Parton Qualities

Sometimes I write like this is my

Soapbox and sometimes I write

Because I’m being exploded from

The inside out and tonight I’m going to write

Like this is my diary and I am twelve.

‘‘Twas the night after a family gathering

As a trans man in a new group of people

My immediate family

Sat in silence and hid in the shadows

While my extended family

Offered me every kind of congratulation

And asked me every question

Anyone could ask

Appropriate or not

About my transition.

I have never been so relieved to finally meet

Such warm, easy, straight talkers.

I sat and basked in their love and glory

And watched as my sister

Negged and bickered

And pouted alone

Because none of the cousins

Wanted to listen to all of her

Mean suggestions.

Nonstop fountain of unhelpful rudeness

In my house it’s something

I’m encouraged to put up with

But here

It was unwelcome and toxic

I felt with greater clarity than ever that

I have been in an unhealthy family dynamic

For many many years

Not because of all of them

But because of one

Extremely controlling

Extremely manipulative

Extremely demanding sister

Who has no warmth and no cheer

I wish I could go back in time

And hug myself as a fat little cherub child

Tell myself

How beautiful and amazing and smart I am

Now that I finally get to rise above

My evil step sister

Who isn’t a step

Just a regular sis

One who never wanted anything other than

A subservient bitch

Can’t find anyone willing to

Bottom out to her and yet

All anyone has ever been trying to show her

Is how powerful warmth and understanding can be

But honestly she has been jealous

Of my Parton qualities

My whole life.

It will never cease because

I will never stop being me

Which, I am discovering more and more each day

Is the most amazing thing I can be.

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