By Skian McGuire
F for female is what the hospital notarized,
but even if nature's script is what society bowdlerized,
I didn't get far in the role I was expected to star in.
The pink booties didn't take & nothing could make
me into the daughter my mother always wanted.
Not starting at F if F stands for Femininity, Frailty, Frilly dresses, Fashion Barbie,
Failing at Math, Feeling Inferior, and Fluffing up the Feeble Egos of the Boy we call
Friends: that's OK when you're a kid, until puberty hits like a ton of bricks.
It's God's fucking joke. Even worse than the curse: I never asked for tits.
I swore I'd rather die than wear a bra, so I buried it in the backyard.
But never fitting anywhere makes high school a nightmare.
I was lucky to hang out with guys I didn't need to fear,
& why was it a surprise we all turned out to be queer?
But not then, not in that small town, I just wanted to hide when some clown
called somebody else a a homo or a lezzie, I knew they meant me
& why the fuck would I want to be one of them?
Not M when M stands for Macho Posturing & Might Makes Right, the Military Mindset, a
Major Obsession with Money, Muscle, and Machines & let's not forget, Sports Mania.
Fuck no! Keep 'em guessing, but hey! Being gay turned out to be a blessing.
I could grow up to be butch & didn't have to be stone,
cuz loving another woman’s body became permission to enjoy my own.
& Maybe God’s fucking joke was actually a gift beyond measure,
to inherit my father’s passion & wit, but not the chromosome
that made his hands into weapons fueled by testosterone,
free of which, my hands are only instruments of pleasure.
I didn’t start at F, I’m not ending at M.
It may be a continuum but definitions take over if you give into ‘em.
Androgyny oughta be both/and not neither/nor, the vacuum nature abhors
I check the box F & I feel like a liar, check M for Male and feel like a fraud,
In a world that pretends such things are commanded by God.
Maybe someday they’ll figure out that the boxes are too small.
In the meantime the only choice is, checking them all.