You’ve been asking me what is this “XYZ”
when you should have learned the alphabet when you were 2
when all you needed to know was that her name was Shannon
and you thought her sparkly purple sandals were pretty.
You liked her
and it didn’t matter she was different the other girls you used to like.
It didn’t matter
because you were not her and she was not you.
The year is 2017-
and it’s still possible to be “too much” of yourself.
I’m not talking about arrogance.
It’s time for some honesty,
I love women and I love men, too-
especially the gentle ones.
I’m sorry you’ve fallen victim.
You’ve heard too much about your friend Shannon,
whose legal name was still Shawn
until 22 years of persistent protest
transformed to progress.
you heard she had the shit kicked out of her in 6th period shop class.
you saw her fuchsia nails resting so out of place on callused fingertips.
that you had to forget that she used to be called he
and that you have been best friends
all this time with you none the wiser.
I’m sorry you had to endure all of that.