This work was featured in Issue 17:2, Spring 2016 — LGBTQ Issue

Jes Grobman

What Part of Me Will Die Today?

Every day I wake up
To see another part of me dead

I’ve jumped in front of a truck in Ohio
Because my parents refused to accept me for
Who I am
And forced me into therapy
To change me
To make me a man

I’ve been driven by bullying in Milwaukee
To be taught that life for me isn’t worth living
And that the only option allowed for who I am is
Death
So I might as well help society out and
Die

I’ve been brutally murdered
In LA, San Francisco, Louisville, Norfolk, and Texas
To name only a few
Just for daring to exist as someone who is trans
Dead-named on the news
And buried as a man in a suit and tie

Every day a part of me dies,
And how is that part remembered?
If I’m lucky, with a candlelight vigil
If I’m unlucky, with nothing at all

Either way, people go back to their business
They move on and forget about me
And nothing ever changes
While my death toll keeps rising

One day I won’t wake up to see a part of me dead
One day I won’t wake up because all of me is dead
And my friends and family will mourn me,
And decry the tragedy that claimed another trans life
And I might make page 20 news
And I might get another damn candlelight vigil
But then people will move on
And nothing will change

And my death
Will be the death of
A part of someone else
Who will soon be dead too

 

Jes Grobman is an activist and artist living in Washington, DC. In her work with DC Trans Power, Grobman helps to build trans-centric community spaces that work towards creating radical social change. Recently she coordinated the Trans Week of Action, seven days of events and actions across DC that focused on standing up and fighting for the trans community at all of its intersections. In her spare time, Grobman writes poetry and songs and hosts Speak For Change, a monthly open mic fundraiser focusing on the transgender community. Grobman was named one of the 25 Trans Pioneers of 2015 by The Advocate Magazine.