From the Tawny, Scrawny Lion
to the Bridge to Terabithia,
You think you know what the world’s about
‘Til it’s torn out from underneath o’ ya’.
I liked digging in the dirt
And riding in the bed of the truck.
But all of a sudden that wasn’t ladylike
And I was out of luck.
A change occurs in all of us
From 11 to 16–
A time when diff’rences emerge,
And there’s no longer in-between.
Some individuals resist,
And maintain androgyny;
But most, by far, conform to norms and
Identify “he” or “she.”
High school’s rough enough, for sure,
Without this added pressure
Of figuring out what gender means
And navigating sexual measure.
One day though, the pieces fit,
And you finally understand
Just who you are, and what you like,
And where you’ll make your stand.
That is of course, until about
The age of 22,
When you learn that you picked wrong,
And your persona isn’t “you.”
Agonizing begins again.
What is true? What is narrow?
You’ll find yourself in some curious beds
Just to prove that you’re not harrowed
By the Man, or by the Book,
Or by the Femi-Nazi Cadre–
The sexing variables so vast
You’ll need your Fibonacci Padre.
Bit by bit it settles down,
And you find a comfort zone.
You’ll be with someone for a while
And sometimes you’ll be alone.
The years will pass, as years they do,
With no more questions nagging.
And some of the parts that you liked best,
Alas, will go a-sagging.
But, at least you’ll think, I finally know,
My outlets from my plugs.
And how I’m wired from stem to stern
And whether I like jugs.
One day, though, when you least expect
A person will walk by,
And there’ll be no rhyme or reason to it
But they’ll turn your steady eye.
The point is this, no one knows for sure,
Until they meet the individual,
How their bodies will react
And how much “homo” is conditional.
So, dear friends, let’s find a way
To be gentle and be lenient,
Lest we find ourselves in a paradox
Of moral inconvenience.