Thirty minutes of asphyxiation. Throat closing in. Dry heaving. The blade tip of suicide scraping my brain just behind the eye balls. Hands to throat. Breathe! Dry heave and fall sleep. Wake with a start. Gasp of air. Wasn’t breathing. Thirty minutes of fear, of absolute terror. What am I afraid of? That people are starting to recognize my gifts. That in my 34th year I’m coming into my own, a certain level of respect and gravitas given me by the community. That it’s tempting to decide not to derail my entire fucking life, and instead try to live a cishet life. After all, today’s recognition and signs of appreciation from people made it seem the more attractive option. Until gender dysphoria comes stabbing with a thousand knifes like a bitch. YOU. ARE. FUCKING. TRANS. Weaving in and out of asphyxiation and sleep (or is it simply loss of consciousness?) and waking. Feeling trapped in this hideous frame. This gross anatomy. Putrid. Feeling the weight of the universe sticking to my skin, crushing me like the waters of some deep abyss of the ocean. If I try to deny it, maybe my dysphoria will at long last have mercy on me and let me die. But I know. I’ve got a reason to live. Ladies and gentlemen I’ll say. Meet Sophia. I love you. Please don’t crucify me. There is One who already took those nails for me. There is One in whose arms I’ve been carried, born to new life. Free from the bonds of decay. One day. My tomb will be open. Please don’t let my body betray and kill me before then.