Note, 2016: More than 12 years after my top surgery, I feel the same about my scars as I did when I wrote this poem, but I want to clarify that I no longer consider myself genderqueer or non-binary and haven't for a long time now. When I wrote this poem, "genderqueer" was the best language available to me to express that I like being Trans, I fully embrace the fact that I'm Trans, and I don't want to be cis. No binary-identified Trans people were talking about that in 2002, at least not where I could hear. But times change, language evolves, and now I am an entirely binary-identified Trans man who also likes being Trans. Neither of those things negate the other in any way.
May 9, 2002

I want scars.
I want to give someone who spent too long at school
Seven thousand dollars to cut me open,
Take out the tissue I don't want,
Sculpt my chest into something I can bear to look at,
And lay train tracks of sutures
From armpit to breastbone,
Hopefully symmetrical.
And when the drains are gone
And the stitches dissolved or removed.
And I go swimming for the first time in nearly ten years
And go out to get the paper in the morning without a shirt on and not give a damn who sees,
I want those lines on my chest.
I want everyone to see
That I am NOT like the others
I am NOT just another guy
I am a Transboy
I am genderqueer
And I did NOT have this chest reconstructed
So I could fit in.
I want chest reconstruction
So I can fit into myself.
If that means male privilege that I never asked for,
Then so be it,
And I will use that male privilege to the best of my ability
To undermine itself and its source
And make people listen for once.
And when I wear short sleeves
You can see a patch on my arm that ain't nicotine.
Patch over gel over injection, because it is visible.
Look at me, my body don't produce testosterone,
I wear it on my arm.
I will not be invisible,
I will not compromise my identity
My complexity
So that you can call me a man and think you get it
When really you don't have a clue
I am Transgender
And when I am post-op
And I remove my shirt
I will show my scars proudly.
They are the scars of everyone
Who has felt invisible or misunderstood,
Everyone who has fought and is fighting,
With their hairstyles and clothes, mascara that thickens eyelashes or turns peach fuzz into a goatee,
Everyone who has a million scars that lie unseen.
I share those scars beneath the surface
And when I scrape together seven thousand dollars
Just to give it away,
I will bear my people's scars
And I will NOT forget
And I will NOT take for granted
And my scars will remind the world that we are NOT all the same.