walking around the city with my 90 year old grandfather is one of my favorite things in the world. people are incredulous, confused, sometimes even abrasive. when people gawk at me or harass me he asks, “does this happen to you often? everywhere?” and i say “yes” and he responds “i don’t understand.” that look in his eyes when he says that makes me want to weep. i hurt and he hurts and it hurts. every time we meet he tells me about watching news segments about violence against trans people & to watch out & be careful. he says that this country is not hospitable to people like me & that it is very unfair. when i told him i was not a boy or a girl he told me that all great artists aspire toward androgyny, and we kept on walking together, talked about his art and mine. today we went on an excursion to meet one of his old friends. when he was talking about me he used gender neutral pronouns and it made me swell inside. pride month is always so hard for me. to watch everyone celebrate while the people i am & the people i love continue to be degraded with little acknowledgement, let alone concern. so i try to focus on the small victories: the pride in my grandfather’s eyes when he looks at me means more than anything else. i remind myself: there is no dissonance here. there is no dissonance here.

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