A Light Hearted and Heavy Hearted Incomplete List of Common Traits Shared by TransPeople Like Myself, Based Mostly on Empirical Data, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

A Light-Hearted and Heavy-Hearted

Short and Incomplete List of Common Traits

Shared by TransPeople

Like Myself

Based Mostly on Empirical Data

By Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

 

These are not in any particular order, and yes, of course, cisfolks can have some of these traits too, but who cares. This list is not meant to separate us or further stereotype us.  It is meant as affirmation, celebration, and interesting information.

 

 

We like sci-fi.

We like video games—playing them, creating them.

We like memes and GIFS—creating them, posting them, reading them.

Many of us are often on the spectrum—the autism spectrum.

We are incredibly creative—artistically, musically…

We are often gifted writers.

We are kind, generous, and fiercely loyal.

We are activists, both by birth and by choice.

We have amazingly fabulous fashion sense.

We are survivors.

We are resilient.

We have fantastic taste in music.

Many of us are highly empathic to the point of being empaths.

Many of us like animation—anime, manga. Stephen Universe, etc.

We are extremely intelligent.

We can hold and cherish and protect the truth better than almost anyone.

We are often musicians.

Many of us love animals—cats, dogs, rats, hedgehogs, reptiles, etc.

Many of us know how to experience fear and keep going anyway.  And those that don’t someday will.

Some of us belong to pagan, wiccan, or some other more “earthy” type of spiritual tradition.

Many of us have youtube channels intended to help, inspire, support, and educate trans and non-trans.

Many of us are asked invasive or inappropriate questions.

Many of us are made to feel like we need to prove and/or justify that we exist.

Many of us get stared at when we are out in public.

Some of us carry mace when going out alone.

Many of us have been threatened, harassed, assaulted, demonized, and rejected, and yet we still hold true to the truth of who we are.

Many of us experience severe anxiety and fear when out in public and have to use the bathroom.

Too many of us have been murdered for who we are, and by too many, I mean one is too many.

Too many of us take our own lives because of bullying, nonacceptance, stress, and fear, and by too many I mean one is too many.

Some of us struggle with deep dysphoria; some of us do not.

Some of us exist in hiding for years, decades, or even our entire lives.

Some of us struggle with loving our bodies, our voices, certain body parts., etc; some of us do not.

Some of us hate our lives and names before coming out; some of us do not.

Some of us LOVE wearing makeup, binders, etc.; some of us do not.

Many of us have at least one ally (and often more than one) in our corner.

Many of us have different hair colors than the common brown, black, or blond.

Many of us do not have access to healthcare.

Many of us have family members who reject us.

Many of us have at least one or two family members who accept us.

Many of us are unemployed and/or find it extremely difficult finding a job.

Many of us are living in poverty.

Some of us are forced to live on the streets.

Some of us choose to be sex workers for survival and to save money for surgeries (and yes, some choose to be sex workers because we like it).

Many of us seek various forms of surgeries or procedures to help make ourselves more comfortable in our true gender.   Many do not.  Most cannot due to finances and/or lack of healthcare.

Some of us have passing as one of our goals; some of us do not.

Most of us are utterly hilarious and have a great sense of humor (albeit sometimes, wry, dark, or jaded).

Many of us are “TransWhoVians”—transpeople who like Dr. Who.

All of us fucking rock.

All of us are amazing.

All of us are living lights.

All of us matter.

All of us are just plain human (except those from other planets).

All of us are brave even when we’re afraid.

All of us need to stick together.

All of us need to know there is no one way, or right way, or wrong way to be trans.

What traits can you add to this list?

 

 

 


 

 

 




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My One Year Anniversary of Coming Out, Sunday, September 18, 2016, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

fading-flower

My One Year Anniversary of Coming Out

Sunday, September 18, 2016

by

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

I look at my initial coming out letter and feel so sad.  It was such a naïve letter.  Of course, I didn’t know any better.

