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If For Transsexual People (1991)

If For Transsexual People (1991)

©1991, 2013 by Dallas Denny

Source: Dallas Denny. (1991, Summer). If for transsexual people. Chrysalis Quarterly, 1(2), p. 8.

Any number of people have taken liberties with Rudyard Kipling’s poem If, which was meant as an inspiration for young boys. Is it any wonder I couldn’t resist? My most profound apologies to Mr. Kipling.




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If For Transsexual People


If you can pass when other men and women

Are getting clocked and blaming it on you;

If you can proudly take yourself in swimming,

And not be bothered by a stare or two;

If you stand firm when full of irresolution

And ask no pardon for the one you are,

If you’re sensitive yet heed to criticism

And offer help to those less fortunate than you;


If clothes are things to cover up your body

And you are you no matter what you wear,

If you do work that makes you dull and shoddy

Yet are concerned about the slightest tear;

If you get up and look into the mirror,

And take some pleasure in your sleepy face;

Yet are not vain and do not primp and simper,

And take your compliments with style and grace;


If you stay on track with your transition

And waver not no matter what the cost;

Yet make allowance for your indecision,

And are honest with yourself for what you’ve lost;

If you care about the feelings of your mother,

Yet stand your ground when she likes not what you do,

And listen closely to all of the others,

And are not swayed by their demands of you;


If you give ear to those who hold adverse opinion,

Yet are determined you’re the master of your fate;

And give not to them direction nor dominion,

Although the good will of others turns to hate;

If you spend most of your money on your body

Yet give to others when you know it’s right,

If you do all of this, and more, they you’re transsexual,

And, furthermore, I know you’ll win your fight.