Two bottles of activated charcoal – three weeks to shit out physically, over a decade to shit out emotionally, but during that decade it seeps through your skin and clouds your vision.

Maybe it never really leaves you.

When I changed the gender marker on my driver’s license, the woman at the desk asked if I was ok now. I didn’t know the real answer, but I knew the answer she wanted, so I said yes. Because, yes, in theory, if I came back in a year, she wouldn’t recognize me, wouldn’t have to think about people like me, the danger inherent in our existence, the paradox of no one wanting their health insurance plan to cover any of our needs but everyone wanting us to all physically pass which requires access to health care, how uncomfortable we make you feel when we don’t pass and god forbid we’re ok with not conforming to your binary standard.

When people want to know if you’re ok now, they’re really asking if you’ve got your shit together enough to stop inconveniencing them.
It’s the same thing people want to know when you tried but didn’t die. Are you ok now?
Have you got your shit together enough that we don’t have to worry about covering your


You regret it right?

The only answer they want is yes.

Just keep it to yourself that you mean yes, you regret failing, not yes you regret trying. No one wants to hear that shit.
I’m ok now though. That shit-colored charcoal haze.

Owen is a highly anxious trans man living with his cat near Raleigh, NC