by June Gehringer

he slaps my back as he says
you need to learn to take a joke

i have taken so many jokes
my identity is a joke
my gender is a joke
there are 37 new gender options on tinder
and they tell me lol 
that is why facism prevailed
l o fucking l

i will be willing to accept jokes at the expense of trans people
when white america knows the name of more than one

when Caitlyn Jenner came out on national television,
my fifteen year old brother said “that’s wrong. 
it teaches people not to be themselves”
and I don’t know whose fault it is that he thinks that way,
but i do know whose problem it is

all that has been proven is that if you are as wealthy, white, and famous as possible and
you come out trans,
you still won’t be taken seriously

But I guess I need to learn to take a joke. I need to learn to laugh along when the word
faggot flies 
from the window of a passing SUV and claps me in the jaw

I will be willing to accept jokes at the expense of “trannies” when my identity is more to you than just your third favorite kind of porn

(Do you wanna know why suicide jokes are so funny?
it’s because happy people are so afraid of them)

cishet white people get to laugh at all the jokes.
they are probably laughing now.
they are laughing because they can.
it is safe for them to laugh.
no joke could ever make them brown or black or gay, could 
put their bodies at risk.
it is safe for them to laugh.
it is safe for them to do anything,
so they do.

my body will never compete at the olympics
my body will never even go to the olympics.
my body will never be televised.
and most days that feels like the only revolutionary thing about it.
my body will not be televised.

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