I shouldn’t have to be doing this.

You know, this is going to sound like a pity party, but it ain’t, even though I’m holding back tears to type this. I’m angry. I have every right to be. I’m a homeless trans woman living in a shelter with other women. Many of them respect me, and I have had a great many conversations that have educated other women.

But I shouldn’t have to.

I’m currently stalled three layers deep in bureaucracy with Denver Health-just to get them to call my by my name. I have a hernia big enough that I can feel the hole. If I pushed a bit I could get my finger inside it. Every time I cough or sneeze, it bulges out and gets squeezed in my abdominal muscles. Sometimes it just falls out on it’s own, and then when bending or sometimes even just walking my abs contract, and I’m in pain. Denver Health has said that the date I can talk to the surgeon who will decide whether or not I get the surgery is the 21st of February. In the meantime, the increasingly misnamed Denver Health “Access Center” called and harrassed me by refusing to use my name, choosing to use the legal designation. She refused to use female pronouns, and indeed upped the “Sir” count so high I was beginning to suspect she had a limited vocabulary. I’m fighting this fight not just for me, but for the next trans woman unfortunate enough to fall into their clutches.

But I shouldn’t have to.

That shelter mentioned above? While it has done amazing things for me, a bunch of transphobes, including one on the staff have been ganging up on the two trans ladies staying in the shelter-one of whom is me. I’m absolutely appalled that yesterday a “solution” to a problem connected with people monopolizing the disabled toilet stall-not even remotely trans related-was the order to start using the staff bathroom. Not just myself, but the other trans lady in the shelter-who doesn’t need that stall, because she doesn’t need grab rails to get on and off the pot safely. While she recanted, it is part of a pattern of behavior, and it has to stop. So, from my precarious position where I can be stepped on easily, I’m taking the problem head on. The shelter has signs declaring that it is a safe zone and respects all religions, races, sexual orientations and gender identities. I chuckle mirthlessly every time my blurry eyes land on one.

But I shouldn’t have to.

I shouldn’t have to carry around a stack of cards saying I’m someone else, just because I don’t have money to change my legal designation in government databases. My name is Narcissa, and I am a woman. I’m a woman with a past, I’ll admit, but aren’t we all? Day in, day out, I do my best to carry my head up and try to keep the outside world from knowing how bad it hurts just to move, even though I have to walk at least a mile a day to not hurt as bad-and some days I walk more than twelve. I fail, but I try and I shouldn’t have to.

I’m tired of the fight. I really am. But I can’t stop. I can’t let this keep happening. Some days, I’m scared that fighting for my rights may mean dying for them.

And I really shoudn’t have to be.

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Every Time We Speak

I close my eyes

I see her face

Is it because she’s safe to love?

Because I can never tell her?

And I know she can never accept my love,

Puppy and adolescent and immature

And incomplete despite my years and trials.

Still, she is my obsession

And fate has chosen to drop her

Into my sphere of experience

So near

So close

So untouchably far away

Standing, speaking, caring

Next to me

A divide of class

A divide of kind

A gulf of inches that cannot be spanned

By one as lowly as I

Though she does not treat me so

I know my place

I know my kind are unwanted

Undesirable

Untouchable

Unworthy

Unloved.

Unloved. Alone.

My presumption to even indulge

In an adolescent fantasy

Of the love we could make

The times we could share

The slice of life we could take

Has led me to a precipice of heartache

And I have nothing but a broken woman

To offer her

So she shall never know

And in my despair I will continue

Alone

Unwanted

Unknown

Unloved, lonely,

And forever unworthy

Of the smiles she gives so freely

That I crave so deeply

That forever shred my heart asunder

While I fall deeper into this feeling

Forbidden, delicious, and destructive

My self-esteem has fallen to its knees

Begging behind my eyes

As I smile back and hope she doesn’t notice

That she breaks my heart every time we speak.

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TDOR 2011-Thoughts in Free Verse

Another year

And over two hundred dead

Another glut of souls

That I must mourn because they were like me

An endangered people, a scattered tribe

Of all colors and all

genders.

We span the globe

And all we have that binds us

Is that we are murdered, raped, and beaten

for telling the truth of who we are.

For being born different, we are shunned

By those we called friends

because they think we betrayed them

by hiding who we really were

by our parents

because we shattered their dreams

And our world becomes a minefield of bigotry and fear

And each year

We count the dead, we read the names.

And pray we are not next among them

Just because people think

That our gender

Is their business.

And for some it is.

Psychiatrists and

Electro and endo and getting new hair.

