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A Guide to Waking Up Transgender by Taylor Berieter

You wake up.

Your gender is

a badge of fire


into the burning bridges

of your body.

You feel


Your solar flare skin


to crawl away from you.

It knows that it does not belong.

It is the hot desert festering

in a forest of flowers.


burning a smile

into the sun.

It is

a torching tumor.

Now normal people

their nightmares numb

from frigid nights

into warm mornings

but you know better.

There are no more alarm clocks

to wake you.

No roosters to crow away

the dawning daylight.

Afternoon still feels

like ice to you.

Your voice croaks out like

boiling frogs.

An unsettling thunder

to the tune of

storm cloud mouth.

Weather so weaponized

it’s likely to get you killed.

Liable to let loose a noose

knotted with hate

biting into your neck.

A perfect bow

for a walking coffin.

But little do they know

that if they dig deep enough

into the dirt of your despair

they will find magma.

That if they push you off

the ledge of your breaking point




That if the glaciers of their bigotry

come to crush you

You will melt


So when you go out the door

into the frozen tundra

of this cold nightmare


You are burning bridges

with flames bigger

than their glaciers.

You are weather


like Lightning.

You are magma


of melting continents.

So when you go out into

this gas chamber life

You set the fucking room

on fire.

About the Author

Taylor Bereiter is a graduating senior majoring in Creative Writing and minoring in queer studies. Taylor identifies as a queer trans woman and goes by she/her pronouns. Taylor enjoys her time doing people things, like staring out of windows and breathing. In her free time, she also enjoys existing places.