Part of the sadness comes, of course, from the incredible fallout my pronouncement caused.  Over this past year I have had things said to me by relatives, friends, parents of my students, and strangers that would make your skin crawl–inhuman, violent, vicious, hateful, self-centered, and humiliating things.  People crawled out of the woodwork to write me mean, toxix letters—people who haven’t spoken with me in literally decades suddenly found it their place to tell me what a fuck-up I was.  Over the course of this year, I lost friends, family, and regardless of how it was framed as my fulfilling a four-year agreement at my school—I lost a job, my home, and a marriage.

One of the reasons I stressed so much in my original letter and in subsequent letters that being transgender isn’t a choice is because so many people think I have brought all of this loss onto myself by making a sick, twisted, selfish, perverted life-style choice—a choice that wrecked everything.  And no matter what I say or how many times I say it, there will still be those who think I am choosing to be this way.  There will be people who will never speak to me again for the “choice” they think I am making.

Part of the sadness also comes from seeing how happy I was.  I have never been so happy before or since when I realized I am transgender.  It was a joy that transcended all other joys.  And, in my naiveté, I thought the world would be happy with me. My innocence was reborn even though I know people who believe that isn’t possible, and with that innocence came a youthful foolishness; for my thought that people would rejoice with me couldn’t have been more wrong.

A year later I am in a darker place than the one I mention at the beginning of my coming out letter.  It is a place of not seeing any future, any possibilities, any hope; and, as a result, there are days when I feel I cannot, nor do I want to, go on.   As of this writing I am not sure of anything, and make no promises about anything to anyone anymore.  That all sounds pretty dire, and that’s because it is.  There is another side to this year though that I also want to share.

When I came out there was also tremendous, unexpected support from people I knew and from people I didn’t know.  Mandy published her own letter that day and as a result I had more people friend me that week than perhaps ever in my Facebook history—and the vast majority of those people were from Bryn Athyn.  So while I have lost dear friends, relatives, and family, I have also gained a whole community of people who love and accept me for me, and for that I will be forever grateful.

I also met the best doctor I have ever had.  He is the kindest, most attentive, loving doctor I have ever had, and likely will ever have.  Four months after coming out, on January 11, 2016 he started me on HRT and I will be forever grateful for that too.  No, the meds doesn’t make me a woman.  I have always been a woman.  The medicine simply helps me live comfortably in my own skin.  It does not affirm who I am, nor will surgery, what it does is treat an incurable condition and, again, help me live with some semblance of peace and comfort while in a body that does not fit the inner truth of who I am.

I credit my continued existence to my present therapist, who I have another Facebook note and blog post about.

I have had moments this past year where the joy and ecstasy returned and, no matter what was going on around me, I felt like singing.  My last year teaching was a great example of joy—no, not with the parents—no, as I have already written about in other places—the majority of them flipped their wigs and said some of the meaning things anyone ever said.  It was the children and I.  We had the best year ever.  I cannot think of another group of people I would ever want to be around as I came out and began transitioning.  Despite some of the limited, transphobic thinking of their parents, these kids were enlightened beings—they ARE enlightened beings.  Sure they had questions (which I wasn’t allowed to answer), and a few concerns—mostly things like: Was I OK? Of course, as this chain of events drew us even closer together the only other thing that mattered most to them was that I stay their teacher.  They wanted me to stay more than ever, and this is completely to their credit.  The time I got to spend with them that last school year together will always be treasured, cherished, and an honor.

My own children too continue to love and support me.  They call me “Other Mom,” or “Mom Number Two,” or simply, “Mom.”  They faced our first Father’s Day with grace and made me cards for our first Mother’s Day together.  They are amazing people, growing so fast, and not really ever blinking once at my transition and all of the odd things it entails. And even though Mandy and I have divorced, we are still on the best of terms, and she continues to be one of my biggest allies.

