Illinois Verse: A time of transition

Ray thinks of transitions as the International Day of Transgender Visibility approaches.

Transition Shower

I was getting ready for the transition shower
Making a cake with sugar, eggs, and flour
For trans people, why so much hate?
When there’s so much to celebrate
Maybe they’re scared of our power

About This Poem:

You’ve heard of a wedding shower or a baby shower, but have you heard of a transition shower? It’s basically a gender reveal party for a transgender person. The point of the party is to celebrate the person coming out and help them transition by giving them gifts that match their identity. I’m bringing this up because March 31st is International Day of Transgender Visibility. So for this month’s edition, I’d like to focus on topics and issues within this part of our community.

What Comes Out In Spring

March comes out like a lamb, they say
You know what can also come out now?
Your face, impacted by the breeze against
Against all odds, you still come out to see
People and nature of all size, shape, color
And against all odds, you still come out to
Take your place amidst the festive colors
The festive colors within you make you
But no one is going to make you take up
The rainbow in the sky and the one inside
There is more way than one to coming out
There’s coming out and there’s coming out
You can either be a part of the community
Or you can just show up as you are to rally
Around the folks who are in the community
Just be around those in the community and
Maybe, just maybe, you’ll come out anew
What comes out in spring – actually, who –
Whoever comes out in spring, they bring
It, the confidence and color of a rainbow

About This Poem:

Even if you’re not a part of the transgender community, or even if you’re not LGBT at all, there’s always a way you can support the ones around you that are LGBT. For example, my way of supporting my community is by doing this column. But there are even simpler ways, like simply spaying attention and listening, that you can support the community With this poem, I’d like to challenge you to really come out by getting your hand sdirty (i.e. signing a petition, volunteering at a queer organization, boycotting harmful companies, etc.).


Perhaps it’s not quite clear – or should I say, you’re not exactly clear
As solid as you can be, the public isn’t familiar with your kind of queer
And since there’s only so little we choose to see, it might not be better
To uncover the details of what goes into the production of a sweater
That’s how your public image was made, with a fabric that is sheer

About This Poem:

I think that the root cause of transgender issues comes from outside of the community. There’s a lack of understanding and there’s a lack of willingness to even wanting to know about transgender issues. (Kudos to the people who show even just a tiny interest in the plight of the transgender community.) So if you’d like to improve the quality of life of a transgender person in your life, I’d suggest you start by being present, listening to the other person, and paying attention to the information that’s being shared without dismissing it.


I look into the mirror
I feel they/them/their
I put on my clothes &
I feel they/them/their
I brush my hair and
I feel they/them/their
I put on my shoes &
I feel they/them/their
So I feel they/them/their
And then I go outside &
You insist she/her/hers
I go into a store and am
Greeted by miss/ma’am
I go into a restaurant &
You insist she/her/hers
It makes me want to go
So I go home to my home
I thought I was they/them
I take off the clothes I was
In and out of the she/her &
I look back into the mirror
I thought I was they/them
I don’t know; going to bed
So I can do it all over again

About This Poem:

Something that I have in common with the transgender community as a nonbinary person is “dysphoria.” I put that in quotation marks because that’s not really the correct way of putting it. I think that gender dysphoria should really be called something along the lines of gender based cultural gaslighting. It’s because that’s how dysphoria really works. We’re not confused about our gender because we just don’t know the answer. Were confused about our gender because we’re constantly being reminded of externally of what we are not. At the same time, however, I can’t just go around pouting about how people are fueling my dysphoria. So that’s why this poem exists, in hopes that the system will change.

Transitional Words

In other words, I cannot help but express
The issues that present themselves in excess
People that show that they do indeed detest
To those who want us to go through a test
I’m choosing not to bottle up my stress

About This Poem:

To wrap things up for the month, I’d like to end on somewhat of.a positive note. While the issues that I’ve showcased this month are pretty serious, I think we need a reminder that it’s not the end of the world. And by talking about the issues that make you lose sleep at night, you’re on the path to releasing that negativity. And until next month, take care of yourself as I am trying to do the same.

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