A Body That is Not Your Own

by Alex Robinson, age 14
A Body That is Not Your Own Alex is a transgender boy living in New York City. Alex loves to write, draw, and advocate for queer rights. He wants to share love with every person, regardless of sexuality, gender identity, or clothing preference, and let them know that they are valid.

“When you are born, you receive two gifts. / You get a gender, and you get a name. / Most of the time, these gifts are kept. Most of the time, people are content with these gifts. / But sometimes, people don’t like these gifts. They want different gifts. And when they ask for different gifts, they often get the answer that they had hoped would be out of the conversation entirely.”

 

When you are born, you receive two gifts.

You get a gender, and you get a name.

Most of the time, these gifts are kept. Most of the time, people are content with these gifts.

But sometimes, people don’t like these gifts. They want different gifts. And when they ask for different gifts, they often get the answer that they had hoped would be out of the conversation entirely.

They get an answer that tells them to be somebody who they are not.

You are imprisoned in a body.

A body your head is attached to.

A body that is not your own.

Now imagine a human,

A human with a gorgeous body.

A human with your body.

What would it look like?

Think.

Some people would say they want fuller hips,

Maybe their nose to be a bit smaller.

And some people say they want a flat chest,

Instead of those

Balls

of

fat

Growing every day.

Or…

Or…

Or…

Imagine.

Flat chest, instead of wearing the binder that just reminds me that I have those.

Penis, instead of wearing a packer that reminds me that I have that.

Smaller hips. Smaller butt. Bigger muscles. Wider shoulders. Lower voice.

Oh, that would be so beautiful.

***

My mother named me Mackenzie.

I wish she had named me something sounding a bit more masculine,

Because Mackenzie just screams

“It’s a girl!”

Like how the nurse did at the hospital

Where I was born.

Maybe she could’ve named me

Marley

Or something

At least

A bit more

Masculine

Or maybe she could’ve named me

Mason.

 

When I was little, I was always thinking about

Names

And one day, I was reading a story

With a character called

Mason

And I knew

Almost at once

That that was my name.

My name.

Not the one on that sheet of paper

That tells my first two gifts.

Not that one

Because that one isn’t mine.

Mason.

That’s my name.

Isn’t it funny how people know they’re doing wrong, but still do it anyways?

 

Been practicing in the mirror for days

And I get back

“You will always be my little girl, Mackenzie.

Don’t talk to me with your made up bullshit.”

And then

She strode off

Without another word

And left me

To my thoughts

And the muted TV

On the wall.

 

I think they started to happen after that night

The breakdowns

Lying, curled up,

On my floor

At three a.m.

Sobbing

Heaving

Headache

Throwing up,

Feeling so dizzy I thought I was

Drowning.                                       

Which I Was,

Drowning in my own thoughts,

In my own emotions,

In my own pain.

 

The water was only rising.  

Twelve hours after I told Mother.

Sitting on the floor

Tissues spread around me like stones encircling a campfire

Arms tight around my bare chest

Staring at the wall.

That wall,

That pink wall

That Mother

Forced me to let her buy,

Even when I begged,

Sobbing

At her knees,

Asking for something,

Anything,

Different.

I turned my head towards my open closet.

Last night, I had thought it would be a funny

Joke

To look back to

After everything was alright

Finally alright.

 

It wasn’t so funny anymore.

 

I turned my head to that closet

And what I saw on those glossy hangers

Were sparkly, pink, purple, white

Dresses

Blouses

Skirts.

All hand-picked by beloved Mother.

Told me to stop wearing oversized T-shirts and jeans.

We were going on a shopping spree!

Hundreds of pounds of

Lady Wear

In the cart.

Try this on!
Oh, this suits you so well!

Definitely getting this…

Returning home, My mother was

So happy

Couldn’t stop smiling.

Took the bags to my

Pink room

And dumped them on the floor.

Then I went to sleep.

 

I remember that day like it was yesterday.

I remember every one of those days.

My mother pulling me to the girl’s department

To the pink paint

To those makeup stores

To family holidays

Forcing me to wear a dress.

So pretty.

What a beautiful girl you are.

And then after

Everything

Lying down

Suffocating

In emotions

No sleep

Only the endless thoughts

And my bed drenched with tears.

I remember all of them

Each one of those

“Meltdowns”

As my mother would call it.

Each and every one.

Miserable.

My mother tells me she doesn’t know

Why

I’m so emotional

Each night.

Does she really not get it?
Can’t she see?

When I was little, I loved wandering off to the boy’s department

But she would always drag me over to the girls,

Filled with stuffed ponies and

Me and Mommy dolls

That you could feed and it would poop on its own

I had enough courage in those times to tell her that I wanted action figures and shorts.

She wouldn’t listen,

But she would listen to me

Have tantrums

With her plastered on

Poker face.

Not saying a word.

She has always pulled me down,

Pushed me down that black hole

That only leaves me with darkness.

Never listening.

Always forcing.

Always forcing.

Always forcing.

 

I have had enough.

 

This piece is dedicated to the LGBTQ+ community.

You are loved.

 

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