I remember the first time someone thought I was a boy

Rowan Spillman, GHS Student

I remember the first time someone thought I was a boy

And it hurt

When he said I’m so sorry ma’am

It hurt

To have the secret glee ripped out

Like something I wasn’t allowed to have

I remember saying “boys just make more sense”

And telling my guy friends to just think of me like one of the dudes and it hurt when they didn’t

Because I was different

I am different

and it hurts

Being caught in the subconscious crosshairs of a brain and a body that just can’t agree what defines me

When the pronoun for one’s self doesn’t define just one being

Like the smog from fire and water dancing and you don’t know if you’re smoke or steam

It hurts

To be unsure

To be undefined

To not have a stick figure sign to align with


I don’t know where I’d fall

If I would fall, could fall

Somewhere in this binary and not between it

with an identity that shields me from perception

And a peace treaty that can let myself be an exception

I can co-exist within myself without this grief and contention


But, it hurts

So much worse

When my conclusion is dismissed

That they can just make the decision to

take their opinions like a knife

To make an incision into my heart so they can tell me that the me I’ve found doesn’t exist

That it is wrong

That I don’t grammatically fit into their definition of who I can be.

But it’s okay, I forgive them

I’m valid without them telling me so.