As you know too, I am not shy about talking about surgeries and my body like I thought I was going to be.  I am going tomorrow for my first consult with a surgeon and this makes me so happy I could cry happy tears of gratitude (in fact I do cry tears of gratitude—often about this).  I want surgery more than anything else in the world.  And isn’t that funny?  I have no frame of reference for desiring such an operation, but there it is—the deepest want—longing—desire, and I dearly hope it is possible physically and financially.  And yes, this makes many people uncomfortable—especially some men who cannot fathom anyone giving up male privilege to do such a drastic (in their twisted minds) thing.  But I am all in, and I cannot wait for the next phase of my transition to begin (I will be receiving more letters from friends, family, and strangers about this paragraph, and while yes, I just made it your business by sharing this personal information it does not give you the right to be mean, send sexually insecure, shadow-based hate mail, letters, phone calls, messages—you may keep your bizarre and lust fueled—bigoted-“religious” ideas to yourself.  What I am doing to my body should be of no concern of yours.  So, to all of you already writing me hateful letters, I send a big, hearty-fuck-you in advance).

Many of you have been such dear supports and friends this past year.  I am constantly making calls for prayers, and you always answer them.  No matter how depressing and dark my posts become you love and support and encourage me.  Many of you have even donated money to my cause, and it is with all my heart I thank you.

So, here I am.  One year in.  One year CONSCIOUSLY in.   I have been transgender my whole life just not consciously. If I make it out of this next year then I believe I will be kicking some serious ass in terms of my poetry, music, and activism. I want the fight back—the joy, the bliss, the sweet sense of completeness and wholeness that was here a year ago—the sense of purpose and rightness. I want to love myself and my body, my voice, my age, and my life.  I want to believe the poems that come to me.  I want to help change the world.  I want to get remarried. I want to get all of my poems and songs out there published.

If I can step back and look at my life objectively, I see how much I have survived—many forms of abuse, hatred, and loss, and yet, here I am, alive and well, not kicking—more sort of rolling up into a ball and weeping with terror—but I am here.  I survived my life not knowing who I was.  I survived experiences meant to “make a man out of me.”  I survived traumas of many kinds, and I am still here, for that I can be proud.

So, Happy Anniversary to me.  Here’s to a smoother year.

All my love and gratitude,

Jennifer

 bright-flower

 

You are always welcome to donate what you can and want.  I am still unemployed and soon, as mentioned above, I will be starting a crowd-funding campaign for my surgeries.  Get in on the ground floor now for that and ear-mark your donations and I will not use them to buy food.  🙂  Thank you.  All my love, Jennifer

 


 


Transcendencies, A Transgender Manifesto, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

Transcendencies

A Transgender Manifesto

by

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

We are all transcendentalists

Seeking to live above duality and paradox,

We are all transcendent,

Shining across space and time in clouds

Of oxygen and carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen;

Each and every one of us transcends

Something, or someone, or somehow

Or someday—just to be able to stand here catching our breath—

We transcend and we become—

It is as simple as that.

 

Our blood streams are transcontinental,

Our lives holy translations of spirit and soul,

And if we are lucky, we sense ourselves being

Transcribed onto the pages of the world

And can take comfort in knowing

Our lives are written, revised, edited, and published

By storylines far greater than ours—

 

We are all transfigured, like Jesus on the transmountain

And then resurrected to life everlasting

Every time we transcend ourselves to become ourselves–

Life is nothing but a series of ongoing

Transplantations and transferals of fluids and spirit–

We transmogrify our way through life–

And time is transinfinite—shifting over and ever through

Many transhistorical points of references

That are increasingly transcultural and transhuman, and

Full of blood and wishes—

Everything we do, say, or think

Is transformative, setting events into motion

That change us and our world—

 

We are all transients and haven’t a clue—

Even beyond our so-called beliefs, where or when, how, or why

We will be transformed and/or transported

To otherness, to other transpossibilities—

 

Our spirits translocate and love transelevates us—

We are transpirited and our souls translucent,

Transmissible, and transoceanic—-

Why not rejoice and dance with one another

And love the best of who we are?

