To My Younger Self On Arriving Over The Rainbow

Hey Readers Whilst reading that respected online journal the Huffington Post I discovered that on day four of what is LGBTI History Month trans adults were writing letters to their younger selves
This got me thinking what advice would I have given to my younger trans self, and would the girl  at 11 who had Donny Osmond posters on her bedroom wall and throughout her teens kept secret stashes of Jackie magazines under her bed have listened or would she have been too busy dreaming to pay attention to my words of so-called wisdom. In truth this is a question I can’t answer but I thought I would try to undertake the task by writing a poem on the issue I’ve given it the title which was voted for by the members of my Woman Talk Facebook  group. To My Younger Self On Arriving Over The Rainbow. I hope you enjoy the read.

To My Younger Self On Arriving Over The Rainbow.

Dear Younger Gayle
I remember the first time you got your hair curled
how happy you were to be treated like a girl
I recall the first boy who made you blush
You had a massive crush on him
and never really got over him
moving to London
at least not for a while
till Donny made you smile
and desperate to be his girl
you raided your mother’s wardrobe
seeking something you could find to wear
which would make you feel
like a fairytale princess
though you never found  anything that exciting
navy pinafores and tan tights
were never that inviting
though they did make you feel  ladylike
and that was all you wanted at the time
If I could have  given you advice
It would be that being trans is not a crime
In fact it was you being true to yourself
it was good for your mental health
It saved your life
though I think you should have been bolder
more daring
taken those risks
see that guy you wanted to kiss
you should have grabbed the chance
when he asked you dance
he would have been a good boyfriend
at least at the start
yes eventually he would have broken your heart
but you would have recovered in time
though a month would have  seemed like an eternity
I think you would have gone to university sooner than you did
got a better degree
your graduation dress
would have sat on the knee
well you always were a bit too puritan
culturally conservative with a small c
cautious yet you will become  politically radical
you will be told you are being selfish
when the opposite is true
your teenage years are claustrophobic
the 1970’s had such a narrow view of rights and wrongs
girls were told a woman’s place is in the home
you will realise this is unfair
you will care about what others think and say
In the Scotland of your teens
you will learn it isn’t even acceptable to be gay
let alone want to change gender
you will be called inappropriate names like queer and bender
by those who refuse to understand
talking of names one of the benefits of being trans
is you get to choose your own
and the choice you made was not based on a character in a TV show
but on the fact you know and cherish your Celtic culture
and identity
you will be the type of woman
who wants to blend in
rather than stand out
you will never shout look at me
it is not who you were, are or will ever be
only those who really matter
will see your adventurous side
this is not because you want to hide it
rather it is due to your belief
that some things are best kept  private
between those who share those moments of tenderness
you will be hurt by those who label you a disgrace
but by being yourself
you will be making the world a better place
so girls and trans girls of tomorrow’s generation
will be able to hold their heads high
reach the stars and touch the sky
as for me the middle aged mother hen I’ve become
is all due to the social conservatism of Scotland and mum
that’s why you didn’t come out till your late forties
a time when you were
less concerned about what was on trend
than supporting friends
you will be ruled by your emotions
you always talked of butterflies and oceans
a nurturing nature your strongest skirt suit
If I could I  would have
advised you to stay true to your roots
and ground them in sisterhood
but you did it anyway
mothering the daughters you couldn’t have
I am glad I made the visit
though my time has limits
I must return to your future
but I travelled to your time
to tell you all will be fine
and a family of friends
will love you more than you know
be happy with the woman you will be
I am happy to be me
and proud that despite
not having sisters
you dressed me in tan tights and pinafores
as you started my journey
to glory

Lots Of Love Your Future Self

@Gayle Smith 2016


2 thoughts on “To My Younger Self On Arriving Over The Rainbow

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