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Realisations is a collection of poems about the real ‘I’ – the discovery of an authentic self whose gender is not congruent with the life lived thus far.
Whilst many of these poems reflect stages in the author’s own journey, others are written to represent viewpoints that are neither hers nor those of her family. Some were sparked by a chance word or shared experience, but don’t tell any specific story, rather evoke the difficult, fun, ironic or poignant moments that female men or male women – or however trans people best describe themselves – experience.
This collection does not in any way intend to be definitive of the many diverse experiences of being transgender. Some readers will feel unrepresented and ask ‘where am I’? or say ‘it’s not like that!’ The poems are just descriptions of how it is for some, some of the time, or at some point along the way, and only ask to be read because there are so many of us, wanting to be recognised, understood, and accepted as we are.
In ‘A Sense of Gender’, Andie writes:
‘Very many transgendered people remember things they said in all childlike innocence, to parents or teachers, at a very early age. All will remember times and incidents, experiences and feelings about where they did or did not fit in. And yet there are so many (especially those over 40) who either had no awareness that anything could or should be done about it, or who felt it was ‘just them’ and that it was something one had to live with. Their stories are very diverse.
‘Here we are invited to think of flowers; yes, girly, pretty flowers that contain male and female organs in order to create seeds that have no gender. We think about polarity in nature, and question simple certainties. Life is a journey: did we get it all right at the start, or do we need to adjust as we go along? I have a name that I have changed until I am more comfortable with what it says about me. Going back to school, we go beyond ‘the kid who didn’t fit in’ to the trouble of having to be a boy or a girl. Would you Adam and Eve it? No, we have the same ribs and the same senses, so why are we supposed to feel so differently about the same things?’
There is never a choice, but only many choices
and never a realisation, just one after another again –
with that natal, waking, feeling of something new,
She waits quietly in a place she has made her own
and through the choices, the constant revelations
one thing holds true: the bud, the early flower, dew
Now never more real, never more ready for life, one
Not taken, not possessed, not seduced, persuaded or
even desired, simply for who she is, without sense
About the author
Andie Davidson is a publisher, writer and musician. She is open about her transgender identity as a way of helping society understand that the gender binary is unhelpful, and helping trans individuals accept themselves. She blogs at www.andiesplace.co.uk. In October 2011 she won the Shoreham Wordfest poetry slam. More poetry may be found on her blog site.
This book was designed and published by Bramley Press.
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As performed at Polari, Royal Festival Hall, London, October 29 2012
‘Such a moving writer and a lovely reading. I was transfixed.’