Monday, April 18, 2022

Poem: 1971

In a class today, we had a lecture by a professor who studies Latin American art, activism, and poetry.  At the end of the class, we had a writing activity.  The prompt was to write for four minutes of whatever came to mind on the topic of gender.   As I'd been taking notes, I wrote my bit on the margin of the paper.  As usual, my thoughts and writing went to a dark place.  Some of these topics I've covered before, but... that's where my mind went on a snowy April afternoon.

What follows is exactly what I wrote, word for word.  The only editing I did was to punctuate it.  

I decided to call it 1971.

Me in 1971.  Four years old.  Kindergarten photo


I learned from an early 

age that my gender was

wrong – not because it didn’t match 

my body but because I

had to be a MAN at four

years old.  My father and 

brother were my first 

bullies: bashing, smashing

boys will be boys

stop crying-

men don’t cry.

I learned that

who I am and how I

felt was wrong-

punishable by

more beatings and bullying

and more hatred growing

uncontrollably until that

self- hatred was all that

was left inside the shell of

a freak who was born 

different.  My life

ended at four and now

I’m just waiting to 

die.  And they ask me

Why don’t you love yourself?


  1. Do you write these blogs just for the attention? It seems as though you just want attention , but you are actually pushing people away! You can heal if you just try!
    Although victimized, you do not have to be a victim any longer. Some people mistakenly believe that childhood abuse is so emotionally devastating that victims can never recover and enjoy a normal, happy life. In fact, healing is possible, and so is a deeply fulfilling life. What happened to you as a child is not who you are. You are so much more. You cannot change the terrible things that happened to you, but with help, you can discover and develop your own inner resources to overcome it. You can create safety, security, love, faith, and happiness in your life if you just try! You can feel whole again, and free and powerful to achieve your dreams and be the great person you were meant to be. You need to make the effort!