A Letter to Mason, age 8 ½,
I know you don’t recognize that name but
twelve years from now,
your best friends will start to call you that
and you will finally feel home.
At fifteen, you meet a boy
and will not listen when everyone wants you to leave him alone.
Bad things happen to good people and sometimes
bad people look
like the boy from youth group
who is all tattoos and smooth talking.
When you realize you are a boy,
you are twenty one
rising from the ashes of that night.
Know you were he
Do not give him credit he does not deserve.
You are more
than the things he stole from you.
I want to give this story a pretty ending
tell you that it’s okay because
you meet a girl and fall in love.
that hasn’t happened yet.
But, Mason it is fourteen years later,
and you are still alive
even after everything telling you to give up.
You made it through.
-Mason, age 22 ¼
By Mason O’Hern
Mason O’Hern is a genderqueer poet whose work centers on disability, identity, mental illness, and healing.