Peer Review by sunny.v (United States)

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no mama i am not your daughter i am your child | #aprilaprilapril

By: HelpMe512


FREE WRITING


"do you want that haircut to make you look like a boy?"
mama asks me. mama asks if i wanna be a boy with sadness in her voice. no mama no i don't. i wanna be a person, i don't wanna have a label based on what's in my pants. no mama i wanna live outside boy and girl. mama mama you said i am your daughter, you said i am she she she. no mama i am they they they. no mama i don't wanna look like a boy because since when did a haircut define my identity? no mama i don't owe you femininity, and no mama i don't owe you masculinity because someday you'll realize i am somewhere in the middle. no mama no mama i am not your daughter and i am not your son. i am your child.

"you're your mother's daughter"
papa tells me. papa thinks i'm her. no papa no i'm not. she is confident in herself to be her her her. i am just me me me and that doesn't feel like enough. papa you loved my name because i was your perfect daughter. how can i tell you that i don't want the name? papa i am not mama i am confused and i am young. too young apparently to know who i am as if you papa know better than i. papa i don't want to be my mother's daughter i am nothing like her no papa. no papa i am myself and nothing more.

"she's my sister"
my brother declares for all to hear. shut up shut up shut up. you say cis and all i can think of is trans trans trans trans trans transtranstranstranstranstranstrans until i wish i could disappear. you think we are weird because of their dyed hair and the rainbow stickers. you say you don't get us. you thought all trans people changed genders daily, no brother that is gender fluid. you thought they and them could only be used plurally. you laughed at a transphobe and you laughed at the thought of someone wanting neutral pronouns. you stopped listening to a podcast because they sold pride merch and brother i had to grit my teeth and accept it because god knows what would have happened if you figured it out. you called my friends weird because they like girls and they are they they they. you would laugh at me too if you found out i am they they they. you would laugh because i am not your sister i am your sibling.

so to anyone who thinks i am broken because i cannot conform to your idea of gender, i am broken because of you, not my identity. i am broken because of the hate and the jeers and the laughs. the lectures about how i'm too young. i am broken because of the box i am confined to that makes it so i can't grow. you think i am broken but i am just captured by your snares of close-mindedness. i am trans. i am they. i am not going to let you tear me down.

lowercase intentional.
this is everything i wish i could tell my family. i came out online and am so happy but at home i feel so alone for being this way.

Peer Review

the way you place emphasis on pronouns and your identity, and you weave it all together into raw words really touched me. it made me uncomfortable for you, if that makes sense, almost as if i was feeling your anguish and i was in your place.


perhaps, like the way you put in anecdotes to highlight struggles with your brother, you could put in more with your other experiences? i feel as if it would add to the piece if you put more “faces” to the points of view.


Reviewer Comments

the way you repeat things makes it seem like a pained thought process. that really adds to the whole tone of the piece, but i feel as if some parts could be clearer and more cleanly executed. i think the thought process overall could be more neat. i like the way you connect your ideas between sections sometimes, but i feel as if you could make it more clear/prominent that that’s what you’re doing. finally, i believe personally that it’d be more impactful if you separated certain lines, just to give that extra emphasis! great job with this piece. i hope you find peace one day!