yOu dOn'T

yOu dOn'T
(
A response to the poem "Your Life" by Andrea Gibson)

You don't fucking know me. 
My gender is not your empowerment puff piece with pictures of 1000s of everyone LGBT or gender queer designed to make yourself and everyone else feel better, or to seem more sympathetic. I don't need your fucking sympathy or your empowerment. 

What I need is a fucking job. Then I can empower myself. What I need is a place to lay my head not encrusted with bed bugs or remnants of last night's supper. What I need is a roof over my head that does not run away every time an employer rejects me for not meeting their required stereotypes - the ones in their head that they don't even know they have - they just act on them. What I need is to be allowed NOT to meet all your requirements about what I should be to meet your expectations. I am not "they", I am not "she", I am not "he", I am not a pronoun at all; I am all of them, at that same fucking time! 
Try living that. 

You think because you have gone through your experience, that you know mine? You think there is solidarity in compassion? While I still have no rights? When men loathe me, women can't stand me, and even "they" stand above in judgment like the very judges they despise? Have you ever been un-human? 
I have. 

You don't fucking know me. 
You write like a font of wisdom and insight. Your words dance on the eardrums of those who would already agree. But have you changed the world, or just poetically bitched about it? Did you protect the water, or just drink the tea of collective slapping each other on the back, in the name of faux justice, while the oil continued to pour into the river? Do you still think your words matter, if they are not written on parchment and signed by the man installed by the monied class? Driving around on tour from hotel to couch, are you passing laws, or just obeying them, or worse yet, protesting them from your couch, or downtown, in your pre-defined marching area with your precious permit, and the porta-potties they make you rent, so that the suburbites can spit on you as they walk by or loathe you to their friends, with manicured lawn houses, on the 6pm news. 

I remember when being gender-queer was not cool and could get you killed, a time back before you likely even existed, having choices now as to what pronouns you should choose - because there were no clever Xs or non-binary choices. 
Only hatred. 

You don't fucking know me. 
I was there. You just write about it. Write about your life, but not mine - don't make presumptions, don't inspire me, don't think that I should have your hopes or agree to your new definitions of how the world should be. 
Don't cry for me. 

You don't fucking know me. 
Even though we have met, 
...and smiled at each other. 

I'm sick of gender, bending, queerness, and trying to fit in. The only fucking word I want to be addressed as is human. Because it's the only fucking word that still describes me. And sometimes, I still wonder, if animal isn't a better choice. I am an animal, with two bachelor's degrees and a doctorate, which I am preparing to burn as I lose everything because of all these rules, imposed by the judgment of the crowd, who watches luxury home shows, and laughs away or simply dismisses any person which makes them ever so slightly uncomfortable. The same greed we all bitch about, while yelling at the smelly homeless guy pissing on the side of a building because there are no public toilets, or showers, or backbones. Who would hire that guy or girl or they or it, anyway, you? 

Turn your TV back on, forget that you've read this, dinner's ready. You only think you give a shit. 

You don't. 

Or things would not be like this.

 

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