Trans culture is finding an old t-shirt
from your bottom drawer,
and immediately putting it back
to avoid a weird nostalgic feeling.
You got the shirt at your first sleep-away camp.
You remember being excited:
You were going to have so much in common
with all the other kids.
You didn’t think you would count down the days
before you could go back home.
You didn’t think you would choke back tears
when you would call your mom with the landline,
and look behind you
to see your dorm-mate waiting her turn,
half listening to your conversation,
half whispering something to her friend.
You wanted to tell your mom
how out of place you felt,
but you didn’t know the words
to describe the feeling of disconnect
between yourself and your peers.
“The camp will be all-girls, you’ll have so much fun,”
your mom had told you a few weeks ago.
“You’ll finally meet other girls with your interests,”
she had said about the camp’s theme—
a theme you were truly passionate about.
You thought it would be fun,
you thought you’d make life-long friends,
but you didn’t even make a temporary one.
Those 12 days felt like hell.
You couldn’t understand the uneasy feeling
you had every night,
when everyone would huddle in the biggest room,
gossip about cute boys,
listen to bad pop,
act like regular girls
as you stared blankly at them,
wondering why they seemed to understand
something you didn’t.
You always wanted to be outside,
play soccer or go hiking.
You thought it was just a phase,
you’d become a woman when you matured.
Sophie studies psychology and creative writing at Concordia University in Montreal. They developed a passion for poetry after reading "Hope" by Emily Dickinson in sixth grade. They are an editor at their student newspaper and have been published by Milk Carton Press, Oddball Magazine, Brain Mill Press and _voidspace, among other publications. You can find them on twitter @i_m_sope.