Some Gender Haikus
For You to Enjoy or Not
I Don’t Care:
I am seen at times
As a young, small boy of sorts
I don’t care at all.
People are bothered
By things that don’t affect them
Because they’re stupid.
When humans are trans
Or otherwise gender queer
Leave them alone, jeez.
When I was five, I knew the truth. I knew who I was. I even knew the language to use to put forth to others who I was. Who I am. But I was told I was wrong. I was told IT was wrong. And because I was young, I surely believed it.
When I was eight, I tried on my skin. My true self. And I was still very young, but I knew it fit me perfectly and me alone. And so I kept it to myself. I wore it under my more loose-fitting outer shell. I kept it safe and warm and I was sure to comfort it when it felt scared or vulnerable.
I was 13 and I hated that skin. It was getting older and grew itchy. It started to rot and it started to smell. Still, I begrudgingly carried it around and I told myself it would wilt and die when it was ready. Told myself I wouldn’t have to carry it around forever. But there it stayed, clawing at it’s itches, scratching its way out until it killed all my nerves and I felt nothing at all.
I was 17 when I sat in its presence. Young but okay. It had made its way out and I stared it in the face for the first time. It was sweeter and gentler than I had expected, when with it’s claws and scratches. I knew again what it was and that it was mine. It was a part of me all along but it couldn’t survive under that shell. It couldn’t hide forever. And so there it was, say on a park jungle gym in the cool wind of autumn. It was so easy to let it run free. Maybe a little too free, but that betrayal was something I would learn to live with and embrace. When something is locked up for so long, it is bound to come forth with an explosive energy. It’s okay not to contain it.
When I was 23, I hurt it. I abused it. It did not deserve to be treated that way. It had been trapped for so long and it deserved to be taken care of and cared about. And here I was, throwing it around to whoever would take it. Other young skins clawing it from the outside, now. It was falling into whatever traps they set and letting it scream and cry. Nothing to claw at this time. Once it escaped, it was out. But it was in pain, now, and I let it. I ignored it like a crying child throwing a tantrum.
When I was 24, I gave it peace. Not the peace it ever thought it would find, but the peace it needed. It settled into the crook of that joy and it lay there completely still. It found a home. Something that needed repairs here and there, but something comforting and good. It was ever yet still young, but in time, it would know the difference between being young and being unsure. This time, it was sure.
Without the awareness of a thing, does it really exist? No. Not to you. And the only things real in your life are the things you know. Everything that is real exists in your own brain. If it doesn’t exist there, it does not exist to you. It only exists elsewhere, whether known or unknown to others.
If you doubt this, remember: The average human eye can see only 1 million colors. I say “only” 1 million because tetrachromats- humans who possess four cone cells in their eyes rather than the average three cone cells- can see up to 100 million colors. Had you not read this, you would assume you were able to see maybe not all of the colors, but all of the colors the eye could see.
Never forget that everything you learn can change your entire reality. Take in every bit of knowledge you can. Make your universe everything you want it to be.
I awake in a familiar, uneasy state. It is my normal. When I see her face, I am brought back down. I remember everything we said and everything we did and I am at peace.
I think, “There is something different about her,” then I squash that cliche and I move to, “There is something I don’t understand about her.” Although a bit more melancholy, I find–to me–this suits her more.
I hold her a few minutes longer before quietly detaching myself from body and bed. I slip my pants on and wander out of the room, ready to investigate the morning.
Before I leave, I make coffee, enough for two, three cups for her, one for me. I rest the thermal carafe on her end table with a cup and a post-it which, while crudely drawn, I hope makes her smile.
I sneak out without waking her, turning to take her in one last time before disappearing into the biting coolness of winter.