 

Yes, I am transpierced with pain,

Yes, I have been transplanted inside

And the ground softens with every step;

Yes, I am transpolar and songs and poems

Come aching to be transubstantiated into form through me,

And yet, even as I move through a series

Of neverending transversals only to find myself

Transported into more hatred, ignorance,

And shadow-driven insecurities of the white men—

I am still here—I have not given up yet—

 

I transilluminate boundaries

That no longer have solid meaning—they never did,

But now monsters are waking up to the truth that gender

Is not fixed—it is transfixed—and no longer the transaxle

Of a tired binary sustained by them—the white men—

Whose own genitals they never truly know,

Or love, or transform into possibilities without shame—

Even though everything about people like me is transubstantiated

By living, breathing experience—for here I am, and yet I am told

I do not exist—I am told I do not deserve to exist—

Even though everything exists based on continuous

Transformations of spirit and body,

And long, transcendent series of moments

Spilling into other moments into which we are all

Given choices to hurt or to heal, love or to hate,

Explore or destroy—and the occurrences of transpeople

Hurting anyone are rare—for true transpeople

Understand pain as few others do————-

 

What makes you think you can transpose

An already faulty belief system to justify or rationalize

Your unjustifiable and irrational actions and laws?

 

Do you really think humanity will not eventually wise up

To your genocidal ways?

 

Be ye transported into a land where transcendencies

Are accepted as commonplace—because, in actuality,

They already are—

 

We all transmute oxygen and water

And food into our transubstantiating metabolisms—

Everything we do is a transaction of time and space

Body, mind, spirit, soul—no matter how far we move

From one another, we are all transactors,

And our breath transoceanic, and our lives

Transferrable with one another’s—

 

It will happen despite your barbaric ideas—

I will not be transfixed by your gaze—You

Who cannot think past your own shadow—

I am a living transmission of messages

Who illuminates your small mindedness.

 

I am not here to inspire some kind

Of transcultural revolution—

I AM a revolution—I am

Transfiguration transanimated by my every movement,

And I live as a thorn in the side

Of the white man who has lost any ability—

Indeed—if they ever had any—to transmute limited thinking

Into growth, evolution, wisdom, common sense—

Love and true, “Christian” charity—

The Jesus transfigured on the mount does not know

Hatred—no matter what Paul tried to tattoo

Onto him—Jesus was transgender—transforming

God-seed into woman-flesh—

And back again to seed and flower for all eternity—You can know this

With all certainty, if you will only look past your own

Untouched, unloved, unabused genitals—

Jesus came to transfigure you and to set your limited beliefs on fire,

Jesus came to give you a transfusion to flush out

Your hatred both of yourself and of those

Who truly live as he suggested—steeped in the beatitudes

So deeply as to be transcribed into living testaments

Of love’s transcendent power—

 

Come, shed your mantles of tissue and weariness,

Come shed your tired ideological transparencies,

And transmigrate with me to a way of living where Jesus reigns

Alongside the mother tree and the angels

Of transmogrification, and beings of transdimensional

Singing and dancing—

 

For we all transpire–and will–sooner than we want,

Life is transonic, yes, but it is death that comes at the speed of sound—

And when it does we shall all be transposed against a backdrop of light

And seen for how we really lived and breathed—

So live now with me, with us—we are your brothers and sisters

And siblings of light transilluminated with holy,

And unending folly and grace, and joy transacted

Into countless transferals—let us all be

Translocated into here and now—transgiven

Transcendencies in love, sweet love,

Everlasting.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 





Pulse by Jennifer Angelina Petro

Pulse

 

Pulse

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

Pulses lost in the Pulse.
Pulses slowing, pulses struggling to flow
On floors, in hospital beds,
Behind tables, and rooms
Of young people existing
In secret and fear.
Pulses aching with grief and rage.
Pulses on fire with loss.
Pulses full of no more, no more, no more.
Pulses must become one pulse.
Your pulse. My pulse.
My transgender pulse.
Pulses of privilege and safety.
Pulses of people praying
In churches and mosques,
Synagogues, temples,
And living rooms.
Pulses of people in alleyways.
Pulses of people behind closed, political doors.
Pulses of your sisters.
Pulses of your brothers.
Pulses of those who do not identify
As brother or sister.
The pulse of deep humanity. Pulse
Within pulse, pulse within pulse.
Pulse of Pride.
Find inside ourselves,
Find inside each other,
Pulses to rise, pulses to fight,
Pulses to beat as one
To change the world,
To hold one another
In reverence and mourning,
To eradicate hate-mongering,
Barbarian pulses of those with ideas
Wrapped in blood, hypocrisy,
Shadow, pure insanity. Pulse
Within pulse. Find the one pulse
Of those who seek to live
In one rhythm stemming from one heart.
In the soul pulse of a nation
On the brink of revolution,
A revolution to breathe together
As we were meant to do.

