Against the Rising Tide (A Poem)

By SAM NDLOVU

BORN IN A BODILY PRISON
Hated without reason
Living on a mission
To love with full conviction

This body is my affliction
Hence I make that decision
To enter this transition
And bring my soul to living

As I emerge from my cocoon
Like a bird freed from its caging
I hear the storms surrounding me
Society is raging

Their whispers turn to murmurs
And their murmurs turn to shouting
The pupae is a butterfly
But they surround it, doubting

They call me an imposter
And the waters rise in judgment
Never have I, felt so complete
Though I’ve been left abandoned

Their clenched fists pound my naked skin
They pound me like a drumbeat
Blow after blow, in this downpour
They cannot hear my heart beat

The cruelty and rising tide
So many have been shattered
Their only crime, to be themselves
For which they’re killed and battered

What is the crime in being myself?
That death should be my sentence
I only live to show my love
And long for your acceptance

I am Trans…and against the tide,
Of disapproval in their eyes
Still I rise….
Affirming truth…
I shall not choose,
To live a lie

The Child

By Nthabiseng Mokoena

Thunder, lightning and storms as the heavens ululate and sing for the arrival of a child, a soul, a person…a human being.
Joy, excitement and hope as the father anticipates and wishes for the birth of a boy, a male, an heir….a son.
Emotions run high and thoughts run wild as the mother prays and pleads to deliver a girl, a woman, a baby girl…a daughter.
As she screams and scratches, pants and prays, she pushes once more to usher into the world the child, the soul, the person…the human being.
Questions, queries, thoughts and assumptions run through their minds as midwives. They stare in confusion, they wail and lament as they turn to the ancestors and ask; what is this that you have given us?
Villages, towns and townships run amok with rumours and riddles, tales and teachings of the cursed child, the hermaphrodite, the tranny…the “it”
Stares and snares, whispers and worries follow the child through every stage, every street, every corner…and every room.
The coldness and crudeness,
The isolation and ignorance.
All these constructed and contributed to me becoming the ‘I’
I who is mistreated and misunderstood.
I who is ignored and not included.
I who is butchered and mutilated.
I who is intersex.
I who is in the perfect form, state and variation.
I exist!

In terms of I…

Written for International Intersex Awareness Day

By Sam Ndlovu

Is it genuine interest, or intrigue or just intrusion
When it comes to intersex, many think it’s an illusion
many wonder, what’s my sex? Tell me where lies the confusion
Just embrace my uniqueness, put an end to my exclusion

I symbolize diversity and all life’s variation
I signify such beauty that u turn to complication
I’m infinite existence I’m incredibly complex
I’m intricately intimate, of course I’m intersex

I’m genuine inclusion, I’m an endless possibility
Although I seem ambiguous and mostly viewed suspiciously
I’m just a true embodiment of life’s interpretation
Of unity and oneness and of true interrelation

And though you may interrogate or Isolate or bully
I choose to rise above your fears, though I’m ignored unduly
I’m not a this, I’m not a that, I am this person fully
And that is all you need to know to get to know me truly