it’s been one thousand nights since i’ve felt good.
that’s not an exaggeration, i promise,
but a proclamation.
one night out of one thousand.
i grabbed that good by the throat, drained it for its worth,
took what i could with both hands,
and curated self-condence through pictures.
see, as a trans man, that’s not always easy to come by: self-condence.
a pink suit, makeup, curled hair,
accompanied by a deep breath and reminders that these do not make me less of a man.
it’s been one night since i posted a picture of that good
and strangers poured into my comments
screenshot my cleavage to laugh,
told my fragile, recovering self to die.
ten years of being a trans man reduced to a
straight woman who
needs therapy, who
needs friends who won’t lie and adhere to the whims of “shane” being “a man”
by over one thousand people.
then more people poured into the feed:
‘report this tweet” and the block button repeated.
fighting for me, fighting for the trans community,
people who helped me lift a pen to reapply the faded lines of my identity that those comments
it’s been one minute since i’ve looked at those pictures again–
my one night good of out of one thousand of bad–
and wanted to delete them.
tried desperately to recall that joy and euphoria,
and not only the words of hate.
because if i took them down, they would win, wouldn’t they?
this shouldn’t be a war but they make it one then say it is me causing the problem.
so as much as i now resent those pictures,
shared by a thousand people online,
i’ll rebuild myself again, and again,
and hope that i don’t lose myself for another one thousand nights.
bury who you are—
nobody has to know, nobody has to hear it, nobody has to hate it or be uncomfortable,
grow tired of it
refuse to listen anymore.
silence was always a friend,
a graveyard of identity in my head,
twenty -four years of hiding myself,
working out how to be palatable,
words of pride left unsaid.
one day, i’ll dig it all back up
into the light.
Shane Reid is a trans man who spends 90% of his time daydreaming and the other 10% remembering life’s responsibilities. He’s a poet and a writer of weird things and big feelings. He also has a short story in the Best Served Cold zine and a poem in Engendered Lit Magazine.