Frangar, non flectar

I miss the innocence of being a child, No care in the world – just toys and smiles, Painting by number, and lego based builds...

The following piece was awarded Third Prize in the OU Students Association Freshers Writing Competition for Freshers Fortnight 2022 (10 – 23 Oct). The author, Lainey, lives in the West Midlands and is studying the Arts and Languages Access Module.

Content warning: mental health, homophobia, transmisogyny, death

I miss the innocence of being a child

No care in the world – just toys and smiles

Painting by number, and lego based builds

Not carrying the weight of our cruel, cruel world

My cousin's barbie, a sight to behold

Who knew femininity came from a mould?

Better put it down, and read social cues

‘Cause my family will never erase their taboos 

Who cares about football? Or playing in dirt?

Don’t say that out loud, or you’re going to get hurt

“You’re not a lost cause yet, you’re just lead astray -

And being effeminate doesn’t make you gay!”

Little did they know, there was more to the tale

Of course, I liked guys... but I wasn’t a male

I knew there would be some initial fear

But I was scared for so many to disappear

I suppressed my feelings, my ignorance was bliss

Thought life would be easier pretending to be cis

But the facial hair started to grow out my face

And I thought I'd be better off dead and erased

Puberty shouldn’t have felt like gore

I wasted hours crying on the bathroom floor

Avoiding mirrors, ‘cause a stranger stared back 

And the thoughts in my head gave me panic attacks

I had to escape this, I had to be me

But I wasn’t ready for the transmisogyny 

Grew up in a generation constantly online

But now I avoid it, ‘cause people are malign 

Parliament debates my right to exist 

Bandwagon issues to get voters to switch

We just want to use the toilet in peace

But are met with accusations and brutality by police 

There’s so much more that I could say

But I'll leave it be, that’s for another day

I’m a trans woman, and proud to be alive

This was my story, and this is goodbye.

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