I.

Ohgod I remember the first time we went to Rocky Horror Picture Show
short skirt, fishnet stockings, red ribbon corset, how did I walk so well in heels?
It was ninth grade and all our friends were there
and you’d borrowed your mom’s minivan and I’d never felt sexier

Legs once seen skinny spindly
now slender and long long long
hips swaying as I strutted
a secret onto myself

as if that night hadn’t happened
I went back the next day to stiff t-shirts, baggy cargo pants
the fashion of anonymity

II.

People read me as gay fairly consistently
which I didn’t understand at the time
not having any kind of exposure to conversation about gender
I didn’t realize until much later that they were seeing my feminine side

My mom took me to Urban Outfitters when we were in Chicago
she let me pick something out
my hands gravitated towards a skinny tight knit sweatshirt
she scolded me that it was from the women’s section
taught me which side the zipper should be on
I did my best to ignore her as I floated towards checkout

III.

There are so many things I didn’t have role models for
Sometimes I’m angry about this at the people who raised me
But they didn’t have those role models either

IV.

Now I often feel in-between
Queer among straights, straight among queers
I am cis, many of my experiences align with gender norms expected
because of my physical sex
I am trans, many of my experiences do not align with gender norms
expected because of my physical sex
I claim both and I claim neither


I don’t think that we have good language for all this yet
I’m working on finding that