Oh, to be trans. Perpetually swimming in a rich gumbo of sweat, tears and the bitter blood of my breathless siblings. The candlelight services and balloon releases every November 20th shatter my sickly soul as I reflect on the crime that is to have a “girl brain” in a “boy body” housed in felonious ebony skin. The sentence, you might ask? The death penalty.
I watch men in suits on Capitol Hill deliberate on the value of our lives, deciding if we have the privilege of being treated like human beings but failing to realize that there just might be enough humanity to around.
And yet, still, we rise. We carry our blues and our pinks and our whites. We wave our rainbow flags in blissful defiance. We tell our truths as a gentle yet powerful middle finger to the oppressive and opposing observers with signs of promises of hellfire.
We refuse our labels of nothing but worms and gladly accept our rightful title of beautiful, bold butterflies. We take our baby siblings who believe that they are but a worm into our wide, warm wings so that they might, too, see that they were always a butterfly.
Oh, to be trans. Perpetually swimming in a rich gumbo of song and dance and parades. We are singers of marvelous, melodious music. We are dancers who twirl to the beat of a different drum. We are surgeons stitching back the fabric of tattered lives. We are lawyers putting on trial the terrible trainwreck of systems that got us here. We are a beautiful and diverse people who stand arm in arm as the family some of us never had and as the soldiers we always were.
Devin Green is a 17-year-old transgender male living in Charlotte, N.C.