Thursday, 9 March 2017

Can We Talk About The Wonder Of Life Please? A Transgender Plea.

Written in a cafe after having one too many conversations that go like this:


"Hi Clare.  Transgender.  Transgender.  Surgery.  Transgender.  Do you still have a penis?  You're so brave.  Why are people worried about you being transgender when I'm not?  Transgender.  Transgender.  Transgender."


"You said all that last time we met.  And the time before that.  Could you stop asking me about my penis?  Can we talk about something else please.  Like writing, sunshine, tea, social justice, concepts of spirituality, books, autism, disability, art, singing, the amazingness of living in Newcastle.  Anything.  Let's talk about almost anything.  Because it's more interesting than my penis."


"Transgender.  Transgender.  Penis.  It was great talking to you.  Bye."

After one such conversation I got grouchy and wrote this.  It's (almost all) in haiku.  At least, it's a 5-7-5 syllable arrangement.  I know there's far more to a traditional haiku than that.  This writing follows metre but not content.  A friend often writes in haiku and I've recently learned that when I'm stressed it can be a very calming way to write.

When you talk to me
Don't obsess on my gender.
Instead, talk to me.

I'm not a gender.
The state of my genitals
Is my own affair.

Please don't question me.
Don't make your every sentence
"Clare is transgender."

Well, I am.  So what?
It don't really matter.
Let's move on, shall we?

It's not a worry.
Not to me.  No, honestly.
It's just what I am.

Not on the radar
Unimportant.  Bare, dull fact.
The most boring thing.

So please, when we talk
Let's talk about something else.
Something passionate:

Of creative fire,
Of autistic ecstasy.
Let's talk about us.

Soft toys, reading joys,
Woodlands and wilderness days,
Lives of adventure.

Speak of sunrises,
The varieties of gods.
Rejoice in dreaming.

I'm grateful you care,
But don't reduce me to gender,
Ignoring the rest.

And you dare tell me
You're somehow superior
For not rejecting me?

Look up from my groin,
To my heart.  Beating.  Strong.
My mind.  Find me there.

Seek me.  The real me.
Infinite complexities
In six feet of flesh.

It's there we can meet
That's where relationship lies.
Not in my knickers.

So don't talk transgender.
Don't see me first as "trans Clare."
I beg you.  See me.

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