Kind of a Funny Story

Coming Out / GLBT Stories, Facing LGBTQ Pride in Muncie, Indiana

The real reason Dracula could not see

his own reflection in the mirror


wasn’t because his body

was actually invisible, but


because antique mirrors

were cast from silver, pools of light


crafted from the single element

meant to erase him. I myself


find humor pooled inside

life’s darkness: in the ash-cloud


of a cancer sonogram, I once found

the mask of Donnie Darko;


another time I faked a broken knee

before my school play. April Fool’s.


My mother would pop Freddie Krueger

in the VHS player and tell me,


confront the fear,

and conquer it.


Confront: a childhood spent

short, shy, and effeminate,


a lifetime of recesses survived

only by the grace of Stephen King.


Confront: a lack of vocabulary

to speak my own body into humanity.


There was only one name for us

back then—transvestite—


and everybody knew it meant

crazy. Weird. Not real.


Confront my compulsions:

addictions that sent me flailing


like a horror movie heroine

chased up the staircase by a slasher,

sprinting away from the only door

worth flinging open,


separated from freedom, from peace,

from a body left whole.


I have another name for myself,

now. Brooklynn. I am the one


who keeps trying, reading, studying,

laughing. And this really is a funny story:


that time at work when I met

the patient’s daughter, and her face


bloomed red, stutter-mouthed

and overloaded, unsure


if she was allowed to ask

if I were a boy or girl. Unsure


if she was allowed to see me.

Yes, I told her. I am a woman.


Brooklynn, with two ‘n’s.

The one who has conquered.

– Brooklynn Richardson’s Story as Told by Marissa Rose

Marissa Rose lives and works in Muncie, Indiana, where she advocates and supports everything from early childhood support systems, adult literacy, and trans rights, among other issues. When she’s not advocating, she’s usually writing.

This story originally appeared in Facing LGBTQ+ Pride in Muncie, a publication of The Facing Project that was organized by Muncie OUTreach in Muncie, Indiana.

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