“Which Chains”

This is a poem I wrote for Trans Day of Remembrance 2016, and also partially in response to the presidential election.

I hear the lines about freedom
and chains, and how they are the
only things we have to lose.

And often I wonder
Which chains?

The chains of prisons & labor, where the roles
of gender keep our siblings living amongst a lie?
The chains of godly guilt, enforced confessions
therapy, repentence – and you wonder why they say
“Jesus died so you don’t have to”
when they so clearly wish you dead.

chains forged of diagnoses & disorders
Gatekeepers who only “want what is best”
while waiting for you to kill yourself because
it would be easier
and they wouldn’t have to learn to say “they” or “ze”

what if losing chains means leaving this world with its
pristine, smooth expectations you’ll never meet
because you were made for a different one.

Why are people so invested in “he made them male and female”
when trans, queer, and non-conforming folx are so much more


We make better artists, lovers, fighters.
Our communities are stronger
fighting for freedom
who will be there always

In remembrance
In flesh
In love
In hope


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