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Transphobic family

Dear sisters
When someone at school pushes out my real name
Bradlei, between their lips
It fills me with this sense of contentment
Knowing that it falls in place with who I know I am
It fits me
And a smile filled with satisfaction crawls across
My face

But at this place I'm supposed to call home my brain still consumes the sound of my birth name
Briana
and the pronouns
She and her
When those words are slipped into my head
Then the voice I need to stand up for myself gets softer
Those words are far heavier than the rest of the sentence that was said
Those heavy words tell me
That my opinion about myself doesn’t matter
Telling me
That these body parts are cemented to me for a reason and not because god thought I was too manly

Dear cousins
When my eyes scan over this body
It stresses me that I was born into a female’s frame
I don’t recognize this as mine
Something is wrong
I’m not supposed to have these blobs of fat and tissue glued to my chest
Or this uterus as a part of my anatomy

Dear mother
When your hands form my birth name ‘Briana’
Knowing it will damage me
It feels like you are blind to my warning words
Do you want me to call you Jose when your name is Jennifer?
Or Maddie when your name is Mark?

Dear grandparents
You allow those words to fall from your mouth that I have asked you not to
Thinking it doesn’t matter to me,
Like I’m invisible
Thinking that since I’m invisible.
So is everything that I think or feel
Thinking It’s okay to shoot bullets
From your mouth that is the gun
And your words are the bullets
On which they have engraved on them
The words that sear into my mental skin
My birth name, Briana
Are one of those words
That I ask you kindly not to shoot at me
Because it leaves wounds bleeding depression, anxiety and dysphoria
The aching pain pulls tears from my eyes
Remaining strong, I don’t allow that water to spill

Because too many tears have spilled from trans youth
too many have had bullets shot at them both physically and metaphorically
41% is too many that have died because of violence or suicide
Suicide because their family choose hate over love
Violence because the public thought if you transition your body was changed into a weapon

Dear family
I'm coming out again
I am a trans demimale
I am pansexual abroromantic
I ask you once again to please use my preferred pronouns
He, him, xe, xem, xir
and call me
Bradlei
I won't go back into that depressing closet to make myself miserable for your happiness
I am who I am
And in the words of Mary Lambert “I can't change even if I tried”
Sincerely your son, cousin, grandson, brother, and uncle
Bradlei C.


-- Bradlei C., 16