Sentences From a Scrapped Letter to Cis People
I hate that I’ve ever hated myself for you.
I cannot embody what you think my body should be.
There is no one universal transgender experience.
There is no one universal anything.
We are as diverse as wildlife and as complex as love.
Understanding isn’t necessary for you to treat us like people.
One does not need to uncover the mysterious ways
in which God works to trust her,
and we can enjoy a good slice of pizza
without knowing exactly how it was made
and why its maker decided
on that particular amount of pepperoni.
I’ll explain myself to you over some pizza
so long as I get to eat all the slices.
Your mind is not as mighty as you believe it to be.
Remember, I’m still a person.
We’ll never understand what it’s like to be each other.
I must admit, sometimes I want to be very kind to you.
I will not beg. I call you by the name
you tell me to, without an argument,
without so much as a question.
You should return the favor.
I am more than a name. You are more than a name.
We should be more than documentation.
Trans people are not impersonators.
We are not “almost” who we say we are.
We are everywhere.
We have always been here.
We are everyone else.
I know myself better than you ever will.
By Dmitri Derodel
Dmitri Derodel is a poet, songwriter, essayist, aspiring music artist, and 2020 Scholastic Gold Medalist. He’s been writing creatively since elementary school and continues to dedicate most of his free time to honing his craft.