The Last Word Festival 2018 – Poetry Slam Final – Reece Lyons

I am a woman and I have a penis The correct terminology is Transgender woman, although nowadays I usually just go by ‘tranny’ And every time that happens I think to myself – what was it about me that gave me away? Was it my height? Because I forget you’re not used to being confronted with that many 6-foot tall women in real life, are you? I mean aside from supermodels who you see on runways, but they don’t exist in your every day-to-day Or maybe now that I’m speaking it’s my voice? Does she have a cold? Did she lose it? It’s the up-down glances from people staring at my throat as I speak as if my Adam’s apple is a piece of forbidden fruit I think to myself Maybe it’s my hands or Maybe it’s my body hair. Maybe it’s my eyebrows. Maybe it’s my jawline. Maybe it’s my aquiline nose Maybe it’s just my sheer lack of tits Or maybe it’s my flawlessly applied makeup because let’s be honest. None of your exes looked as good as this Because I’m only ever going to be beautiful when I am convincing to you When I have successfully made myself small enough Quieter enough and acceptable enough for you to perceive me as a quote-unquote “real woman”. I refuse to be small Instead I would take up space in between the staring and the polite smiles The mother who when she sees me stops me coming near her child Because she is infected with fear because of journalists like Germaine Greer. I will fill the silence in between what is thought and what is said. The right-wing press who convinced this society that I am a rapist in a dress because I am a liar, an imitation, a fraud, a parasite feasting off my own flesh I will represent the distance between the first brick being thrown and a riot out breaking. All the women who have come before me who laid down their lives for taking; Sylvia Rivera, Marsha P. Johnson. And with bloodshed hands you now use to identify me as a culprit and as the tranny that I am. The future is not female. The future is intersectional. The future is black. The future is trans. The future is non-binary. The future is lesbian women. The future is disabled women. The future is Muslim women. The future are sex workers. We are the future. Support women who you don’t know. Support women who you aren’t sexually attracted to. Support women who you aren’t related to. Support women who don’t meet or match your expectations or ideals of what a woman is or what a woman should be. I am a woman. And I have a penis.

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