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Mon, 28 Mar 2016

Ich bin was ich bin

As my readers probably are well aware, I wrote my transgender coming out poem Mermaids over 10 years ago, to make it clear to people how I define, what I am and how I would hope they could accept me. I did put it publicly into my blog so I could point people to it. And I still do so regularly. It still comes from the bottom of my heart. And I am very happy that I got the chance to present it in a Poetry Slam last year, it was even recorded and uploaded to YouTube.

There is just one thing that I was also told over the time every now and then by some people that I would have liked to understand what's going on: Why is it in English, my English isn't that good. My usual response was along the lines of that the events that triggered me writing it were in an international context and I wanted to make sure that they understood what I wrote. At that time I didn't realize that I am cutting out a different group of people from being able to understand what's going on inside me.

So this year there was a similar event: the Flawless Poetry Slam which touched the topics of Feminist? Queer? Gender? Rolemodels? - Let's talk about it. I took that as motivation to finally write another text on the topic, and this time in German. Unfortunately though I wasn't able to present it that evening, I wasn't drawn for the lineup. But, I was told that there was another slam going on just last wednesday, so I went there ... and made it onto the stage! And this is the text that I presented there. I am uncertain how well online translators work for you, but I hope you get the core points if you don't understand German:

Ich bin was ich bin
Fünf Worte mit wahrem Sinn:
Ich bin was ich bin

Du denkst: "Mann im Rock?
Das ist ja wohl lächerlich,
der ist sicher schwul."

"Fingernagellack?
Na da schau ich nicht mehr hin,
wer will das schon seh'n."

Jedoch liegst du falsch,
Mit all deinen Punkten, denn:
Ich bin was ich bin.

Ich bin Transgender
Und erlebe mich selber,
ich bin eine Frau.

"Haha, eine Frau?
Wem willst du das weismachen?
Heb mal den Rock hoch!"

Und wie ist's bei dir?
Was ist zwischen den Beinen?
Geht mich das nichts an?

Warum fragst du mich?
Da ist's dann in Ordnung?
Oder vielleicht nicht?

Ich bin was ich bin
Fünf Worte mit ernstem Sinn:
Ich bin was ich bin

Ich steh weiblich hier
Und das hier ist mein Körper
Mein Geschlecht ist's auch

Oberflächlichkeit
Das ist mein größtes Problem
Schlägt mir entgegen

Wenn ich mich öffne
Verständnis fast überall
Es wird akzeptiert

Doch gelegentlich
und das schmerzt mich am meisten
sagt doch mal wer "er"

Von Fremden? Egal
Doch hab ich mich geöffnet
Ist es eine Qual

"Ich seh dich als Mann"
Da ist, was es transportiert
Akzeptanz? Dahin

Meine Pronomen
Wenn ihr über mich redet
sind sie, ihr, ihres

Ich leb was ich leb
Fünf Worte mit tiefem Sinn:
Ich bin was ich bin

"Doch, wie der erst spricht!
Ich meinte, wie sie denn spricht!
Das ist nicht normal."

Ich schreib hier Haikus:
Japanische Gedichtsform
Mit fixem Versmars

Sind fünf, sieben, fünf
Silben in jeder Zeile
Haikus sind simpel

Probier es mal aus
Transportier eine Message
Es macht auch viel Spaß

Wortwahl ist wichtig
Ein guter Thesaurus hilft
Sei kurz und prägnant

Ich sag was ich sag
Fünf Worte mit klugem Sinn:
Ich bin was ich bin

Doch ich schweife ab
Verständnis fast überall?
Wird es akzeptiert?

Erstaunlicherweise
Doch ich bin auch was and'res
Und hier geht's bergab

Eine Sache gibt's
Die erwäh'n ich besser nicht
für die steck ich ein

"Deshalb bin ich hier"
So der Titel eines Lieds
verfasst von Thomas D

"Wenn ich erkläre
warum ich mich wie ernähr"
So weit komm ich nicht

Man erwähnt Vegan
Die Intoleranz ist da
Man ist unten durch

"Mangelerscheinung!"
"Das Essen meines Essens!"
Akzeptanz ade

Hab 'ne Theorie:
Vegan sein: 'ne Entscheidung
Transgender sein nicht

Mensch fühlt sich dann schlecht
dass bei sich selbst die Kraft fehlt
und greift damit an

"Ich könnte das nicht"
Ich verurteile dich nicht
Iss doch was du willst

Ich zwing es nicht auf
Aber Rücksicht wär schon fein
Statt nur Hohn und Schmäh

Ich ess was ich ess
Fünf Worte zum nachdenken:
Ich bin was ich bin

Hope you get the idea. The audience definitely liked it, the jury wasn't so much on board but that's fine, it's five random people and it's mostly for fun anyway. Later that night though some things happened that didn't make me feel so comfortable anymore. I went to the loo, waiting in line with the other ladies, a bit later the waitress came along telling me "the men's room is over there". I told her that I'm aware of that and thanked her, which got her confused and said something along the lines of "so you are both, or what?" but went away after that. Her tone and response wasn't really giving me much comfort, though none of the other ladies in the line did look strangely.
But the most disturbing event after that was to find out about North Carolina signed the bathroom bill making it illegal for trans people to use the bathroom for their gender and insisting on using the one for the gender they were assigned at birth. So men like James Sheffield are now forced to go to the lady's restroom, or face getting arrested. Brave new world. :/

So, enjoy the text and don't get too wound up by stupid laws and hope for time to fix people's discriminatory minds for fixing issues that already are regulated: Assaults are assaults and are already banned. Arguing with people might get assaulted and thus discriminating trans people is totally missing the point, by miles.

/personal | permanent link | Comments: 2

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Andy Cater wrote at 2016-03-28 22:45:

"I am, what I am" - Cage aux Folles is relevant here, I think.

I'm sorry if people can't cope with who you are : it's their loss if they can't appreciate the spectrum in which they live but are vision-deprived. Did you eventually get to move into your apartment in the Qu[e]erbau or is that still to come?

All the very best - though you've strained the limits of my German / Austrian :)

The bathroom bill has been neatly handled though by two posts pointing up the craziness of it all - see George Takei on this and calling for an all American boycott of NC

Rhonda wrote at 2016-03-28 22:49:

Thanks. Can't always write in English, seems having something in German to hand around is also a good idea. :)

About Que[e]rbau, follow my twitter for more or less regular photo updates, or follow the Que[e]rbau instagram for more regular updates!

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