Traveling While Transgender

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Taxi drivers think I’m a boy all the time.

Especially at night.

I used to enjoy it.
I used to feel myself, at last.
I used to think it was safer this way, passing.
Safer than travelling by night as a woman.
Safer than saying, “Actually…” 
Safer than the questions that would follow.
Questions to which even I don’t have answers.
So I don’t stop them.

So the game goes on, each time becoming more dangerous.
Sometimes they offer me cigarettes.
Sometimes they swing their car wildly across traffic to pick me up.
All of them want to talk.
إنت تلميذ هون؟
He offers me a card with his number on it.
Says he can take me out on the weekend.
Every time the light turns red, he wants to turn and look at me.
I am his soft faced young boy.
I pay him with soft fingers.
وين عياش؟
I can keep the game up the whole ride.
I have to.
I am terrified of being discovered.
Of being fetishized.
Of their rage at being fooled.
Of being punished for trespass.
For making taxi drivers think I’m a boy all the time.
I thought it would protect me
Contributed by Raphamel

Guest Contributor

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