Friday, 19 May 2017

Steerage Class Citizen (May 19, 2017)

Please forgive me
If my anger boils over
And I say 
Or do something.

That I'll regret 
To you.

So want
To get into your face
And scream obscenities
Until my voice is hoarse.

A mere whisper
Of itself.


Just because
We weren't born
With the proper plumbing
Like you.

You think
We don't know
What it feels like
To be raped
Or abused?

Eight years ago
I came forward
To a local abused
And battered women centre
In Toronto.

Looking for help
In dealing
With my abusive past.

Having clearly
As a transsexual
(Male to female).

And yet
I was sluffed off
To a local counselling service
By the intake worker.

Who doesn't specialize
In the issues
Abused and battered 
Women face.

As if
She's yelling
To the callers
In the phone queue.

Any wonder
Feminism has become
A pejorative word
In Western society.

By turning your back
On the real needs
Of your trans-sisters
With your misogynistic  

Ensuring all women
In chains
Of oppression.

Therisa © 2017

Author's note:  On May 12, 2017. I noticed this article on, about the Senate hearing on C-16, the inclusion of gender identity and expression, under Canadian law and Canadian Human Rights Act,  ( which I support, as a Canadian, who identifies, as trans, and live my life, as a woman. As I read this article, I grew angrier, at the dismissive tones, of those feminist, who view people, like myself, as basically, gender traitors, to other women.

Reality is, we face the same discrimination, as cisgender women do, and more, in the way that Western society is structured, and has influenced other societies, around the world. Honestly, why would anyone want to give up, their position of power, to live life, as some feminist would argue, as the dominate birth gender, as a male?  In many ways, trans-woman, are starting, at a lower point, in society, with the barriers that we have to overcome. Many cases, losing our biological families, our jobs, and sense of self-identity, as we transition, from one gender to the other. 

Sadly, on May 14th, I accidentally erased this poem, and for the past 5 days, have been struggling to rewrite this, while battling a very nasty chest virus, which is slowly clearing up. This version of the poem isn't as angry, as the original one, the thoughts, and frustration, still remain. 

I wonder, how these feminists view the Intersex community, and their struggles, for political recognition. In that, these women were deemed, at birth, to be visibly male, and yet, chromosomally, are female, with underdeveloped female reproduction organs. Are they not female, since they can have periods, which many trans-women, only dream of; given these feminists' .agrument.


  1. I'm a feminist who knows little about the problems that arise for Transgendered Women. I know that my Quaker meeting has trans women who support each other and educate me and others, just as you do. However, to us feminist is not a "pejorative word." And I would willingly accompany any woman--trans or cis--to a clinic, though I know that is not enough to eliminate the problem.

    1. Susan, please forgive me, as I wrote this, in anger and pain, knowing many innocent transwomen have been denied their chance of healing, by women, who let their hate, cloud their better judgment. Thus tainting, how the greater whole views, the feminist movement.

  2. As if transgender women haven't got enough problems to face without this added misunderstanding and discrimination – this injustice.

    Both the erasure and the chest virus seem to me symbolic (in the most graphic way) of the huge barriers to speaking out – internalised for very real reasons, e.g. also the decision not to make this poem more public because you unfortunately know the backlash such utterances can meet.

    1. True, Rosemary, but there many indigenous societies, who had their culture, heritage and language striped from them, by colonizing countries, for whom, my experiences are, a mere shadow, of what they have experienced over the past century or so.

      As for the previous version of this poem, I consider, myself, lucky. As that poem was very bitter and more hurtful, in the way, I wrote. While, this poem is still angry, some of the bitterness has been vented and hopefully, won't imfame, already flammable situation.


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