A Female State Of Mind

Hey everyone On day 23 of NapoWriMo. My topic is gender identity and the often false and misleading information that surrounds it.This is as many of you will know a topic very close to my heart and there is shall we say a wee bit of background to this poem. You see it started yesterday afternoon when with a combination of interest and rage my flatmate showed me a story in a tabloid which i am not a fan of but she likes due to what she calls the human interest stories. The Tabloid in question is the Sun and on this occasion the story made me not so much angry as downright bloody furious. As briefly i can. i shall explain why this story made me go in to what i can only describe as a rage .

The story is on an issue which relates to me in a very personal way, i refer to gender reassignment surgery. As those of you who are regular readers will know i have never hidden nor would intend to hide my transsexual identity. i love being a woman and i love everything about it. However make mistake being a woman is not nor will it ever be an easy life and it is certainly not something i recommend for ammeters who just fancy a change. So bearing this in mind, you can understand my anger when i read that having had a sex change from male to female something i hope to undertake in future this women called Chelsea wanted to revert to old gender and once again become Matthew. On reading this my face turned scarlet. Believe me hell hath no fury like trans woman ridiculed and that if i’m honest is exactly how i felt.

This to me was an insult. Not just to myself but to the entire transsexual community. Now apparently this person believes that despite being given the gift of a fresh start many woman would long for that gender reassignment surgery is too easily obtained on the NHS and it’s really all about cosmetics. This is my opinion is not only completely delusional it has in my opinion made life harder for women like me and far easier than it should be for the transphobic bigots in our society of which there are I am afraid still far to many and situations like this will not be helpful in creating the climate where we can consign this prejudice to the history books where it belongs. I have titled the poem A Female State Of Mind and thank SNP MSP and Minister For Education and Lifelong Learning Angela Constance for an inspiring quote used during her campaign to become Depute Leader of the party which i have adapted slightly to use as my last line of this poem. I hope you find it an enjoyable, challenging, and thought provoking read.

A Female State Of Mind

Like me he was born in the wrong gender
like me he decided to acquire
one not given at birth
the name changed Matthew now Chelsea
she seemed to be happy
lived as a woman for eight years
spent five grand on a boob job
underwent full surgery
then decided she wanted to go back to being male
claiming gender reassignment isn’t real
its all about cosmetic change

I find this argument strange
my desire to be female
hidden from an early age
for fear of rejection
on reading this story
I was incandescent with rage
for every attention seeker
wants the glory of centre stage
there are millions of girls like me
In every country in the world

Some of us are even killed
for being who we are
I have suffered transphobic abuse
both in the street and in gay bars
I have had to endure the sexism of being called dear and doll
wanted to climb the wall in six inch heels
in which I couldn’t walk
some people are brilliant at talking the talk
but try walking a mile in my shoes
on days when I’m an emotional wreck
up to my neck
in estrogen patches mood swings and stomach cramps

Being trans is not a game
to be played by amateurs
you can’t slip in and out of identities
change names and wardrobes
every five minutes
this is what makes it so difficult
for the rest of the world to understand
It is why some think they have licence to mock
I am neither a prude nor easily shocked
but this can never be condoned
Identity is much more than glamour or clothes
It is state of mind which expresses the way you feel

Make no mistake I am for real
i have a female state of mind
being allowed the right to be myself
is essential to my health
I was too considerate of others
for too long
Now I sing my song not just the chorus
I sing every word in every verse with power and passion
I remember once a former colleague asking
did I not miss my former life

It was as if she wanted the answer to be yes
an admission i had made the wrong decision
but that was never going happen
i need no permission or approval to be who i am

I replied politely but honestly by saying
I wouldn’t swap what I have now for a single second
It would be an insult to my friends
who have shared my roller-coaster of a journey
my only regret was not changing sooner
now I realise that whilst not being a minger
I am not what society would label a looker

That said however there is something I can say with certainty
whilst I may never have Chelsea’s looks
and my boobs may be slightly more pert
I am a lot more authentic
my changes are more than just cosmetic
they are part of me
I will not deny who I am
I don’t play Chelsea games
nor am I going to start
I am a woman who will fight
for my personal independence
with head, heart and soul.

@ Gayle Smith 2015

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