Don’t Miss This Trans Poet’s Moving Letter to the Girl He Used to Be

(Content Warning: Suicidal thoughts.)

Performance poet Ethan Smith had a message to send his former self – and he shared it with the world in a powerful poem called “A Letter to the Girl I Used to Be.”

This performance is a thoughtful, honest take on what it means to leave some part of yourself behind as you come to understand your gender identity. Ethan brought tears to our eyes with his emotional recollection of suicidal thoughts, and as he shared his grief over things like not hearing his former name at a college graduation, and never having the children he once thought he would birth.

Although this letter is partly an apology, Ethan told BuzzFeed News that it’s not an apology for transitioning as a transgender man – “it’s about what the person I was had to go through to get to where I am now.”

It’s not easy to let go of the life you once thought you’d live – but this is also a message of hope for what lies ahead as you step into your authentic self.

With Love,
The Editors at Everyday Feminism

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Ethan Walker Smith is a performance poet and LGBT advocate, currently performing at venues around the country and working at Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders in Boston, MA. Check him out on Facebook and Twitter @ethanwalker_s

Video courtesy of Button Poetry. For more amazing spoken word performances, check them out on YouTube and Facebook.