Two Hours

Hey Readers On day 24 of NaPoWriMo my poem deals with an issue faced by many young trans people namely the geography of isolation. The choice of this topic came after a catch up with LGBT activist and 2014  Tartan Tights Woman Of The Year Lisa Tait .During our chat Lisa told me a story of a young trans woman who can only be herself for a couple of hours a week. Now I don’t know the name of this young trans woman nor do I know what part of Scotland she calls home. What I do know however is that she will not be the only young trans person in this position. 
As I looked back to my own teenage years in the 1970’s I realise that I too suffered from this geography of isolation. At a time when there were virtually no LGBT facilities in Glasgow and certainly none for teenagers or younger people even in the big cities I too was restricted to just a couple of hours a week to be my real self so I feel a degree of empathy to those in this position in these  enlightened times. After much due and careful consideration I have given it the title  Two Hours I hope enjoy what I hope will be a challenging and thought provoking read.

Two Hours

For two hours a week
she is allowed
to be confident
proud
say out loud
who she knows herself to be
express her female identity
for the rest of the time
she must hide
what others see as her shame
forbidden to use her name
or say to the world
she’s a girl
she comes from a village
where everyone knows
each other’s business
for him as she is seen
by a society wedded to sobriety
to want to be a lassie
just can’t be right
in the eyes of those
who refuse to see her
for who she really is
skirts and tights hidden
from disapproving eyes
she hates lying to herself
but sees no other way
to survive
the geography of isolation
faced by so many trans teens
outside the big cities 
mean it’s tougher than it should be
to live the life she craves
dreams have to wait
it’s frustrating not being allowed
to be who you are
you can’t go shopping for lipsticks or bras
but she copes hoping one day
the world will understand
and just let her be
I remember when that girl
was me
back in the mid 1970’s
with no trans groups or facilities
I had to rely on my mother’s goodwill
I loved reading Jackie
wearing dresses with frills
I dreamed one of being
one of the girls
but my mother dressed me
like a middle aged wife
claimed woman’s own
was what my life would become
thanks mum I thought
it turned out she was right
tan tights and navy skirts
not my choice
as the uniform for attention
nonetheless
wearing them helped me
to blend in
when I eventually did transition
looking back
I longed for the chance
to go out dancing
with the girls
but my weekends
were spent romancing my dreams
when you lived in the schemes
you had to be content
with your secrets
I kept mine hidden
out of sight of others
for fear being discovered
my reward was in knowing myself
and sharing two hours
of private time with my mother

@ Gayle Smith 2016

NB This poem was written on day 24 but couldn’t be posted till now due the fact I had to deal with ongoing issues and provide assistance to a friend. 

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