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Guest Story Telling: The Power of Poetry

Written by: RC Davis

As the months stretched into years, the closet became a home of sorts. I put up decorations, hid under a mountain of old coats, and grew attached to the thick warmth. I first realized that there was something “off” about my experience in my body when I was eleven years old. Puberty was difficult for me. There were some changes I was comfortable with: the thickening leg hair, and getting taller. Others, like my growing breasts, I vowed to keep a secret as long as possible. When I imagined myself in the future, I saw a man, but I was becoming a woman as I looked in the mirror naked.


I was lucky to go to a high school that had a spoken word poetry club, and it was in this club I found my people. At that point, I knew for certain I was something other than a girl. I looked up transgender resources online and imagined what it would be like to get top surgery or go by a different name. I wrote poems about my internal conflict and worked up the courage to share them with my poetry friends and club sponsors. My best poem was about my fear of coming out to my mother. The Fall showcase was coming up, and I knew I couldn’t hide myself forever. I woke up every morning in a knot of anxiety, but I continued to carve away at and add to that poem. Everything I’d been through was leading up to the moment I’d perform it publicly.


Finally, the day came. I had told my mom about my gender the week before in a panicked moment and it hadn’t gone as well as I’d hoped. I wondered if she would ever understand. Maybe the poem would help. I practiced it with my performance group and in the bathroom mirror. The auditorium was packed full of faces I couldn’t quite make out, but I knew my parents were there, waiting for me to share my story. I performed my poem and the audience clapped. Afterward, my mom gave me a hug and told me she loved me no matter what. I knew at that moment that we were moving toward each other.


RC Davis is a community guest writer sharing their story with the North Idaho Pride Alliance. Davis reserves the right to the content published above.

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