When I was a girl
My mother didn’t dress me in norms
She just couldn’t afford.
She bought me clothes that
Eventually my brothers would wear.
I always loved the color pink
But I played sports too.
I built Hot Wheels race tracks
And danced around in tutus.
I wasn’t concerned with the world’s perceptions.
I was my purest self
And that was good enough for me.
Then I got older
People started to see me differently.
I wasn’t one of the boys any more.
They thought my body was what defined me.
I hated what I saw in the mirror.
More than I ever did before.
I became a target
For harassment, catcalling, and worse.
I was 14 when a grown man told me how much he wanted to fuck me.
If only I wasn’t 14
My mother told me how womanly I looked, as if she was jealous of her daughter.
I never wanted this body
I just wanted to climb the trees with my friends.
Not to be seen only through the lens of the femininity that lives in my physical body.
Because although that is who I am
I am also my masculinity.
It lives in the way I talk and the way I dress
It’s in the way I sit and the way I move.
And just because you can call me “she”
Doesn’t mean I’m more comfortable in a skirt than a baggy tee
So before you reduce to me down to my physical being
How about you take a moment to find the means
To speak to the mind inside
The figure you see.