Butterfly Bonds

Hey everyone. This poem was inspired when I attended a performance event at Glasgow Women’s Library in which North American trans woman  read their stories and explained what it was like to be a  trans woman in Canada and the United States. At the end of what was an excellent evening of entertainment  I realised that though there are bound to be some slight differences in our experience of being trans we have a lot more in common than what divides us  I’ve titled the poem Butterfly Bonds I hope you enjoy the read.

Butterfly Bonds

On a cold November evening
I gathered with trans Atlantic trans sisters
in the safety of a woman only space
to hear what it is like for them
on the other side of the pond
we share common bonds
created by years of shared pain
dreams, and ambitions
as we transition from moth to butterfly
I know it wasn’t easy for me
or other west of Scotland types
skirts, tights, and dreams of white weddings
reserved  for sisters
or those with what nature declares to be
the correct biology
it is with honesty I say this
I don’t do air kisses for dramatic effect
It isn’t my way
I am and will always be
a woman
24/7 every day of my life
words like girl, daughter, sister , lover, wife
are mine to claim
I do so without shame
I  am not  to blame
for the attitudes of others
I discovered myself
on the day I threw a tantrum
for not getting a doll like my friends
I am not pretending to be someone I’m not
but delighting in being who I am
leaving my sorrows behind
looking forward to a future
where I am leading lady
in the story of  my life
it’s the same for all of us
every  trans woman who has ever faced prejudice, fear, and ignorance
we want that starring role
in the movie or a play
we have tales to be told
and things to say
which will surprise, shock, or maybe amaze you
we tell our stories like they are
in full colour with brutal honesty
the road to equality
is a long one with many traps and diversions
I learned on a cold winter night
being trans in Scotland
may be slightly different
from Canada or the USA
but as I listen to their stories
I value the common bonds we share
as we travel the road
from moth to butterfly.

@ Gayle Smith 2015

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