You, with crisp hair and cologne so strong I can taste it as you push past, will know me. I am the faggirl that gives you night sweats and identity crises weekly, the dykeboy you’d bend over if only I had a …
You may grab me by the tie on a Halsted corner, kiss me with disclaim that you “don’t like girls,” sidle up next to me in the safe shadow of suffocating dance beats. You can spit the insults by daylight. Dykeboys don’t know how to dress. Dykeboys are boring. And fat.
Ban us from your bathhouses. Serve us last at your bars. Bump into us as you fall from the palms of throbbing dance floors. And when I tell you I might be a boy, you may laugh in sweet patronage all you’d like.
Because I’m coming for that heart of yours, and it’s going to change your mind.
I’m coming into your bars and bookstores, your back alley jobs and coffee shop eye-fucks. I’m in your sex toy store selling you lube. I’m at your late-night pizzeria, throwing in an extra dollar for tip because you drunkenly forgot to. I’m peeing in your little boy’s room.
You and I are not so different, love. I remember your graceless grade school days, before the protective shield of Prada and overpriced v-necks. I remember the way you wheezed through gym class, cried away your lunch hour, and burned red at your own foolishness in thinking you could get away with singing and dancing in the school talent show. When they threw bottles and slurs from car windows at you, I felt it like kicks to the ribs.
I have loved you your whole life. And you will see me. I’m all over the streets you claim as your own. I’m in the regular habit of accosting the bachelorette parties that you say invade you, while you bring your too-cute straight bestie into the neighborhood to snarl at my tie and sneakers. I raise a solidarity fist to your rain-soaked marriage march, even though that movement has forgotten people like me. And I will fight your right to transgress “man” into “fag,” even if you turn blind to mine.
Yes, I’m coming for that heart of yours, and it’s going to change your mind.
And next time you start a sentence with: “Damn, if you were a boy I’d…” I’m going to laugh in sweet patronage. Lucky for you, I am.