Being transgendered is like being blessed with the most wonderful gift in the entire world, yet simultaneously condemned by an incredible curse.

It’s a blessing because transgendered men and women see the world from a perspective which no one else can. It’s a curse because to be who we know we are, we’re forced to subject ourselves to the cruelest forms of hypocrisy, persecution and prejudice, and face the distinct possibility that we will become victims of the most insidious hate crimes anyone could possibly imagine.

We risk losing our families, friends and jobs, and we even face the possibility of attempting suicide due to an inability to deal with the sheer loneliness we endure as each day dawns.

In 2016, The National Transgender Descrimination Survey (NTDS) was produced, and it indicated that 41% of 6,415 transgendered individuals said they had attempted suicide at some point in their lives.

Citation: Tanis J. (2016). The power of 41%: A glimpse into the life of a statistic. The American journal of orthopsychiatry, 86(4), 373–377. https://doi.org/10.1037/ort0000200

In this day and age, in a country which considers itself civilized, this could be considered a sheer travesty. What else can we expect, though, from people who have been taught that anything outside the expected norm is unacceptable?

Many years ago, I often said, “Sit with me, speak with me and get to know who I am. You’ll find that you like who I am, and we will all have made a new friend in the process.”

Those people who took the time to get to know me discovered the kindness of my heart and soul, and just how much I love being who I am. It’s this side of my entire persona that makes me who I am, and if I ever were to lose it, I would face a terrifying demise worse than death itself.

To understand why this is so essential to my own personal well-being, I submit this poem I wrote long ago to paint a vivid portrait for you.

“Reflection In The Mirror”

The mirror casts an eerie reflection upon my troubled brow, an ominous shadow as I cross it’s path, beckoning me, halt, behold the Demon of your torment, raise thine eyes unto its own, that it may bleed thy life away further still, feasting upon the innermost recesses of your heart and soul.

Body trembling, my eyes slowly ascend, fixating themselves upon the ghastly reflection that follows me to and fro, relentless in pursuit, Its bone ridden, clawed hands, feverishly grasping yet another dagger, awaiting a brief moment of inattention, that it may once again lunge forward and carve yet another piece from my heart, my soul, and devour it before my very eyes.

Those eyes, those cold, inhuman, heartless eyes; so dark, empty of feeling, totally void of emotion, glaring at me while that hideous, evil, gargled laugh mocks me to no end, filling my soul with an ominous feeling of dread and doom.

Why won’t you leave me alone?

Why must you always fade away, teasing me with a few brief moments of peace, while you lurk in the darkness of the shadows, only to pounce on me once again?

Tears, oh, the tears rake over my cheeks, a torrential flood of emotion I’m helpless to detain any longer.

For the pain, the excruciating, unbearable pain is once again inflicted upon me, sheer terror as I clutch my chest just as the dagger is extracted with yet another piece of my heart.

And as my head slowly raises, I gasp one final cry, for my nemesis has struck once more, from a Reflection in the mirror………

© Nichole Letitia, September 23, 1997

I cry profusely every time I read this poem, because the character I portray in the mirror every day isn’t me, but rather a Demon who holds me captive, imprisoned within his outer shell.

In the time since I wrote this poem, I’ve realized that the gentleness, kindness, and sheer beauty of my spirit has given me the strength I need each day to look beyond the image I see, and replace it with the real me. Looking at the few photos I have of my true self brings a smile to my face and spirit, and this is where I need to direct my concentration every day of my life. 

What do you see when you look in the mirror? How do you handle the emotional distress that results when the reflection doesn’t match how you feel inside? I would really like to know.

All of my love to you and yours….

