Flowers Between Your Legs: Would You Swap Your Assigned Sex?

Aykut Aydogdu

Aykut Aydogdu

The first person to ever properly gender me was an ultrasound technician. I must have heard the story a hundred times or more. As it is told, the technician pressed the eyeball of that queer machine up against my mother’s belly and thrust her finger toward the screen. Somewhere in that churning, Rorschach mess of black, white, and grey, she claimed to see a little girl. No one questioned it. My name was going to be Emily.

I kind of hate that name.


Before my parents could leave, the Ultrasound Technician leaned in real, real close to my mother’s stomach and whispered something that neither could quite make out. But I know what she said. It was a cooing sort of voice. She said this: she said, “You’ve got pink tigers in your brain, grrrrl*~! They’re gonna’ split this world in fucking two*~!”

The technician was right about the pink tigers. They’ve been clawing their way through my mind ever since.

As far as I know, the world hasn’t split in two yet.

It took just under two decades of romping back and forth through a great tangled mess of hell and wonder with those damn tigers before I was able to understand exactly what was going on with all that silky neon fur and my faraway flavored gender. But I had known since long before then. Since before I ever had the words to explain it or even knew that such words existed.

You see, starlings:

Gender is just the kind of thing that you know in the way that wildflowers know things that wildflowers know.

And I am a woman. Relentlessly. Endlessly. Fiercely. Unapologetically. I am a woman. And for as long as I can remember, I have endlessly yearned for congruence between my body and mind. I have screamed at the Goddesses like the wildest of beasts and thrown rocks at the full moon. I have pitched the hissiest of hissy fits and kicked rivers and stomped on the earth.

It never made much of a difference.

For me, body dysphoria is like the sensation of wearing really uncomfortable clothes. I want to strip off my assigned physique like a corset. I want to pull off my assigned sex like uncomfortable boots. Only I can’t.

And that brings us to our question.

Let’s imagine that in precisely the moment you finish reading this article, you are to be approached by some chimerical being that is capable of granting wishes.

Maybe it’s a genie. Maybe it’s all those pink, phantasmagorical tigers made manifest. It could be Grimes.

It’s whatever.

But, I mean…I would pick grimes if I were you.

This is the offer: you are granted the immediate and outright possession and ownership of a biological body that is congruent with your gender identity.

Magick, adorable Magick*~,’.`;<3

It sounds like such an easy choice, right? The stuff that dreams are made on. All that body dysphoria—just gone*~ Rabbits in hats and the terrors with them. Let them lock us tight in terrible boxes sawn succinctly into halves—we will emerge from behind crimson curtains into murderous applause.

Strangers in Marta stations will peel back the daggers from their stares. They will forget to claw at our genders and stab at our souls. Our potential suitors will involve more than predators, fetishists, and the occasional unicorn with problematic opinions about rape jokes.

It would go like this: (there’s some blue mist curling across the floor or w/e so imagine that part)

…One, Two, Three… ~*SNAP*~ and then: POOF*~!

Just like that.

~* {poof} *~

…sososo cyoot*~,`.’;<3



Except we didn’t talk about the catch. The answer comes far too easily without one.

And so it isn’t just your biological sex that will be swapped. The entirety of your experience will go with it. It will be as if you had been born, raised, and socialized as your proper gender from the onset. You both are and were always cis.

Does this change anything for you? Personally, my first impulse was to say “no.” I would still take the offer.

The pain would be gone. It would…

But…everything would be unrecognizable.

Every fleck of paint. Every detail. A hundred trillion-trillion variables picked apart and sloppily packed in among others. You might wind up harboring problematic opinions about gender.

But the pain would be gone…

As would all your dazzling queer darlings—gone. No more queer parties with familiar queer faces and emancipated minds. No stunning queens sliding in among the palest lights, twirling lithe in lace heels through swathes of ivory noise. No more lighting fires on ocean floors and laughing at the non-believers.     

The pain would be gone…

And probably you would never even know what real pain is. What it is like to be beaten emotionally lifeless and left alone. Or the way that perfect hopelessness feels. Perfect confusion. Absolute in all directions. Crushing.

And so you would have never pressed your palms beyond that paralytic silence into furious magic.

Furious Trans magic*~,`.’;<3


You would not know what it is like to be so thoroughly alive that it hurts.

Jamie Adams

Jamie Adams

The truth is that a change like that would strip away more than our dysphoria. It would take everything from us. Everything that we are. Everything that we have been through. Every place that we have yet to go but one day will. And while this might sound ideal to you, I don’t know if I would personally be ok with that.

And so for now, when random acquaintances start with the awful questions—

"Hey what's between your legs?” “What are your thoughts on SRS?” “Does it still work on hormones?” “Do you use it?” “I really don't think you’ll be considered a woman until you actually do snip it.” “Ooh, but I heard you lose sensitivity down there after the surgery.” “And even afterwards, it still won’t be a real one, right?” “Does that hurt to think about? Does it hurt when I ask you these questions?"

I’ll simply reply with this:

I have flowers between my legs, bb doll*~

And it’s true.

There is a field of chroma-blush-swept roses in the space where my thighs meet my hips, flushed pink like the tongues of Goddesses, soft as their eyelash voices on the nape of my neck, delicate as the thin glass bridge that will carry me into their arms where I will finally be able to see that so long as I am alive, mortality is a myth and however painful it might be, my gender is bliss.

Whatever they might say, there are flowers between our legs.


Juliet Awry Irises is a faraway gendered trans grrl whose fingers flick almost continuously through her hair. When she is not writing poetry or painting, she busies herself with splitting the veins of the holy western masculine wide the fuck open, amen.