 

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Stop the Killing, Stop the Hate, A Memorial Day Message By Jennifer Angelina Petro

Stop the Killing, Stop the Hate,

A Memorial Day Message

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 “Jesus loves me this, I know.”  Do you?

 

Many die every day fighting wars both inner and outer, for freedom–yes, for freedom–in a country meant to protect the freedoms of all individuals–in a “Christian” nation supposedly founded on equal rights for all.   Transgender people like me fight to exist, to pee, to not have to justify and explain my right to simply live.  Every solider that died for American wars fought to keep people like me safe.

 

We are not a threat to “American Christian values.” I am not a threat. There has still, to this day–ever been one recorded incident of a true trans person harming anyone in any public bathroom EVER, and yet dozens and dozens of politicians and “religious” people have been charged with sex crimes and no one is murdering them (not that we should, of course).  We are not a threat to the radical feminists or to the radical, so-called, defenders of American values.

 

There is a wiki article that shows how the war on transgender people only gets worse and worse.  These are people fighting wars and battles simply to exist in their own country. Of course, many have been murdered and were never reported. Many, many suicides happen every day and are not listed here. These are murders too.  And the people inciting violence on them are responsible for their deaths—the pastors, politicians—the parents who kick their kids out of the house, the bullies who torment them—they are all responsible for killing the human beings just trying to fight the battle for their right to exist.

 

Notice how the numbers increase year by year. It is no coincidence that the more hate is spewed from so-called Christian leaders and politicians the more transpeople die–the more on the LBGTIQA spectrum die (yes, I know, and the media gives it all more attention and that accounts too for the increase in numbers).

 

Stop the hate. Stop the murder. Stop the suicides. Love your kids like real parents should. Love and accept your family members like real families should. Protect your loved ones.

 

While we remember the lives of those lost for our country–remember they died for people like me—that I may live with the same freedoms as you.

 

Don’t dishonor their memory by standing by and allowing another new civil rights battle and genocide to be waged on people like me on our watch. Don’t dishonor their memory by hating people like me and supporting those who would take away my freedoms or have people like me wiped from the face of the planet.

 

Transgender people like me and all other LGBTQIA people have never been a threat to “Christian” values.  If those values were so strong, so rooted in the “true religion of God,” then no one should fear their ever being harmed.  My rights do not invade yours.  Your ability to marry whomever you choose is in no way effected by who I choose to marry.  Prove how solid and true your values are and LIVE them.  Jesus NEVER hated people like me and he would weep to know how many parents kick their children out of their houses, or bully them to suicide.  Jesus would weep to know people like me are killed for simply being who we are—who “God” supposedly “made us to be.”  Jesus would be appalled to see his name, his teachings used to spread needless and shameful hatred, violence, bigotry.  If your truth was so strong it wouldn’t need defending from transpeople who just want to pee in a public restroom–who just want to LIVE in peace.

 

If you go to churches of any kind–temples, mosques, any type of religious body–advocate for us–for me.  Write to politicians and tell them to wage war on the issues that matter—poverty, crime, homelessness, student debt, pollution, and so on.

 

Memorial Day.

 

Let’s not make any more memories of those killed in the line of duty–abroad–or here–here with people like me just trying to live our lives in peace–here in our families, in our towns, in our schools, in our sacred places of freedom.

