CICADA is a name for a noisy insect and an author and a collection of creative nonfiction poetry. It is the story of a trans woman rediscovering herself after attending an All-Boys High School. CICADA is a clear midnight sky in the lake’s mirror. It is six panic attacks trying to convince an examiner on why they should give a shit about CICADA. CICADA wants to be angry. At her high school, at herself, and at the dead boy in the lake. CICADA wants to show you the ugly side of transformation and transition. CICADA also wants to piss without crying, but it seems it’s easier to write a manuscript than it is to untangle one’s own backlog of trauma. Foregoing pride in being part of the LGBTQ+ community, CICADA opts to expose herself, all parts that are flesh and raw, all parts that are soft and ugly, all parts that are gruelling and never-ending. CICADA is a reoccurring theme of a boy lost at sea. The dead boy is everything that was, and everything that is now wasted thanks to the emergence of CICADA. He is a vessel to direct anger at. He is innocent yet blamed and scrutinized by CICADA for stealing her years from her. When you look for the dead boy in the waters, you may also see the stars in its reflection, and find the lost girl floating in dance with the beloved dead boy. The girl is dead potential, and everything that could have been, adrift in liminal outer space tied to a homemade spacesuit constructed by the dead boy. The dead boy and the lost girl are ghosts in the lived experience of the present CICADA, the transition, the artist, ‘the woman’ writing to the audience. Transition is often compared to a caterpillar’s journey of becoming the beautiful butterfly. CICADA is the opposite, enveloping the reader into the ugly reality of the never ending and every-day pains. The struggle to unlearn habits and to grow new skin as the old dead skin decays and rots away. It depicts a colossal range of everyday experiences and complications of living as a trans woman. CICADA overcomes tasks such as: getting dressed, showering, going to the bathroom, and even needing to revamp her social circle and career. CICADA also battles with herself. Her need to distance herself from the innate feeling of needing to educate, clashes with the desire of confronting the ignorant and standing with strength and visibility. CICADA aims to play with distance, humour and joins the new voice of poetry, harmonizing with other queer writers who are creating the new poetic mould. CICADA barely touches the iceberg of transgender issues as a whole. CICADA is able to say a lot about a global issue from one person’s experience. Through a magnified lens and focus on one individual experience, it provides a scale and context of how important empathy and support is for the transgender community. There will be moments unrelatable, confusing, and oddly specific that will disarm any reader. CICADA is to feel like an alien. CICADA is for no one and for everyone. CICADA is selfish enough to be about the author and not the reader.
The University of Waikato
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