Scars: a poem for Trans Day of Visibility 2018

Scars

I am transgender and these are my scars
Not the self harm
Not the surgery
The worst scars are
The ones you can’t see
Theres plenty of those
That make up me.

Every misgendering
Every time
Someone says
That I should die
For no more than
Existing as trans
In their space

The gates and the hurdles
I have to jump through
That remind me I’m not
Seen as equal to you

Each death of my sisters
And brothers
Each murder
Each suicide
Each beating we take
That reminds us the world
Doesn’t want us

Each TERF and each bigot
That makes their thoughts
On us clear
Each cis person that
Lets them without
A word
To defend us

Each time we’re left out
Of the safe space
The shortlist
The panel
The book
The film
And TV show

All of these things are my scars
These and more
It would take an eternity to cover them all

I exist and I’m real
Not a fad
Not a phase
Not your abstract concept
To hold up
To support your hate

When you ignore us
And hurt us
When who we are
Is inconvenient
So you don’t even try
You’re hurting real people
And we don’t need your help
What we already go through
Is painful enough

Each gate you put up
That makes it harder
To be
Ourselves
Is a gate
That kills us
A little more
Inside

Each time you say nothing
When somebody hurts us
Is a reminder
That we
Are alone
That you don’t care
Enough

We’re valid
We’re real
We feel
And we cry

I’m not a mistake
God made me this way
And I’ll stand here and say this
Til I’m blue in the face

I’m trans and I’m valid
I’m real and I’m proud
And I’m asking you
Please
To help us out