Stay Strong

A few months ago,
I made a special new friend.
I had no idea though
That she was far from transition’s end.

She was born a male, yes,
But that’s not who I see.
I want to truly express
All I see is her femininity.

I’m blind to her former self,
Even though I had met him.
I put that memory on a shelf
To see this WOMAN within

A journey of finding herself,
Like the one that I am on.
She needs, like me, some help.
There is similarity in both of our songs.

I learned about the trials that she faces
So hard to conquer, I can’t imagine the pain
Going out into public places
Only to come home and cry tears of rain.

I hope she knows she has a friend in me,
To support her in her time of need.
A CIS, that’s true, not a “frienemie”,
Stay Strong, is the message indeed.

We all need love and friendship
To get us through the storms
Sometimes hatred forms within kinship
When we don’t simply conform.

So we Stay Strong through another bond,
We find a new kind of family.
One that lifts us up and beyond,
Through our similarity.

Stay Strong I once again impress,
For, you are truly loved.
Stay Strong I strongly suggest
For you were sent from above.

My name is Michelle Staton, the above poem is based on my meeting and becoming everyday friends with one of TransHope United’s staff members, Alicia . She was the first friend I have ever made, the very first person I had ever met who was in the process of transitioning genders. As I got to know her it seemed I would find more and more questions I wanted to ask her. It felt awkward for me at first, but she made me so comfortable. I am a true Cis ally, and I want to stress the importance of ally support. I know that I have gotten her through some tough times, as she has helped me as well. However, although I can sympathize with her, I can’t truly empathize, because I have not walked in her shoes.

I understand now just how hard the road it can be for those who choose to transition. It is far from easy. It can be full of mistakes and let-downs but also there will be triumphs and a lot of tears. That’s why CIS- ally support is SO NECESSARY. There are far more CIS individuals in the population than there transgender individuals, and I know personally from my transitioning friends, that they mostly feel alone. It is really simple, though, we are all human and all one species, and we should love and support each other equally just based on that alone. 

From what I have seen, a lot of transgender individuals are shunned or shamed by their own families because of the accusation, “You Are Not Normal.” What is normal anyway though? To whose standard do you measure it by? Of course, Transgender Individuals are not “normal”, but then how many regular folks can honestly claim to be? You were dealt a very hard hand, and will have much to conquer. However, there is a saying that God only gives us what we can handle. It takes a very exceptional person to handle and triumph over the obstacles that you are facing. And you will triumph. You may not see it, but you will.

It is so important to educate and lean on your CIS allies. Don’t feel embarrassed to lean on us. That is why we are here. I, personally, truly want to help change people’s minds and one day the world. If you have a true CIS friend, be explicit, get real with them and tell them your dreams, your fears and who pissed you off yesterday. Let us know in any way, shape or form how we can help you. Also, tell us when we’re out of line. The goal is a two-way friendship, communication, and a strong ally support system.

Michelle Staton