We’re in the Zoo, letting the kids play for a while. I watch them. I can see a group of boys jumping and running around. Kicking, hitting, laughing. “My muscles are bigger than yours!”
Sitting in a cafe I can see a group of guys outside. Teasing each other, talking about how their voice changes, laughing.
I can see all those guys outside, around me, growing up. Hitting puberty like a truck, proudly shaving for the first time even if there’s not much of a beard to shave. They wear ripped jeans and old shirts. Nobody forces them into a dress or skirt, nobody rolls their eyes at them for liking the things they like, nobody says anything when they’re simply who they are. Teenage boys.
When I was a child I was weird for hating skirts and dresses. I was weird for not liking the color pink. I was weird for how I acted. I was bullied. Little did they know that the girl they saw never was a girl. I watch those kids now in regret. I regret being shy, I regret being scared, I regret not screaming it out. But people pressured me. They told me that I could never be a boy. That I should stop being so masculine. That I am less of a person. Making fun of my behavior. So it took me 20 years to tell them. And I wish I could’ve had the childhood I always longed to. But nobody understands that. Nobody knows my pain. People get angry at me for not wanting to go swimming, for staying at home. For worrying about being too feminine. But then again they say
“That’s too feminine you can’t wear that.”
“A guy would never do that.”
“You’ll never pass as a boy.”
“You’ll never look good, you used to be a pretty girl.”
“Never grow a beard!”
“Don’t get bottom surgery!”
“I miss your feminine side.”
“I miss my female friend.”
Please let me be myself. After all those years.
I want to show people how my voice changes.
I want to show people how my beard starts growing and I shave even though there’s no real beard yet.
I want more body hair.
I want to take my shirt off.
I want to stand up while peeing.
I want to be called my name and pronouns without a question.
I want to be me.
I already didn’t have the childhood I wish I had. I already waited longer than I should’ve/could’ve. Don’t take this away from me. Please.