Monday, December 2, 2019

Dysphoric Dreams: A Poem for a Transgender Literature Seminar

A poem for my students
inspired by the Fall 2019 syllabus

At this moment, I would like to offer a blessing

An expression of the good I wish for you and from you.

I wish for you to remember that stereotypes are like all forms of print

They erode, break down, and change unless we adapt them to new media.

May you find new meaning on the road from here to elsewhere

And good friends, magical or otherwise to travel with you.

May you face transformation and the unknown with a sense of mystery

And deep understanding of the truths that will live through our desolation.

May you find beauty and joy in your sex and gender

Especially when that beauty comes with great cost

May you find many other words to describe yourself

Including all the selves you will be across your life.

May you pack your gender backpacks with wisdom and care

And may you have the strength and realness to carry the hardest louds.

May you have the power to cry, whatever your gender

Because we will face tearful things in the future.

May you find things worth fighting for

And may you have to strength to carry on through losses.

May you find a flag worth defending

And a community who will have you back in turn.

May you remember that confession means “to speak together”

And that our myths can be as powerful as our realities.

May you find belonging, even on alien planets

Because you may find the world you thought you knew was stranger than you believed.

May you define your own realness and love

Because the reality and love you are given may fail.

May you protect and care for yourself,

Even when it seems the whole system of hell is made to grind you down.

May you find transcendence in the power of story

Because stories are magic and it is a magic that lives within you.

In the end, while we have explored literature past and present

The best gift I can give you on the way into the unknown

Is a method on how to face thoce challenges but challenges will come

Conflict will come and its forms are yet unknown

But you have practiced the method for facing these threats

To analyze, to engage, and to adapt.

To analyze to field and determine if you are in the right position

And to analyze the dangers to know the greatest threats.

Then to engage a problem, eschewing the unnecessary actions,

Hitting the pressure point be it pleasure or pain.

Finally then to respond to the accounts waged against you

Adapting and growing from what you learn, even in failure.

And now our seminar comes to an end.

And as you go forth, I wish good for you and from you.

May your goods and your futures come in as many forms as ways as there are to tell a story.


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