Scuffed clarks 

Double dares in dog shit park

Oyster zip card goes trililili

(Enjoy it while it lasts)

Go everywhere, see what’s more out of ends,

[I know the hood seems depressing now but you’ll learn to love it]

Meet your queer emo online friends, I trust you, you’re streetwise, even when you’re silly.


You grew up fast

always fluctuating

between one of the boys

and grandma’s little girl.


Never really questioned it.

It was always others

questioning you.


So mum had always dressed you in nice frilly socks and pink bows and two plaits for church and outings 

you knew that’s what it was to be

“neat and presentable”.

You liked the compliments.

You wanted to be loved.


But at some point,

you’d change out of the clothes

and beg to go shopping in the boys section.

But you never questioned it – it’s just clothes right?


Playing outside St Raph’s Estate with your foster brothers everyone accepted you as one of them


You were always “daddy” when you played “mummy’s & daddy” in nursery. 

Girls always practiced kissing games on you.


Then you were always a boy on club penguin & RuneScape and Sims and any other game where you could have a virtual girlfriend.


Don’t worry. You’re not weird, I promise.


But what was weird,

Was when you started growing two lumps on either side of your chest

And suddenly you weren’t allowed to play outside as late as the other boys,

And suddenly the boys weren’t treating you like one of them, and they’d make jokes just targeted at you, you felt isolated from the group. Now you don’t wanna be one of them. They’re dicks. 

You didn’t mind having to stay back and help season the chicken and wash up the plates but how comes they got to go upstairs and play PS2 and it wasn’t “appropriate” for you to be in a room with them in your vest n shorts anymore? 

And when we were playing superheroes suddenly you had to be “Cat Woman” or “Storm” but you just wanted to be Batman?


And then it all unfolded


Do you remember?

Year 7, 2009

second week

1st month of secondary school,

fresh cornrows,

babyphat shell jacket over your black & red uniform

– you look like lil bow wow –

It feels good.

Suddenly that shine felt taken when a few kids in the year above beckon you to their picnic bench hang out at break time

And ask

“So like, are you a boy or a girl?”

You respond – “Mum says I’m a tomboy”

They laugh

“So you’re a girl then?”

You blush, and nod quietly

You’re not a quiet person. You’re not shy. You always know what to say. You’re confused why you feel like you can’t talk.


It was just a silly question? Right?


One girl, long thick wavy hair, brown eyes, morrocan, smells like pink charlie body spray –

Smiles at you and says:

“If you were a boy I’d find you kinda cute”

Everyone laughs and starts comparing you to every famous mixed boy with green eyes and cornrows across Disney channel to BET. They go onto a tangent, you realise you are no longer part of the conversation, of use, of entertainment, and you walk away. 

So why do you feel like crying?

It was just a question.

You can’t tell if you’re more embarrassed over the situation or the fact that you think you kinda liked what that girl in the year above said. It backhandedly made you feel special but weird.

Okay so

what would come after this is

you now being aware of people making you feel like you had to choose a side.

That girl you had a crush on in science class shows you so much attention when you straighten your hair and wear eyeliner?  To be honest you’re down with this – all your favourite rock stars do it. 

But do it for you.

and not her.

Because some days that’s not you too.  some days it’s frizzy hair and a football shirt and she’ll act disappointed that you can’t always live up to that image.

Some days you’re a lil pop punk princess and the other days you pass more as a boy than all the boys in your class who haven’t hit puberty yet. 

But please don’t feel shit about it.

It confuses them; but they’ll pretend it’s you who’s confused.

You never were.

The truth is you’re a little non binary baby tryna navigate in a binary world.

And even when you come to terms

With the fact you like other girls, because other people are so used to the binary,

Your friends

even your love interests,

will still have an expectation for you to emulate gender roles, but now as a dyke. 

When you go full stud mode suddenly boys in class wanna “bro” you again because they can ask you loads of questions about getting girls and can talk to you about all the shit that they wouldn’t tell “other chicks”. 

But baby.

Imma warn you –

This is still the same toxic shit

but on the other side.

You’d think being a lesbian means “no boy shit” right; but now you’re one of the boys again but their “dyke friend” you find yourself competing with them at parties. It seems fun for a bit but be sure not to take on their same toxic masculinity ideals.

You don’t need to prove you’re just as worthy to be one of the mandem this time.

See sometimes the easiest thing to do to avoid the sexism you experienced as a young queer is to join em. And with this on top of everything else your going through, you’re gunna try and prove you’re the hardest dyke on the block and want nobody to fuck with you.

But what you don’t realise is, where your fluidity lays, it where your true strengths are. Where you’ve been able to bounce between the skater kids to mandem, to mini skirts and femme make outs, to pub fights, is what will give you the full perspective to put in your future music. 

To accept one thing about yourself doesn’t mean you have to reject the other. Being punk doesn’t make you loose your blackness, you gain some. Being non binary doesn’t mean you loose your lesbian experience or growing up as a black woman. They can all exist and you’ll learn to drift between all and spin people sideways with your ambiguity. 

Anyway it’s all good you’re about to leave that school and join another and meet your future collective of people who will accept you as you entirely are -so don’t stress.


Remember to have your fun.

You don’t take advice from anyone anyway so don’t start with me, haha.

Love you.