halfthoughts

A gender journey

Category: Poetry

How Changing My Name Is Like Changing My Gender

I was born S and assigned R at birth. But the name I was assigned at birth never fit right. No one ever called me by my birth name except doctors and my grandmother. 

On the first day of school I’d always explain to the teacher, “I go by S.” That’s what everyone knew me as. That’s what I knew me as. That’s what felt right.

 I always intended to change my name legally, someday. But I was finally forced to in High School when I couldn’t deposit a check because my birth assigned name and the name on the check didn’t match. When I went through the process of changing my name, there was a lot of paperwork, but it wasn’t actually a big deal in real life. 

Everyone already knew me as me, so it wasn’t a shock. I was completely comfortable in my true name and proud of it. So I was relieved to finally have it match my legal records. 

Sometimes, when I hear the name R, I remember vaguely that I was once an R, too. But I never really considered myself to be an R, so I have a slight aversion to the name, now. 

It’s like a pair of hand me down pants that don’t fit quite right. Someone else gave them to you, so you wear them for a bit, but you are more than happy to discard them when you find a pair that do fit you exactly as they should.

I’ve already changed my identity once. How hard can it be to change it again? Who knows how many times I’ll have to change before I feel like I’m wearing the skin that was tailor made for me.

But I’m wiling to keep making adjustments until I figure out the perfect fit. Because who wants to go through their whole life wearing the wrong size hand me downs?

Funeral: A Slam Poem

You
are cordially invited
to my funeral.
The dress code
is whatever the hell you want it to be
because
it’s also a celebration.

There’s gonna be a cake
that says
It’s  a They!
written
in rainbow colors
to defy
cisnormativity.

I actually really like the color blue.
But I don’t want
you
to mistake
me
for a boy.
So we’ll just use
all
the colors instead.

But before we eat the cake,
we’re gonna say a eulogy
for her pronouns,
hung up on a cross
alongside
she
and hers,
buried
with all her dresses and skirts
and lipstick
that she never even used.

They
will be resurrected
alongside
them
and theirs
dressed in pants, sneakers and a tie.

We
will listen to them speak their first word,
watch
them take their first step,
wipe
the tears from their eyes when they fall
and clap
when they continue to crawl.

Right now,
I
can barely crawl,
but I know
if I just keep crawling,
eventually
I will learn how to walk
and someday,
maybe,
I will even know
how to run.