Devon, from A Little But Not Normal, by Lillie Franks

DEVON (trans woman) It’s about two things. Two big things, at any rate. The first is acceptance. You probably don’t know what it’s like to be accepted for the first time at the age of 23. You’ve basically been accepted all your life. And, in a way, so was I. At least, something was. What people saw. What I let people see. But that wasn’t me, no matter how much I tried to make it. It was what people wanted me to be. What I wanted to be for them, for a while at least. Then, 23 years later, for the first time, I learned about a new way to understand myself, a way that could finally let me look at people and say ‘‘This is who I am; this is me’’ and actually mean. And you can’t imagine how crushing it was to call up my parents on the phone, the two people that I had always been able to trust, who had always been there for me, to say ‘‘This is who I am; this is me’’, mean it for once in my life and hear ‘‘No it’s not.’’ That was part of it.

The second is harder. I know you wish it were something you had said or done. Sometimes I wish it were too. But it’s not. Not quite.


DEVON (trans woman) Imagine you walk into a room and it’s full of people. Every once and awhile, someone screams at you. And that’s unpleasant, and it’s unpleasant to wait for it, but also, constantly, everyone in the room is whispering over and over in a hundred different ways that you don’t belong. And if you point to any one of them it’s just a whisper, but with everyone whispering it turns into a roar. And every time you want to make yourself heard, you have to shout over the roar of not belonging. It wasn’t one thing. It was a thousand little things that added up. And I couldn’t tell you what any of them were because all of them were so small. But also, I couldn’t keep shouting. No matter how much I loved you, I couldn’t shout then. And I can’t shout now.

I’m not interested in trying to fix our relationship. I’m happy where I am. I’ve established myself and my place, and I don’t want to deal with my past anymore. You’re welcome to stay for however long you planned to visit. But once you leave, I’m not interested in seeing or hearing from you again.

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Gavin, from God Herself Could Not Sink This Ship, by Leanna Keyes

GAVIN. (trans man) Look: when you’re young and trans, you harbor this secret hope that there’s a cure. That you can take something or feel something and then you won’t be trans. For me and for her, that thing was love. If we could just fall in love and be a man and a woman, we’d be cured. We never said that to each other in words. But I was her girlfriend and she was my boyfriend. I was the first person she ever came out to. We’d been out at the mall all day and I jokingly suggested that she try on some girl clothes. She did. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone look so terrified with a grin on their face. That night she broke down into tears in my arms. She told me that she was trans and there was nothing she could do to change and she understood if I never wanted to see her again. And it was just so absurd. I came out to her too. The thing is, when you’re transitioning, you’re so wrapped up in your gender that you don’t even have time to think about an orientation. So I told her, “Amber, I’m bisexual, so wherever you end up is fine with me.” And I got her hormones through hell and high water. And here’s the thing they don’t tell you about hormones. Hormones make your gender shut up long enough to let you have an orientation more complicated than “somebody love me, please!” And somehow I ended up as a gay man she ended up as a lesbian woman. We stuck it out through high school, because what else were two closeted trans people going to do? But eventually we had to admit that our orientations and genders just didn’t match up anymore. No… that’s not right. We needed to prove that our genders didn’t match up. I needed to prove it. Because who’s ever heard a gay man that’s dating a woman? A real gay man? So I broke up with her. A year later, we’re both in college and we’re thick as thieves. We told ourselves that we were just bros. Just the two musketeers. And that’s what we were… all we were! Until we weren’t.

Context: This is spoken by a young trans man named Gavin. He and Amber grew up together and both ended up coming out as trans while in a relationship with each other. They have since broken up, and Gavin now identifies as gay and Amber now identifies as a lesbian. But Gavin has some complicated feelings left for her. This monologue is him speaking to Amber’s current girlfriend, trying to explain what it was like to be trans and in love.

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Joz, from Where It Feels, by Kaitlin Schuster

JOZ. (genderqueer/trans masculine) Do you think I want that, Hana??! Do you think–Don’t you think that I feel that every day? I AM SOMETHING DIFFERENT. And I’m not acting this way because I don’t care, if I didn’t care, we wouldn’t be having this conversation, I wouldn’t be MAD, I wouldn’t be hurt and it’d be like, “Yeah, whatever, think what you want, MOTHERFUCKERS!” Obviously, I want what every fucking person on this planet wants and it’s really unfortunate that I’ve been born into this body that I don’t get, that doesn’t get me and what people see isn’t what I am and, yeah, every person might feel that, I know I’m not unique in feeling that THIS, all of THIS, it’s not me and so, yeah, I want them to know, I want to be able to not having a tiny heart attack every time I’m out in public and I have to go to the bathroom and which one do I choose? Because either way, if I walk in and some lady’s washing her hands and I see her face, she could be the nicest woman on the planet but it’s all over her face, the fear, “what is this BOY doing in my space?” and the men think I’m some little bitch and it’s like, there’s no space for me, no one has carved out a space for me, I mean, I can’t even walk into a public place where people go to take off their pants.

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