The Tree That Would be a Bridge

A tale of self-sacrifice.

Once upon a time, there lived a tree.

This tree grew up like any other tree.

Her roots planted firmly into the ground,

She grew up tall and she grew up right,

And took in each day and absorbed all its light,

Casting shadows, where her fruit fell,

To feed the creatures at night.

But this tree was special,

She saw things a bit differently,

Like you and me, this tree could see,

And she knew an important thing.

She wasn’t the only tree in the world,

There were others, so many others.

She was happy for the few that surrounded her,

Even though they were very different from her.

But so many were on the other side of the creek,

And many, she saw, looked just like her.

“Other trees like me,” she thought,

Stretching her branches wide.

When she noticed across the river,

On the other side, those other trees who looked..

Like her, did the same.

It took some time, trees are very slow,

And very patient, but she raised her branches,

Stretching them tall, and to her amazement,

So did they all.

This repeated for days until finally,

She thought, “I must meet them.”

And began an arduous plot,

She would stretch her branches every day,

Reaching, slowly but surely, to meet them.

Season after season passed, as bit by bit,

She made her way across the creek.

Until suddenly, she felt a sharp pain in her trunk,

And everything went dark.

Other, strange looking trees came,

With their axes and saws,

Uprooting the tree, cut without flaw.

She was aware of it all, aware the whole time.

And there really isn’t an appropriate rhyme,

To convey the horror of this crime.

But, the tree thought,

As she was reshaped into a bridge,

And stretched across the creek,

To help others live,

“There are worse fates for a tree,

than being a bridge.”

And in the fall, when the fruits and leaves,

Of the other trees like her covered her completely,

Like a warm blanket, she felt her wish came true.

And the bridge lived happily ever after.

As for those other strange trees that moved over her, they lived less happily, but the bridge was happy to help them move across the creek, as she had so desperately wanted.

Dark Matter

Misery is an introvert who loves company.

Get up, it’s time to go

Don at dawn that mask you wear

Every morning; though you hate it

Carry it, like the two hundred others in your purse

Worn to be everything to everyone

Shattered selves, though they left you

Broken two hundred times passed

One for the Father, One for the Son,

One for the Mother, though she asked for none

One for the Daughter, who never was

Made to be Woman before she was young

One to the One you never wanted to be

And one-hundred ninety-four you’d rather not see

No one knows what it’s like

Living with all those fractures,

Those frustrating divides,

They just can’t see the weight of it all

Though they get caught up in its gravity

Never knowing the weight of what you wore

Or how it kept them from drifting out into orbit–

Lost, in dark matters, like time, and space,

Where they would see the same voids you found

On the dark side of them all, where you always hide yourself

Hoping they’ll never see what what you’ve seen

Lying, beneath every one.

Roots: Detransitioning

Enough is enough.

First of all, don’t panic, I’m not detransitioning; I’ve just got something to say.

For a long time now, the subject of detransitioning has weighed heavily on me. It started several years ago when I met a detransitioned man who we will call Ken for the purposes of this article. Ken was a former transwoman who had detransitioned several months before I met him. He had been deeply traumatized by the experience and was desperately seeking a pathway to healing.

It wasn’t so much detransitioning itself that had left Ken with trauma, it was the conditions leading up to and following his detransition that had harmed him. Ken was told by local trans peers that he was “not the right kind of trans” by the TrueTrans™ crowd, primarily because he transitioned after 30. As a person who had endured dysphoria his entire life leading up to transition, Ken knew those accusations were nonsense and kept on battling his dysphoria alone.

Ostracized and isolated, Ken came to the decision that he would be better off in life by detransitioning to reclaim his male identity. Knowing that his dysphoria would return with its full intensity and dreading the moment testosterone would take control of his body again, Ken came out to tell the world, “I am detransitioning,” and then the floodgates opened. Ken endured a torrent of hateful, vitriolic rhetoric from the LGBT community he had once viewed as nothing but friends and allies, who did everything within their power to invalidate Ken and distance themselves from him.

When I met Ken some months later, he was anguished and desperate to have his story heard. So much so that he had become involved with a group of anti-trans activists who had taken him under his wing and who were grooming him to amplify his anger for the community who had disparaged him. His anger was so tangible that I honestly thought he couldn’t possibly be a real trans person, “Must be another sock account,” I assumed wrongly, completely unaware at the time of how nasty that trans/LGBT groups could treat detransitioners.

Thankfully, I realized my mistake before any harm was done, and Ken and I became friends. I keep a regular habit of checking my assumptions, and in this case I’d never been so glad that I did. Through our friendship, he was able to find some small amount of peace that the trans community at large had not afforded him and and not long after, cut his ties with the aforementioned anti-trans activists and set out to live his own life, vowing to avoid drawing any further attention to himself or the injustices that burdened him.

Ken deserves that peace, but I can’t live with injustice like that in the world. His story is not unique. It reflects the experience of almost every detransitioner I’ve since had the pleasure of meeting. Trans people and allies have it in their heads that there are particular types of people who simply are trans, and there are types who are not. Detransitioners are thought to be the types who are not, and excluded from the trans community.

What a bunch of TERFs we have become.

We exclude, ostracize, and hate our own. We treat them like bigots, liars, and enemies.

Selfishly, we fear them, terrified that it might mean we’ll be in their shoes one day. Little could be more transphobic.

Obviously I’m being hyperbolic here as not every trans person/ally reacts this way to detransitioners, but if these assertions turned your stomach, good. They should. That is the point. I am describing everything we should not want to become and I can only hope that it will help instill the desire to be better and call out this kind of trash wherever we see it.

