The Lemon Dress

Hey everyone.This poem reflects on the early stages of my transition and shows that growing up transsexual in the seventies was far from easy. This is especially true when you had no sisters and had to rely on your mother to keep your secret. The poem is called The Lemon Dress I hope you like it.

The Lemon Dress

It was a Lemon Dress
with a pristine White collar
and I wanted it badly
the star attraction in my mum’s wardrobe
In 1973
I knew what I wanted to be
a girl like my pals
make up and Barbie dolls
presents not received
though longed for
at Christmas and Birthdays
having no sisters made it hard
to express my identity
I had to be content
with my mother’s outfits
The lemon dress
screamed domestic goddess
when teamed up with tan tights
I looked like a proper little wife
both nails and lips painted pink
and eye shadow a pale shade of blue
nothing too daring
that would never do
in my mothers world
where boys were boys
girls were girls
with no shades of gray
It was Rock Hudson and Doris Day
who played out her gender roles
god knows Marilyn Monroe
would have been far too flirty for a child of the kirk
who never went on Sunday’s but made sure if I wanted
to be her daughter
I would have to be
respectably dressed

@ Gayle Smith 2012


12 thoughts on “The Lemon Dress

  1. Pingback: Raising awareness – Scottish Roundup

    • Hey Beth Thanks for such a brilliant comment on what is a really personal poem and if I’m honest one of my favourites. I know i’m not alone in liking it as Stephen Watt and Kevin Cadwallender two of the best poets in Scotland also say it is one of my best.

      Hope you enjoy tartantights

      Love And Best Wishes
      Gayle X

    • Hey Carla Glad you liked it and the story behind it. I must admit I can still picture that dress as vividly as ever. Though whether I would still be able to get in to it is a very different story.

      Love And Best Wishes
      Gayle X

    • Hey Lynn I couldn’t avoid tan tights no matter how much I wanted to, they were all my mother wore and not having any sisters meant that like it or not my choice was limited. In saying that, she did allow me to wear white ones when I reached 13 and started secondary school. Glad you enjoyed the poem.

      Love And Best Wishes
      Gayle XXX

  2. yes white or ecru were the in thing and would have put you in line with the other fashionista’s lol. pity we didn’t know each other then or I would have given you my bleach tip for those ugly tan tights. lol

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