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We Are The Transgendered (1993)

We Are The Transgendered (1993)

©1993, 2013 by Dallas Denny

Source: Denny, Dallas. (1993, Spring). We are the transgendered (Poem). Rites of Passage, 2(1). Reprinted in Cross-Talk, 2003, p.41.

I was flattered when Dr. Sheila Kirk recited this poem in her keynote speech at an IFGE conference. Unfortunately I’d left the banquet room to foment gender revolution in the hallways and missed most of it. I’m bad that way.


View Rites of Passage (PDF; See p. 5)


 We Are the Transgendered


We are the transgendered.

We are your sons and daughters, your fathers and mothers, your cousins, your aunts and uncles, your grandparents, your grandchildren. We are your stepfathers and stepsons, your stepmothers, your stepdaughters. We are your adopted children and your adoptive parents, and we are the parents who have given you up for adoption.

We are your neighbors and friends. We were your dorm-mate in college, your fraternity brother, your sorority sister. We were in Cub Scouts with you, in Brownies, in the Air Force, the Marines.

We are your bosses, your employees. We work next to you in the assembly line. We drive your cabs, your buses, your taxis. We fly your planes, we sail your ships, we drive your locomotives. We deliver your paper, stock the shelves in your groceries, ring up your purchases. We style your hair. We press your suits. We design your suits. We cook your food in restaurants, and we bring it to your table. We build your cars in Detroit.

We have stood on the moon.

We have always been with you.

We were at Shiloh, and at Gettysburg. In the Great War, we fought in the trenches, and we flew against the Red Baron; now we live in our old age in Veterans Hospitals. We were at Iwo Jima, and were in Korea and Viet Nam and Kuwait. We remember riding with Genghis Khan. We saw Jesus Christ.

We fill your schools. We are your principles, your teachers, your students, your librarians, the ones who sweep the halls. We write your textbooks.

We are your politicians, your farmers, your physicians, your priests, your nuns, your generals. And we are the privates in your armies, your prostitutes. We languish in your prisons. And we are guards and wardens of your prisons, too.

We are the little boy with the red hair who mows your lawn every summer. We are the cop who gave you a ticket last year. We are the little old lady in the next pew at church.

We stand on your left side, and on your right, before you, behind you. We came before you, and we will come after you.

We are black, we are white, we are brown, we are yellow. We are young, we are old. We are fat, we are thin. We are poor, and we are rich. We are healthy; we are ill. We are male. We are female.

We are the transgendered. We have always been with you.

We will always be with you.