
Today, I am answering them
like a drunk
who needs to spill his guts
isn't about being born intersexed
and being assigned the more obvious
and simple gender
is about being judged and misunderstood
for 44, soon to be 45, years.
I'm not a girl.
And I always knew this,
and I am sloughing off
like an angry reptile
this dead skin that was pinned on me
for so many years.
I'm not crazy.
I wasn't crazy
when I wanted tractors instead of dolls.
It wasn't sick when I had crushes on female teachers
and frequently forgot, when playing with all the other little boys
that I wasn't one too
It is perfectly natural for a born hermaphrodite
to choose their own gender based on an inner sense
To condemn me and my kind
is to condemn God and his creation,
and there is not a single honest bible thumper
who can refute this logic.
Perhaps it's time to stop judging
I dare you to open your hearts and love me
This is the rebuttal I've been penning my whole life.
When I sober up I may feel embarassed
because I'm naked right now, before the world.
But I'm hitting "Publish."