Poems on Gender

SUPPOSING

Supposing I thought of you as a man of courage 
A man who knew his own mind 
Who could look people in the eye and say 
This is who I am 
A man who could face danger for what he believes in 
A man of commitment, down for the long haul 
A man who could fight his own corner – and more 
Someone you could count on to take your side 
When you were facing injustice 

Supposing I thought of you as a pioneer 
We’re only just ankle deep into this new frontier 
But you’ve already jumped in 
And you’re swimming for the opposite shore 

So much of human sexuality we don’t think, only feel 
Then the feelings think for us 
From the pill to the knife to genetic engineering 
What’s going to be left of ‘normal’ in a hundred years? 
The future is bright 
And terrifying 

You say that we can’t be friends 
Unless I agree that you are a real woman 
I can’t do that 
But I can respect you, who you are
The choices you have made
I can rage at the bigotry you face
Gender is not an identity, it’s a straitjacket 
And you are going up against it 
How could I not respect that 
How could I not fight alongside you 
Just as I would any other comrade 
We may be on different sides of a debate
But we are on the same side in the war  

Supposing I thought of you as a woman of courage 
A woman who knew her own mind 
Who could look people in the eye and say 
This is who I am 
A woman who could face danger for what she believes in 
A woman of commitment, down for the long haul 
A woman who could fight her own corner – and more 
Someone you could count on to take your side 
When you were facing injustice 

Supposing either way – what difference would it make? 

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