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Hold this day

  • Posted on July 27, 2014 at 4:09 pm

This poem, also from my collection Realisations, predicts the feeling of completing surgery, even before I began living full-time in my authentic gender. Would it be like this? I didn’t read it for a very long time, I actually thought it a bit presumptuous. I read it two days after coming home from hospital. I cried. I would not rewrite a single word.

Hold this day, this birth day
write it in your diary, send me cards.

Never has a vaginal passage
delivered such a child as this –

she is an inversion of another
a restoration, a renaissance.

And this is her day, emerging
without cries, or protest, or recoil

but claiming birth-right almost
in defiance of everything umbilical –

with pain, blood, trauma and delivery
come to claim her world, her way.

Waking, ethereal, calm, complete
from mists of anaesthesia, almost in

disbelief at her prior parent, pregnant
with this progeny lain so long –

a gestation – no, an indigestion,
an indignity of containment.

I grasp this day, this birth day
red date in every diary, calendar

every future memory, mark and
milestone – and slip into life.


2012 © Andie Davidson


  • Posted on July 27, 2014 at 3:56 pm

I wrote this long before I met my first psychiatrist for assessment at a gender clinic. In the event it was a female consultant, but apart from that, I still don’t think I’d change a word. It reflects the impossibility of one human being really knowing another, and of trans people having somehow to convey an authenticity beyond their outward appearance, and being afraid of getting it wrong. You feel perfectly sane, but an expert may well declare you delusional.

I know who I am.
He doesn’t.
He looks at me through spectacles
of iridescent doctorates
and asks me all the formal questions.

Insulated from each other –
the right answers
to his necessary enquiry
prepared for diagnosis
are in his head long before mine.

I am afraid.
Of prior knowledge.
Of dire knowledge. Gnosis.
Dire gnosis. DSM.
I am becoming disordered.

I know who I am.
He doesn’t.
He sorts me into boxes,
typecast for his report
or an exam for him to pass.

I tell it as I am.
He gazes –
the interested professional
sizing my life, or do I mean seizing,
for where he thinks I fit.

I know who I am
in my head.
In his hands I’m not certain.
He gives a lot less away than I must.
My conviction is not my sentence.


2012 © Andie Davidson