Do I Pass Cover

Worried faces peer out from selfies,
beautiful people desperately 
seeking acceptance from netizens.

Reporting on the changes in their 
appearance and lives brought about by 
hormone therapy and surgery.

Trying to learn which cosmetics, beard 
length, haircut, or clothing will win them
family’s, friends’, strangers’ approval.

What voice pitch will keep them safe from the 
trans misogynists who call them names, 
threaten their lives, beat them in the streets?

Why in the world do we hold trans folk
to gender binary standards that
most cis women and men never meet?

Why are they forced to risk life and limb
just to use the restroom when at a 
restaurant, school, even in the park?

How do we adjust the narrative 
implying those who are transgender 
want only to pass as cis people?

Doesn’t dumping strict definitions 
of how genders should look, sound, and act,
grant every one of us more freedom?

Why must we accept the constructs that
society assigns our gender
or impose them on anyone else?

Instead of classes in gendered voice,
appearance, and gestures for trans folk, 
what if we taught cis groups acceptance;

Helped them learn the difference between 
gender identity and gender 
expression; to see beauty within;

Showed them how much damage imposing
sexual- or gender-based decrees
causes just about everyone?

Acknowledgements

Included in their forthcoming collection What Color is Your Privilege?

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