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The Body: Is it mine? Exploring Violence, Ownership, and Gender Dysphoria

Writing by Heidi Hafner. Artwork by Seth Statham.

I like that they asked me about the body,

Not my body.

Because it’s not mine,

It never has been.

But it has belonged, to the owners…

To the users.

First, it was birthed.

It trapped me,

Bought by those who birthed it.

They commanded it,

Used it,

Hammered it,

Made it,

‘The Perfect Child’.

She shaped it into a dream; her dream;

The body she never had,

A dream I never had,

A dream I can never have.

Because this body, it isn’t mine -

It’s hers.

Next came the tools,

I needed them to survive it,

The trap.

Burning ownership into its skin,

Cutting a line between me and it.

I sought to separate myself from it,

To exist without it, outside of it,


I never had control over this body.

But others did.They saw it. And they violated it.

But I never minded.

Because when the body I had belonged to them; it was wanted.

Not by me,

But that was fine,

Because it wasn’t mine, it was theirs.

A body underneath their hands.

For me, this body isn’t home.

It isn’t safe.

And it definitely isn’t me.

That’s it:

It's just the body.

I have no claim to it, but they do.

All of them do.

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