 

Peace, Jennifer

 

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Your donations go to my GRS and to helping keep the WonderChild Blog going.  Thank you. <3

My Nest Was Built With Little Bones, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

My Nest Was Built With Little Bones

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

 

My nest was built with little bones,

Shells, feathers, twigs, candy wrappers,

Shiny things, torn pages of catechisms, shabads,

And pornographic magazines,

It was made of moss and hair, abandoned ribbons,

Scraps of red bandannas, silken scarves,

Shopping lists, and spit.

 

 

For years I incubated beneath the hollow-boned lark,

Or was it a mockingbird?

My shell survived storms

And long stretches where only monsters,

Drunken owls, and sleepy seagulls smothered me

In the night.  I learned to hide myself—

A nest within a nest—an egg within an egg;

I lived tucking parts of me away

I never wanted.  Brooding memories

Filled the nest like bits of worms regurgitated,

And every now and again I caught a glimpse of a faraway blue sky.

 

 

When the egg hatched and the nest

Bloomed, I stared blindly into myself,

Wiggling stubs of wings I so wanted covered with feathers and flight.

Yet now, I live, I walk, a nest on legs, a human egg, a permanent fledgling—

Wings clipped, song raspy with rain and darkness,

And a road of eggshells spreading out before me wherever I go.

 










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This Being Transgender

This Being Transgender
By
Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

 

Dear Autumn,
This being transgender reminds me of what you must face;
People who haven’t thought of you for ages
Suddenly find themselves thinking of you and lamenting your arrival,
Others find you a fascinating anomaly in an otherwise endless summer
Of sameness and dreamy afternoons;
Others force themselves to stop thinking of you
With hopes of postponing an imaginary, apocalyptic winter,
Still others think about you so much they stop talking to you
And pretend you no longer exist, they fear
Your blazing changes will rub off on them,
They think your very appearance signals a heresy
That will send summer reeling—
Which it does–but not in distress does summer
Go tumbling through the leaves and out of town, it rolls on
Joyous of your presence and relieved
To finally be able to breathe fully and see spring’s children
For who they really are. And the heresy? It is there–
It signals the living fully what love stands for–
And that means comfort zones expanded,
Walls removed, and doors opened into the reality
Of the here and now, 2015.

 

Dear Autumn,
I see your graceful letting go,
I see you casting gold with trembling fingers,
I see your swaying vulnerability against a stark blue sky,
And I know I let go far less gracefully,
I cling to what must be tossed away,
I flail about believing
There is nothing gold about me
To even bother sharing;
I begin believing those who can longer look at me
Or who dread how I will influence their children—
I know better though, I know they only fear
How I will influence them—how I will magically
Nudge them away from the summer
Of their inner, thinly-hidden discontent
And out into the blazing colors of enlightenment,
I know better, but I cling to brittle branches
Of self-loathing.

 

Dear Autumn,
So many people tell me they need time to be able to just see me,
Some still believe a death has occurred, and yet, here I stand in my autumnal truth.
You and I both know nothing dies when you arrive;
Summer cartwheels over the hills and warms
Another place happy to be free to think new thoughts,
The leaves you share feed the soil and fertilize the seeds of spring,
The harvest of apples feeds many with mulled sweetness,
And if they could only see you in my soul
And be awed at the revelation of color and the arrival
Of gold and my ability to finally stand in the fifth direction
Of my journey, with all of the certainty of wonder and hope
Of voyaging further into the sky, the streams, the purple mountains,
The heart of love, and the ground of being;
If they would only look in the mirror of their deepest fears—
And see love looking back at them,
And how the faces of spring infants and angels of flamenco
Gather around the edges of their vision, then maybe they would get it—
Their reflection looks like us and them—it looks like every single tree
To ever wave in the wind and sleep bathed in moonlight,
And just rest easy knowing we are not signaling the end
Of all that is warm and held sacred,
We are heralding the beginning of freedom,
We are taking the leaves of sacredness
And casting them where they truly belong–
Into an infinite sky of infinite variety.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All donations go towards my transition and to keeping the Wonder Child Blog Up and Running.  Thank you <3



Say Her Name

Say Her Name
By
Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

 

