Fading Away

21 October, 2018

Trump Administration Eyes Defining Transgender Out of Existence

4 November, 2020

I feel the pull of the ethereal plane. I’m already so transparent I’m forgetting to open doors and hunger is but another fading memory, just as I am.

At first, I didn’t notice the change. I still got up every morning, took a shower, and brushed my teeth. I paid my taxes. I played with my kids. But day by day, I began to fade.

It showed up first in my shadow. The usual fuzzy halo at the edges was fuzzier, the black center just that much lighter. I brushed it off as scaremongering. There was no way the state could define me out of existence. It’s unpossible.

But then there was the day I urgently had to go to the bathroom when I was shopping at WalMart. I had given up using public restrooms entirely after the 2018 elections; it had simply become too dangerous. My identification had been forcibly changed in 2019 and I couldn’t use it to scan in anywhere that wasn’t allowed by public policy.

I tried to tailgate in the door after another woman, but she looked at me like I was some sort of demon and I had to shamefully use the other bathroom. Luckily I was able to avoid the men, but it scared me. It wasn’t until I was home that I realized there was the slightest shimmer emanating from me, like a heat wave.

My evaporation accelerated when my passport disappeared. One day it was there and the next day it wasn’t. When I went to reapply, I was told I couldn’t dress in costume for my photo. Costume! I didn’t know what they meant so for my re-takes I wore stud earrings instead and pulled my hair back. But like a vampire, I didn’t appear in the photo no matter how much the person fiddled with the camera.

That really shook me.

I realized there were places I couldn’t go even if I could leave.

There was some sort of test I could take to prove I existed, but I’d heard it didn’t always work, and then there was the issue of the government having access to my genetic record. The thought of failing the test scared me even more, because then I’d disappear in an instant.

Even though I’ve accepted my fate, it’s my kids I worry about the most.

They’ll have no body to bury. My name is already unpronounceable to them and I have become a wraith. They’ll be kids with a single parent, like Jesus, and that will make filling out forms in the future a hell for them as they explain, no, really they only have one parent.

My works have also be decaying to nothing, the same as the other disappearing. When I read the news and hear of trains crashing, computer systems going down, music and movies fading from the record, I nod my head knowingly. The world itself is becoming thinner and easier to tear.

At least no other generation will suffer this genocide, as we will be the last, because those that don’t exist cannot be erased because they never existed in the first place.


©Heather Coldstream

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2016: Poems from a Year of Change

Uncertain: Poems About Gender Transition


About cistotrans

A Seattle-area trans woman seeking a happy spot to stay at along the path of transition.
This entry was posted in activism, gender transition, LGBT, politics, transgender, transition and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Fading Away

  1. As a Black Woman Born Transgender, I very much know the experience of being deleted from reality, socially, emotionally, physically.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Willa Patryn says:

    I read this morning that a newly formed hurricane in the eastern Pacfic. Her name is Willa. It will fade too, after wreaking it’s havoc. I had hopes of being re-formed somewhat by now, but the divorce, and skin cancer that hormones exacerbated, stopped my plan to transition. That, and trChump’s accent to his Throne, where he assaults trans existence, combined w/my working poor financial poverty, and the sometime thoughts of ending it all. I have many more years behind, than before me and still trudge my drab road to whatever destiny awaits.
    Keep writing Heather please, reading your posts is one of my few pleasures. Thank You

    Liked by 1 person

    • cistotrans says:

      Oh, Willa, do know that there is always hope and that Trans Lifeline is also there if things feel black: US: 877-565-8860
      Canada: 877-330-6366

      I went through a phase where I was certain that I’d never transition and felt hopeless, so I hope you don’t fully rule it out.

      I will write as long as I have something to say and I’m honored it helps you in some small way




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