ysabetwordsmith: (Schrodinger's Heroes)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the December 4, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] zianuray and [personal profile] aldersprig. It has been sponsored by EdorFaus. This poem belongs to the Schrodinger's Heroes project.

WARNING: This poem contains maladaptive parenting and misgendering.


"Quinn's Nursery"


Quinn's nursery
was a hazardous place.

There were Maplelea dolls.
First came Léonie,
the French-Canadian from Quebec City,
who played guitar and hockey;
then Alexi from Toronto, Ontario,
an urban explorer with long dark hair.

Quinn hated Léonie's girly clothes
and Alexi's girly shopping habits,
and chucked them both under the bed.

The Barbie doll imported from America was even worse
and the Ken doll that she came with was ridiculous,
but Quinn scrounged a G.I. Joe and a Tonka truck
from a Boxing Day charity table.

Joe didn't quite fit in the Tonka mail truck,
but he tried valiantly.

Barbie quite liked the machine gun.
She mugged Joe for his uniform, cut her hair,
and ran off to join the army
as G.I. Jane.

A disgruntled and buck-naked Joe
slunk through the nursery
to be rescued by Ken in a wooden truck.

Quinn really wanted a train,
a proper electric train that really ran, but
"Too expensive, dear," said Mummy
and that was the end of that.

Ken wanted to be an engineer
and Joe was considering life as a hobo
so they were out of luck too.

On Quinn's birthday,
another Maplelea doll arrived:
Saila, an Inuit girl from Iqaluit
with a round brown face and black hair,
her clothes an intriguing blend
of Inuit and contemporary.
Her diary was trilingual
in English, French, and Inuktitut.

Quinn already spoke English and French
and just couldn't resist the temptation
to hack through Inuktitut.
Attempts to practice with penpals
fell through, sadly, because
everyone wanted to talk about girl things --
dolls and party dresses
and growing up to be good mummies.

Quinn gave up on trying to make friends,
and checked out the Inuktitut dictionary from the library.
Saila did not get thrown under the bed, though;
she wound up on the rocking chair.

Then one day,
quite out of the blue,
Léonie and Saila announced
that they were running away to New Orleans.
Quinn admitted that it sounded like a fabulous idea
and wished them well.

Alexi emerged from under the bed
looking rather lonesome.
She chopped off her hair,
painted it blue,
and changed her name to Alex.

That gave Quinn a little flutter inside.
Quinn always did have a bit of a crush
on Alexi, now Alex, and now also dressed
in patchwork jeans and Saila's abandoned anorak.

Quinn stood in front of the mirror
and wished for a reflection to match
the image sensed within,
wished for short, wild-hued hair
and practical clothes

and maybe someone to run away with
to catch cheap beads flung from a Mardi Gras float.

"Someday," Quinn said
to the wrong reflection in the mirror,
"someday."

* * *

Notes:

Transkids face unique challenges. It helps if their parents know how to raise them accordingly. Quinn's didn't. >_<
http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/transgender-kids
http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=3091754
http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/raise-transgender-child-3049.html

Boxing Day is a holiday following Christmas.

Canadian toys include the Maplelea Dolls., who have become quite popular. Alexi is an urban explorer from Torono, Ontario. Léonie is French-Canadian from Quebec City, who plays guitar and hockey. Saila is Inuit from Iqaluit; she is trilingual in English, French, and Inuktitut.

Popular American toys include the Barbie fashion doll and her boyfriend Ken. G.I. Joe is joined by G.I. Jane. Tonka produces a wide variety of trucks. The scene with Joe in the mail truck came from an original prompt.

OH, -BLEEP!-

Date: 2015-06-20 04:03 am (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
My first reaction on reading this was a wish to sit Quinn's parents down and talk some sense into them. Then, rereading, I realized how LONG this had gone on, and lost all patience with them.

Your /SON/ is miserable because YOU can't unstick your gender notions! I have no freaking sympathy left!

It's fortunate that they're fictional parents! It also makes the SH team even MORE important, later.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-06-20 05:05 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] chanter_greenie
*reads once* Ow! Also oh my goodness, something in the intertwining of ongoing doll story arcs and human timeline gives me a thrill, and I can't quite articulate why. Maybe it's because that's the kind of thing I'd do. Me now, or me as a teenager, not me as tiny Chanter. And ooooh, I'd have loved a penpal who wanted to practice languages. I'd have traded Inuktitut phrases for Spanish ones, and I'd have probably tried picking up bits of French after a while, too.

*reads twice, after reading comments* Oh ow ow ow! Awww, Quinn. Now I see attempts at forcing chromosomal sex and gender to match everywhere. And... oh dear. I see a few similarities between long-haired Alexi and myself, albeit wearing Saila's clothes. And I won't even get into anyone running away with Léonie. I have a sharding type.

*firmly resolves never to force gender and sex assumptions on my niece* I may have to investigate those Maplelea dolls when she's a bit older, though. No Barbies will be gifted by Auntie Chanter, this I have already long resolved. I need to find a set of wooden blocks not made by a machine somewhere, a bit like what Adam and his friends play with in Frankenstein's Family.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-06-20 07:26 pm (UTC)
redsixwing: Red-winged angel staring at a distant star. (Default)
From: [personal profile] redsixwing
Oh Quinn. All the hugs! ..and a dang pair of overalls, is that REALLY too much to ask?

I'm glad this has a good ending. This one's pretty bleak.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-06-21 10:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] janetmiles.livejournal.com
Well, good for Quinn for figuring out ways to adapt. Sorry that he didn't have more support as a child, though.

Yes...

Date: 2015-06-21 11:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
>> Well, good for Quinn for figuring out ways to adapt. <<

Quinn's adaptability is really super-level.

>> Sorry that he didn't have more support as a child, though. <<

Yeah, that part sucked. But it did contribute to his ability to handle dimensional incursions without blinking.

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