When I was born my mum thought my head
was bleeding, the only child in the family born
with hair the colour of blood, haemorrhaging
out of my skull
On a visit home
she reminds me what I was like as a child:
quiet, didn’t want to play with boys,
Barbie and Batman dolls,
dressing as a fairy for the party,
and my dad tells me how
when he was growing up
most of the time being a man
meant being a white man.
There is a history of Chinese men being feminized
and vilified by Anglos.
This is what I talk about with my new therapist.
He is really friendly, and also bulk bills.
He gives me a photocopy of a map that says,
“Imagine gender as a planet”.
It’s for kids but I still like it.
There are continents and countries with shifting borders,
people can travel, take a holiday, change citizenship.
pointing at the S.S. Genderfluid
sailing the seas of noncomformity,
and I imagine myself on board… pursued by the authorities
for some international crime.
I touch the space and the stars around the little planet
thinking of my mixed race family,
of being in two places at once,
and feeling somehow in neither.
I ask my therapist if he heard about how Chinese Scientists
teleported a photon from Earth to an orbiting satellite
using a process involving quantum entanglement,
whereby the quantum state of two or more particles
cannot be described independently of each other,
and he says, “No.”
I touch the space and the stars around the little planet,
thinking of how Einstein called it “spooky action”.
Heather Joan Day is a writer and filmmaker. Their writing has been published in Going Down Swinging, The Lifted Brow, Plaything Magazine, and online. They currently live in Melbourne with their cats, Vivienne and Persephone, and tweet @emo_flowers.