this isn’t my first rodeo

and by that i mean this

isn’t my first poetry slam

but my hands still shake

and sweat breaks out on my

upper lip and slides

down my spine

like cold fingers


the judge

the white



old man judge

looks at me like

he’s trying to figure out

what i am and i want to

tell him that he’s not

the first person to cock

their head to the side at me


and my shoulders hurt

under the tight fabric

of my black chest binder

and i wonder if it

is showing through the

fabric of my white and pink

striped button up


i run a hand through my hair

bright and blond

and in your face

and wonder why all the poems

i read and write

fall under a category

that is not strictly

“family friendly”


maybe it’s because i

am a deeply angry person

from living in fear

since i was seven years old


or it’s because i

decided i was going to

be as loud as i could be

about being transgender

and queer

and mentally ill

because being quiet

felt like giving up


but this judge does not care

about how it felt to

kiss a girl for the first time

to fall in love with a girl

and then to fall in love with

that person again

outside the constrictions of gender


this judge does not care

because he cannot understand

and he does not want to

and this is a poetry slam that

i am not going to win

because the cards of the majority

are stacked against me


but i don’t care about

not winning

because my voice doesn’t shake

when i out myself to a roomful

of people in a town that

i am afraid to use the men's room in


and in that moment

i am not afraid

my voice is strong and loud

and these people are listening

and that judge

can’t hold a candle to the

bright light that burns within me


and just as i know this

he knows it too


  • A.C Doomcraft

    we are all just emotion and expression our bodies arent who we are its our minds and we express that through the body it is but a tool for us to express
    Im too ill informed to be completely for or against transgender but i believe nobody has a right to tell another how to live sadly our society has become one of blind opinions hopefully one day all this will be a bad dream and we can all live as we please without being judged

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