• 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


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