Say Her Name
Tamara Dominguez
Say Her Name
Elisha Walker
Say Her Name
Kandis Capri
Say Her Name
Amber MonRoe
Say Her Name
Shade Schuler
Say Her Name
K.C. Haggard
Say Her Name
India Clarke
Say Her Name
Ashton O’Hara
Say Her Name
Mercedes Williamson
Say Her Name
London Kiki Chanel
Say Her Name
Mya Shawatza Hall
Say Her Name
Keyshia Blige
Say Her Name
Kristina Gomez Reinwald
Say Her Name
Bri Golec
Say Her Name
Penny Proud
Say Her Name
Taja Gabrielle de Jesus
Say Her Name
Yazmin Vash Payne
Say Her Name
Ty “Nunee” Underwood
Say Her Name
Lamia Beard
Say Her Name
Papi Edwards
Say Her Name
Kiesha Jenkins
Say Her Name
Say Her Name
Say Her Name.

 

 

Spirit shepherd
Welcome Her home,
Goddess of trees
And of mountains,
Shelter Her home,
Shepherdess of lions and deer
Lift Her on your back
Of grace and power
And carry Her home,
Exalt Her by raining down
Awakening to the masses,
To Her being human,
To Her being transgender,
To Her just being a person
Who should have been able
To be what She needed
And done what She wanted
Without fear of harm;
Goddess of light and of darkness
Hold Her family like
The earth holds seeds in winter;
Shepherdess of Moonlight
And dragonflies, find the way
For all to see: this hatred
Must stop, this ignorance
Must stop, this violence
Must stop, this acting out
Twisted insecurities
Must stop—
And enlightenment
Needs to grow–opening hearts
Need to grow.
Brothers and sisters
Join me
And Say Her name,
Pray Her name,
Shout and sing and chant
Her name, cherish Her name,
Treasure Her name,
Speak Her name as if it was your own,
Whisper Her name to the trees,
Weep Her name to the spaces
She once filled,
Plant Her name
In the collective consciousness of the world
And allow it to grow
Into fields of sunflowers,
Write Her name
On the pages of every heart,
Sculpt Her name
With the tender hands of
Mercy and compassion,
Breathe Her name
Into the nostrils
Of every man—enliven them
With self-understanding
And the ability to see past
Their own ill-conceived
And irrational fears,
Baptize Her name
With justice and laws
That makes sense
And that work—

 
Brothers and sisters
Rise up, take one another
By the hand and lift up Her name
In your voices of
Enough
Is Enough,
And Say Her Holy Name
Tamara Dominguez
Elisha Walker
Kandis Capri
Amber MonRoe
Shade Schuler
K.C. Haggard
India Clarke
Ashton O’Hara
Mercedes Williamson
London Kiki Chanel
Mya Shawatza Hall
Keyshia Blige
Kristina Gomez Reinwald
Bri Golec
Penny Proud
Taja Gabrielle de Jesus
Yazmin Vash Payne
Ty “Nunee” Underwood
Lamia Beard
Papi Edwards
Kiesha Jenkins

 

 

 


 

 

 


A Sunflower Asked Me to Write This Poem

A Sunflower Asked Me to Write This Poem
By Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

sunflower seed photo

 

 

Sun-kissed,
Sky-shawled,
Sunflowers
Look very different
From the way
They start out–
Little seeds tucked in hypnotic
Spirals, and yet sunflowers
Do not need to prove they exist,
They simply open
Their palms to the light
And say: “Here I am,”
And everyone sees them
And everyone understands
Seed and blossom are not
Two opposite ends
Of a spectrum,
Neither seed nor flower choose
To be what they are,
They simply exist,
And everyone smiles
And says: “Beautiful.”

