Coralville mom captures the emotion of her teen’s gender transition with “He”

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“Basically, I am a gay mom who is also raising a 13-year-old trans guy. Being the parent of a trans kid is a unique experience, but seeing your child bloom into exactly the person they were meant to be is one of the most rewarding things any parent can witness. There are so many highs and lows, and it’s a massive learning curve. But I wouldn’t trade my guy for anyone. 

“A lot of people have questions about parenting a trans kid and have a hard time imagining what they would do in the same situation. You can easily find things about the science and stats of it all, so I wanted to try and create something that more accurately described the feelings behind it. Feelings are universal. They’re easier to identify with.” — Katie James of Coralville, Ia., sharing the inspiration behind her poem, “He.” She is pictured below with her son, Ro.

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"He"
by Katie James

A single she
Then unison he
The call and response
Of this new religion

Study the parables
Memorize the scriptures
Follow the leader
She is blasphemy

Peace be with you
And if not pretend
Paint peace like a smile
Across your lips
And out your mouth

What is a name
A rose would smell sweeter
Than this spicy body
Both old and new
Same as same

Take of your body
Flesh is but flesh
But your flesh
That offends you so
Is perfect to me

Just as the gift
Of the name you were given
Was hatched by me
Snatched by me
from the air
And tied about your wrist
A balloon floating
Above the crowd
There you are
I'd know you anywhere

Didn't I breathe you to life?
Didn't I give you these gifts?

But you cut it free
Cut you free
Of me?
How else will I know you
What name do I call
So you don't get lost
To me
Forever?

In benediction
You answer he
And I know peace

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