Coloring Outside the Lines

Beautiful butterfly emerging from my cocoon and you act blind. 

Precious sense of sight you waste; powerful gift of speech, decays.

I feel invisible.  Challenges and triumphs go unnoticed. 

I am not the butterfly; I am the elephant in the room. 

I miss being a child – all I had to do was exist and you oozed with pride.  

Unrecognizable stick figures and illegible letters and you beamed in amazement 

Santa Claus, Knights in Shinning Armor, fairy tales – that’s what I thought life was. 

Become an adult and the rug is pulled out from under me. 

I want crayons and glitter markers to draw myself back into that fairy tale.

Disappointed by the extent to which you protect your own comfort at the expense of asking me how I am doing.

Will you look back and wish you had been more courageous?

I wish we lived in a world where love meant that we would sacrifice our own comforts in order to stay deeply close to somebody.


Maybe my eyes must learn to see through yours,

To silent courage that still sees me with glitter markers.

Only, I’m coloring outside of the lines now.

Within the infinite space of your silence,

I discover,

There is no distance so great that you lose sight of me.

You know I am a reflection of you, right? 

Reflecting back at you is not embarrassment or discomfort, but the strength you instilled in me.

I couldn’t have accomplished this without that strength.

“What if you were born and the doctor assigned you the wrong gender?” – Jessica Soukup

Jessica Soukup is a Texas-based advocate and educator, working to bring equal rights and social justice for transgender and non-binary people to the forefront of our social consciousness. Jessica is a frequent keynote speaker and educator on women’s empowerment, transgender rights, and LGBTQIA allyship. In 2017, she published her first book He/She/They – Us: Essential information, vocabulary, and concepts to help you become a better ally to the transgender and gender diverse people in your life. Jessica currently serves as vice-chair on the board of the Transgender Education Network of Texas (TENT) and is a co-chair for Austin Pride.

I was inspired and moved by Jessica Soukup’s TED talk so I included it here. Every child just wants to be unconditionally accepted and Jessica has bravely articulated what so many transgender people want their parents and loved ones to understand. Understanding is the first step to unconditionally loving another human being in the way they want to be loved.

Published by Christian

I am a Certified Life Coach at Out and Proud Life Coaching, LLC. I started out helping transgender individuals and their parents through all stages of transition. As a master of change, I have now expanded to also work with people who have a nagging feeling that they want something more out of life but are hindered by fear of change, transition, or difficult decisions. Please visit to subscribe to my newsletter or sign up for a free 30-minutes session so you can experience what coaching feels like!

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