 

 

You see
The other morning
I stopped to marvel
At a sunflower,
And as I stood admiring
The strength to stand
So tall, the dignity
To shine so much light
From such a round, lantern face
I heard it speak:
“I know you see me,
I know you see beauty
When you see me–
Go ahead embrace me.”
And so I did.
We swayed a moment
Slow dancing to the music
Of the early morning sun,
And as we did I heard it speak again:
“I have moved on
From husk and shell,
I have moved on
From living hiding
In the blind ground.
I am here now,
And you see me,
But did you know
There are those
Who do not believe
I exist? They ask me
To prove I belong,
They ask me to justify
My being a sunflower
Because they only knew me
As a seed.
I know you understand,
I know you live as one of us.
Help them to see.”
And so I promised
The sunflower
I would write this poem.
Sunflower seeds
May or may not know
They are sunflowers
Waiting in the wings
To bloom, in the same way
A sunflower can look back
And see it once was a seed.
For all we know sunflower seeds
Might think they are, and will never
Be, something other
Than how they presently present, and if pressed
With questions might ask one of their own:
What is a sunflower?

 

 

When is their moment
Of awakening, when they realize
They have a deep, undeniable,
Longing for light?
Is it when they finally crack
Under the pressure of trying
To remain as they have always
Appeared yet for some
Unfathomable reason know
They are something other?
Is it when their seams burst
Unable to withstand the pull
Of warmth and daylight?
Do you think it is possible
They are frightened
When they finally lose themselves
And understand they really are
Someone they never knew they were?
Do you think it is hard for them
To dig through darkness,
To push past rocks, to believe
Another life awaits, where light
Will caress their hands and face?
Or do you think they believe
That there is no possible way
A flower lives inside them?
That they are still themselves
As they weave through the dark earth?

 
The sunflower asked me
To write this poem to reassure you:
The essence of the seed is shadowed
In their faces and more importantly, it remains is visible
In their spirits, in the beauty
They express to the world.

 
The next time you see a sunflower
Embrace it gently through your misgivings,
Know nothing is ever lost—
The shape changes, the beauty remains
Only now it is held in the arms
Of the open, unconditional sky.

 

 

sunflowers tall

 


 

 

 

 





All donations go to keeping the Wonder Child Blog afloat and towards my transition.  Thank you for your support.  Jennifer

Questions for You

Questions For You
By
Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

My wise friend, Mika and I were talking recently and she observed that if we can allow negative actions, words, and energy from some negative people to drain us, then the implication is that we can allow positive actions, words, and energy of positive people to fill us. I am working on ways to do this, for while I have received TONS and TONS of loving, kind, encouraging, compassionate, and just plain AMAZING support as I have come out as trans, there have been a few people who have said some very cruel things, mean things, reprehensible things, and acted in heartbreaking ways towards me. And my silly mind starts to focus on those few instead of the many, many, MANY who support me. And then I begin to fade, nudge closer to a depression that seems suddenly so far away, and I become afraid, feel guilty, begin to believe I am doing something wrong, when in fact I am not DOING anything. I did not choose to be trans. I am not BECOMING a woman. I AM a woman who is finally conscious of this beautiful and affirming truth and am simply moving closer and closer to fully living and presenting as the person I am. I was born the right gender, wrong body parts. And so my loving supporters, what things do you do to help increase the positive, to draw that loving energy in? This is without a doubt the most intense time of my life—and the most wonder-filled, and beautiful, and yet, it is hard to know there are people who a few days ago were my friends that now literally hate me, and that’s hard. Really hard. And thank Goddess there is YOU. If you’re reading this I believe you’re one of the ones who love my heart. Who looks past what I may wear or what I may call myself, who doesn’t worry about losing anything, but instead is happy they are gaining the best me ever. What suggestions do you have for increasing the positive, for helping a negative-focuser like me to focus on the good–the good that is everywhere. Truly the outpouring of love I am receiving is incredible, and I feel guilty the haters affect me so much, like I am insulting you. I do not mean to, my dear friends. This is all new to me—this complete acceptance of who I am, and I am so happy, really, giddy-magically happy, and need and want your continued support, but I am working with a mind that is trained in negativity and self-hatred. I would be honored to hear how you gather in the positive and release the negative, how you focus on the positive and ignore the negative. You totally rock my friends. I love you. Yours with grace and love, Jennifer

 

 

 


 

 

 

 


Donations go to a fund for my transition.  Thank you for supporting me and this journey.  <3