I remember so vividly

the time my aunt pulled me into a hug

after hearing how much weight I had lost.

As she went to leave, she looked at me and said

“We want to have you around for a long time.”


I nearly broke down right there.

Not because of the love she was trying to convey

but because I knew it was more likely that I would die

from my own hands or from violence

than from the extra fat I have on my thighs.


I nearly broke down right there.

Because I wanted to tell her about my depression

about being trans

about the struggles I face every day I open my eyes.

But I couldn’t.

I still struggle to be open,

to be vulnerable,

to live authentically.

Because I’m scared to share the truth.

I often wonder that if I die,

if my family will ever know of what I struggle with.

Of the reoccurring emptiness I feel daily,

Of the paralyzing fear that shuts down my life.

Of feeling different, not belonging in the body I have.


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