When someone comes out to let the world know they are detransitioning, the response from trans people and allies should invariably be affirmative and supportive. They are embarking on one of the most difficult journeys of their entire lives. It should be no different whatsoever from the reaction to someone coming out as trans to begin with, because detransition is just another one of life’s many transitions, and it’s just as difficult, if not more so than transitioning in the first place. I would dare call it “stunning and brave” but that phrase wore out its welcome in my vocabulary ages ago.

As troublesome as these reactionary attitudes toward detransitioners are on their own, this issue runs far more deeply than them. This strikes directly in the hearts of political correctness and social justice activism. It is politically correct to assume that detransitioners are indeed not trans and the response from social justice activists is to bury their heads in the sand and hope no one notices they exist. Meanwhile, they get little to no social support, there is no one advocating for their rights, research into detransitioning is stifled, and too few seem to actually care that one of the most at-risk groups of people in the world is suffering.

I have no intent to detransition, but if I ever were to, I would so desperately need support and validation from my friends and family. I’d need trained mental and physical health professionals who are fully equipped to help me through the process. I’d need legislation in place to make the legal processes of reclaiming male identity as painless as possible. I’d need support groups, crisis lines, shelters, etc. with resources available for to help me.

And I would get none of it.

It’s time for change; for justice; for the LGBT community and its allies to prune the toxic blooms that are growing out of our prejudice, before it rots us out and leaves us hollow.

Take It From Me

A song for justice.

I want a world

Where I can be what I’m not,

Free from these cages and chains,

Where justice is rot in my stride

With my boot to your back as I walk away.

 

But I need a world where you’ll be free too

So I’m sitting right here til my grave

I may be a slave but I won’t be alone

And together, we might be okay..

 

But it’s not okay is it?

No, not even close

When the only way out is your backside

Freedom just can’t be just..

 

Do you believe in liberty,

And justice, for all?

I don’t know about you all, but I do

I need it so much..

 

So take it from me,

I’ll give it up for you,

Give me your tired your poor and your meek,

Because that’s me too,

Though not as much as you

Oh please let me help you escape.

Auntie Tom – Spoken Word

The Uncle buried beneath the tree.

I’m trying something new and have made recordings of my poem “Auntie Tom” and set them to music. Below you’ll find links to both the SoundCloud and YouTube versions. I hope you enjoy!!

There’s a place that exists

Between myself

And my self,

Where lies;

Beneath the surface

Undermine me–

They spread like wildfire,

Burning us, like dead tree stumps.

“Auntie’s a man! Don’t you see his XY chromosomes?

A man named Tom and that is all– that is all!”

“She’s a woman! DNA doesn’t matter, SHE

is not like any male I recall.

…And her name’s Nell,

A female;

S H E

never was ‘Tom’.”

“Stop it!” Nell cried,

Struggling;

Grappling;

With him again:

“My name was Tom,

it hurts to say..

There’s baggage with it,

and hell to pay..

You can’t know what it’s like,

Living on edges so grey,

To carry the burdens of Uncle Thomas,

Auntie Nell never having her say!

What’s a scorned woman to do

With such burdensome men?

But kill them over

and over again?

He might rest in peace,

If you’d just let me live,

But instead here’s Uncle Thomas again,

Cursed by you to live among men. “

“THAT’S TRANSPHOBIC!” one activist cried,

“THAT’S MISOGYNISTIC!” another replied.

Auntie Tom walked onward with a sigh,

Back into the place between herself and her self;

Tripping, over

Misunderstandings;

Like brambles in time,

Cutting through, and through and through,

Uncle Tom died:

Then revived;

Revived;

And revived to be shed,

By Auntie Nell with her ever-waiting edge.

“Stay out of my spaces!” a woman cried through her lips

“Keep out of mine too, faggot,” boasted a man with his fists,

Twisting Nell into Tom

And Tom into Nell..

Contriving her soul

Into liquid-like hell;

Wringing it out, pouring

Into the void of themselves.

Cursed, they now carry on

With the truth of their lies;

Knowing the hells of Auntie Nell

And the heavens Tom will never find,

As a man who wants to, but just can’t die.

The Gatekeepers

They think they know you.

Monoliths await to pass judgment,

Statues with cemented views carved

Guard the way to the precipice,

Seated on pillars, foundations planted in sand.

There’s only one way through here

Know thyself, as they know you

As they know women, as they know men

As they know gay, as they know music

As they know art, as they know vegan

As they know straight, as they know lesbian

As they know Christian, as they know transition

As they know not themselves, only us in the end

For they save all their judgement for everyone

But them, and their own unpassable tests.

Failure is the only option for a gate with no keys

So long live the judges, and into the fire with me

I’m not a monolith, never will be, cement me

All you like– it makes no difference to me

I broke the molds behind the gates ages ago

And the gatekeepers are guarding nothing

But pride in what they think they know

Words

Words, words, words.

Like knitting in the round

For eternity spinning circles

That orbit us like stars

In a universe we think

Revolves around us.

But what do they mean really?

These intangibly weaved webs

Give meaning to meaninglessness,

Beg us to forgive and forget,

Lies we’ve told and been told

Again and again become truths

..But only in our heads..

Words, words, words,

Grotesque procession drivers,

Making you think you think

You’ve got it all figured out,

How to know what it’s like to exist,

To describe and capture the key

That unlocks the universes within

And without hesitation, lift us up

To your sugar-plum salvation

Filled with words, words, words

Spun in forty-two spinning wheels

Up in the attic, above reality

But the truth is in math and knowing

Everything is improbable, everything

Is incalculably trumped by infinity

In small spaces like hearts,

With no room for words.