When did you know?

Ayush Gupta (they/them/theirs)
1 min readDec 17, 2022

When did I know?
I know what you mean, and yet
I want to scream
What do you really mean?

When did I start playing with bedsheets? To fashion saris, frocks, and dupatta out of it
Or, when did I learn that I should lock the door when doing that?
Panic and take it off if someone knocks?

When did I know that I needed to play sports? ‘Cuz I was born with a penis
That I need to walk more like a man
talk in a lower pitch
Hold my arms like a man
Type like a man?
For fuck’s sake!

When did I realise that my eyes lingered on boys yearning their touch?
When did I learn that my desire is perverse?
It could get me arrested, battered, or killed

When did I know that I needed to crush myself,
to hide in plain site? So I might survive, might feel less
alien.

Why don’t you want to know
when I finally learned to love myself?
When I first went out as a woman in public,
unlearn the shame that people want me to feel?
When did I finally find community?

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Ayush Gupta (they/them/theirs)

I do education research. Interested in emotions, ideology, epistemology, identity, values, ethics, and learning …