Passing is Failing

They're teaching them young these days

Straight out of the box "It's a Boy" in Baby Blue

"It's a Girl" in Pastel Pink

What are they supposed to think?

It's a genitalia-appearance-personality link

only a human could be so convoluted

this twisted logic could not be computed


It all started with a conversation on a train that I wasn't even part of

7 years old, "It's all girls on this side."

10 years old, "That's a man."

"No it's not," 7 years said.

"Yes, it is," 10 years said. "Aren't you a man?"

I just smiled and the argument continued

She's passing - He's failing

She's passing - He's failing

He's passing - She's failing

The queer couple across the aisle seemed amused,

but I could sense the downward spiral

the culture's leukocytes fighting the virus

"I bet you like rock music. What's your name?"

"Slim Shady," said I, hoping that was enough irony

<here it comes, flutter the heart>

"That's a He-She!" <revelation>

I tried to let my thoughts drown the conversation

He-She, He-She, it was like the chirping

of a particularly irritating alarm clock

"They don't allow He-Shes on the subway."

"I saw a He-She get on the train at the MGH stop and when the conductor

saw that it was a He-She, they made the He-She get off."

Next stop, thank goddess, I need to get off.


2 apparent young girls in blue jeans and t-shirts

No makeup and flat chests, are they passing?

Me in "men's" clothes with lipstick and nailpolish

Am I? What as?

the distinction is unfailingly arbitrary,

but the thought remains, if i pass

pass the instant categorization by appearance

into stereotype A or stereotype B

don't I fail to remind them of the truth,

that category A and category B do not define me?


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