Joshua Jennifer Espinoza

A Guide To Reading Trans Literature (For Cis People) (2015)

We’re dying and we’re really sad.
We keep dying because trans women
are supposed to die.
This is sad.

I don’t have the words for my body
so I’ll say I’m a cloud
or a mountain
or something pretty that people enjoy
so if I die
people will be like “Oh, that’s sad”.

Be sad about that.
It’s okay to be sad.
It is sad when people die.
It is sad when people want to die.

I sometimes want to die but I don’t!
I’m one of the lucky ones.
You can feel happy about that.
It’s okay to feel happy about that.

Now pretend this is very serious:

History doesn’t exist.
My body doesn’t exist.
There’s nothing left for you to be complicit in.

It’s okay for you to feel happy about that.

Now pretend I am crying
right in front of you,
opening that wound up just for you.

Now pretend you can feel my pain.

Now pretend something in you
has been moved, has been transformed.

Now pretend you are absolved.

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