Surgery

Just so we can feel safe in our own bodies

Even if we never feel safe on the streets

Because that clerk just called us “sir”

As we stood in the crowded store in dress and high heels.

Or the stares we get on the streets

Because we can’t shave so that we can get zapped by an electric needle the next day

And each year we read the list of names.

Another year,

another more than two hundred dead

Another glut of souls

That we must mourn because they were like us

And we feel selfish

because sometimes right in the middle of mourning the loss

we’re praying we’re not next.

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She Writhes in the Night

She writhes in the night

Body twisting with emotions

Libido creeping in unwanted

Pulse pounding in her ears

Need

Desire and lust pound with every beat

Of her breaking heart

And she feels the hot tears of shame

As she grabs her disease

The growth that has eaten at her heart

And devoured her soul

For as long as she remembers

The symbol of her shame

What she never wanted on her

But desperately needs in her

Praying to any power that will listen

That someone somewhere

Would fuck her

Use her and leave

At least she would have been

Good enough for now

As her soul screams

That she is so much better than that

Her body arches in longing

And her pain spurts into the night

She rubs the hot come into her breasts

Desperately trying to pretend

That it’s all part

Of some lovers’ game

Sticky from her inches of shame

Body twisted from explosive release

Of physical need that still crushes her

As she cries herself to sleep

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Dick on the Down Low

This poem is a direct response to the sentiments I have seen posted in various places around the internet to the effect of “Damn trannies ain’t good for nothing but dick on the down low.”

Dick on the Down Low

I feel the weight

As I walk through spaces

That you protect for yourself

By putting me in a little box

With jokes and “Sir”

I’m hoping to Goddess that no hair shows

And that “no hair” doesn’t show

Just in case you’re the next person

That decides that they can kill

One of my kind

Just because we are reduced to a joke

Just tits and a cock

A bawdy punchline nobody gives a shit about

The tranny bitch

To get your dick on the down low

Oh god what if they find out?

The he-she bitch has got to go

Yeah, I feel the weight

The weight that you crush me with every day

Piling on and on every time you kill one of my sisters or brothers

Every time you say “Have a good day *sir*”

When you’ve been staring at my tits all day

I feel a fucking weight

When I just need to pee

But I can’t figure out what bathroom to use

So I don’t get killed or worse

I feel a weight

When I walk down the street and I hear the whispers

And the laughing

And the shouts

And the threats

I feel a weight

And I have carried this weight

This weight has made me strong

I have strength you’ll never know

Because you can never see the real me

You’re too wrapped up in your neat little categories

And only see the colors pink or blue

While you’re moaning about your taxes

I’m fighting for the right to work

While you’re complaining about insurance

I’m fighting to get a doctor

To give me what I need to survive

Because somehow my dick

Is what defines me

A piece of flesh

Is so important to you

That you must push me back into place

Because I won’t stay wrapped up in your neat little categories

Ignoring all other shades of the rainbow

To only see the colors pink or blue

And while you’ve reduced me to a blue box

Containing a chunk of flesh I never fucking wanted

Everything you know about me

And my sisters

And my brothers

You learned from the goddamn Jerry Springer show

You think you can rule the world

Say I’ll never be a girl

A man’s life it will be for me

You are wrong because I can feel my heart beating

And that pulse

That pulse

is pounding

Resounding in my ears with the strength of a woman

Who has carried the weight of the universe upon her shoulders

But I am not the Fallen Caryatid Carrying Her Stone

I am pushing back

And like Ayn Rand would have had Atlas do

I am going to shrug

I am pushing the weight of your preconceived

Ill-conceived notions of who I am supposed to be

Off of my shoulders, letting them lie in tatters

In the cesspool of history where they belong

And I am laying claim to my Goddess given birthright

To my life, my mind, and my soul

You can’t reduce me to that thing between my legs

Say that because I don’t have a Uterus

Or never had eggs

I am not a woman

You rape and kill men and women like me

Just because we can’t be

Classified by our anatomy

Fuck yes, I’m going to shrug

I’m going to shrug off the weight

Of your blatant lie

that a girl born with a dick

Can never be a woman

Or boys born with a pussy

can never be men

I’m gonna shrug off the weight

Of your fucked up fantasies

About my fucked up life

I’m not a whore

And I sure as fuck

Don’t want to be your dick on the down low

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An intro to Narcissa’s Place

Expect poetry. Expect pissed off rants. Expect my posting to be very erratic, sometimes taking weeks between posts. And expect to have your heart broken if you follow this link.

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