A Letter of Apology

I’m sorry that I let you believe
the bullshit binary beliefs
of cis society on sex.
I’m sorry I wouldn’t let you
speak up for yourself.

I’m sorry that a midwife
slapped your arse and declared
you were a certain type of person
based on what she saw between your legs.

I’m sorry I let you let them
dress you up like a pretty doll.
Looking back, you were beautiful
and I am sad for them
that you never existed.

I’m sorry I never told anybody
that the reason all your teddy bears
were boys, was because you felt
closer to them, that way.

I’m sorry I didn’t speak out.
I’m sorry that the boy within you
was hidden for so long
that he thought he’d disappeared
for far too many years.

I’m sorry you were so surprised
by blood between your thighs
though they’d told you to expect it
you’d prayed it would never arise.

I’m sorry for every lip gloss
in your sizeable collection
gathering dust in landfill
and I’m sorry for painting you
into a person you didn’t recognise.

I’m sorry I let you go off the tracks
into the bed of anyone who’d have you
I’m sorry I put you in so many
dangerous situations. I didn’t know.

I’m sorry I made you live
a heteronormative life of domesticity
without letting you question
who you were, because other people
were always more important than you.

I’m sorry it took me so long.
By now I’ve realised that this apology
is not to some unknown ex-person
but to my own self.

I’m sorry that I ever tried
to pretend I was something so foreign
that I never understood, even as
I played the role that the world
had so cruelly pushed upon me.

I’m sorry it took me twenty-seven years
to man up. To admit I was wrong.
To tell the Universe that it was wrong…
or maybe, like me, it knew all along?

I’m not sorry to be where I am now.
I’m not sorry to be ‘in the wrong body’;
I’m not sorry to not fit expectations
and I’m not sorry that my body’s
considered a variation on the norm.

I’m not sorry for my smooth face or high voice
though I wish they were different
they are material wishes to aid the world
in seeing me as I see myself.

This apology’s not to an older self
it is to me. There is no pre-me and post-me
there is just me. The only thing that changes
is how I present and am perceived
and how I want the world to perceive me.

I won’t speak to my former self, because he
was never she, he was a little boy like any other.
It was me who pushed him down
and now it’s me who will revive him
and give him the life he deserves

and now it’s me who will revive myself
and give myself the life I deserve.

Quinn Norman, 15/06/2015

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