 

More Articles by Nichole Poet

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    Lizabeth Wilby
    11 months ago

    Gorgeous

    Coral Wentworth
    Duchess
    11 months ago

    As I read your poem tears were slowly finding their way down my face, and as I read on I felt a chill run through my body. I was feeling you and your pain, the same pain I have felt all my life, the same demon that as waited many times for the chance to inflict as much damage and pain as possible, to slice its pound of flesh from me as if it were another piece of my soul it had to have because I wasn’t worthy of a soul. You have so precisely put into words the feelings… Read more »

    Coral Wentworth
    Duchess
    11 months ago
    Reply to  Nichole Poet

    Nichole, It was a very brave and selfless thing for you to share that with all of the rest of us. Until I read it I would have and never have spoken of those feelings. I feel a renewed strength in myself that I owe to that poem and to you, and will always be thankful to you, my sister Nichole. Coral

    Krissy
    Active Member
    11 months ago

    It’s a blessing and a curse but wouldn’t change a single thing. I love being me x

    Cassie Jayson
    Duchess
    Trusted Member
    11 months ago

    Thank you so much for you story and poem, Nichole. There are so many of us here and all of us are at different places in our life’s journey, and our destinations are so different also. For me every new step I make is not enough and I need/want to go further. My own demons inside beating me up and accusing me of being a bad/evil/disgusting person have been beaten back and for the most part have no or little impact on my thoughts and actions. Not to say they are gone, sometimes the come up and make me want… Read more »

    Raquel Smith
    Active Member
    11 months ago

    Nichole, that’s an eerie, yet elegant and soulful expression of how many cross dressers must feel. I understand how tormenting it must be. But luckily my makeup, not the kind you apply, but what makes me who I am, only allows me to see an angel in the mirror.

    I hope others can see more of her in their own reflections, rather than a demon. Because we all have her. She is there in all of us. She looks out for us and tells us who we really are … wonderful, kind, beautiful girls.

    Much love,
    Raquel

    Angela Booth
    Active Member
    11 months ago

    Lovely words and thought provoking. It’s when the tears of sadness turn to joy as you get that acceptance and you become stronger..

    Marianne
    Ambassador
    Active Member
    11 months ago

    It is indeed a dark and scary picture you paint. I hope you will find ways to overcome those feelings. I wrote my own mirror poem some years ago and attached it to one of my public photos on the site. It is not nearly as dark as yours. It rather describes a possibility and a promise for those who dare take the step. Sometimes, when l look in the mirror, I can see this girl. Occasionally quite clearly, But mostly kind of faded, As she is trying to avoid disappearing Into the background blur. She seems to ask something… Read more »

    Jeannie Johns
    11 months ago

    Thank you Nichole for your writing. I cried for you and me and all the other girls that have faced such tough challenges in our transgendered journeys. I have many dark moments in my past growing up different in the south was really tough. I carry many scars. But am happy that they have faded and I’ve grown as a person from those scars.Many years of therapy and kind considerate people have helped. When I look in the mirror I see happy and kind Jeannie. I have been on this journey for many years and I truly am happy with… Read more »

    Jane Don
    Active Member
    11 months ago

    Question–At what point is one Trans–When you dress 10% 30% 99% or 100% of the time–When you’ve got breasts–Had Bottom surgery–All the Above??–When (if ever) do you just become a “Woman”

    Andrea La Rue
    11 months ago

    Wow, you took the words right out of my mouth. However, I had a much worse experience after two years of being out that drove me right back into the closet, forever. I had for some stupid reason to believe that I would have my back covered by the New Orleans and Gulf Coast “community” that I was joining. I learned that I not only got stabbed in the back but as cruely and mean as possible directly to my face by all members of the “community”. There is no “community” in the community. *Until there is a Mathew Sheppard… Read more »

    Last edited 11 months ago by Andrea La Rue
    Jane Don
    Active Member
    11 months ago
    Reply to  Andrea La Rue

    andrea — The part of what you wrote that “Shocks” me is you turning to the Republican party– The party of Extremists – A few local party members spouting Fairness when in fact they are restricting for minorities of ALL types in practice– You can probably meet some guys that seem nice in the K k K as well but don’t be fooled- Don’t let Bitterness cloud your Judgement –

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