Family of Me

by Daphne
Updates Mondays and Fridays

Extra Scene 8: Trans Day of Visibility 2024

(A curly haired teenage girl sleeps in her bed, barely visible under a mound of blankets. Her college-aged sister walks casually up to the bed, a dove perched on her shoulder. The dove’s feathers are curiously colored, with light blue, pink, and white feathers in a five-striped pattern running the length of their body. The older girl stops at the edge of the bed and crosses her arms incredulously.)

Libra (The Friend): How are you still sleeping? We have a scene to do!

Bloom (The Survivor, mumbling): Five more minutes. Fifteen more minutes.

Libra (shouting): WAKE UP, BLOOM!

Bloom (shocked): Aaah! What’s happening? I thought we were on break!

Libra: It’s Trans Day of Visibility! We have to do *something*, even on break.

Bloom: Ugh, fiiiine. I’ll get up.

(Bloom drags herself out of bed, her red floral comforter sliding to the ground as she rises to her feet. She stretches her arms to the sky and lets out a big yawn, then pointedly snaps her fingers. In a flash, her comfy pajamas shift into a shimmering pink dress as big butterfly wings like glittering gossamer sprout from her back. A dove much like Libra’s flies in and perches gently on Bloom’s shoulder.)

Libra (skeptical): You’re going as your fairy self?

Fairy Bloom (shrugging): It’s the fastest way to get dressed.

(Libra rolls her eyes as the two of them make their way to the rest of the family. They pass Lark sitting cross-legged on the floor, a laptop in her lap. Lark is staring at the laptop intently, trying to puzzle out something on the screen. A familiar dove is perched on Lark’s shoulder, staring at the screen just as intently.)

Libra: Come on Aura, we’ve gotta do the scene.

(Aura continues staring at the screen, her eyes narrowing slightly at the text.)

Aura (The Professional): I’ll meet you there. I want to finish debugging this first.

(As Libra leaves, Lark marches in with a determined look on her face. A T-Dove rests on her shoulder as well, glancing around the room.)

Lark (The Dreamer, loudly): Take caution! Today is Trans Day of Visibility! Your stealth checks are made at a disadvantage today!

Aura (sighing): Come *on*, Lark. That’s the oldest TDoV joke in the book; can’t we do better than that?

Lark (deadpan): This is serious business, Aura! Back in the stone age, trans hunters would take today off so they wouldn’t scare off all the prey.

Aura (embarrassed): How are we related.

Lark (grinning): Not just related, but twins! Come on, you can finish that later. It’s not going anywhere.

Aura (sighing): I guess. Okay, let’s go.

(Aura sets the laptop aside and follows Lark out. Bloom and Libra are already there, as are Ivy and Twyla, who are each holding a mug of coffee as they chat with each other. They have T-Doves on their shoulders too, cooing at each other as the two women chatter away.)

Ivy (The Companion): So, how does your first celebration feel?

Twyla (The Parent): It’s nice! I’m excited to get some scene time, though I’m worried about the readers—they barely know who I am.

Ivy: Oh, I wouldn’t worry about that; they’ll get to know you soon enough. I’m just glad you were introduced before the break! You would have had to wait another two months otherwise.

Twyla (smiling): I admit it’s nice to join the rest of you here.

Ivy (smiling back): And it’s nice having a sister who understands where I’m coming from when I talk about feelings for my partner. The other girls are sympathetic, of course, but you’ve lived it.

Twyla: That’s true. Though there is our older sister…

Ivy: You mean Mom? I guess we’re close enough in age that calling her Mom feels a little weird, but I got used to it. Speaking of which, shouldn’t she be here?

Mom (Me, triumphant): She should! She is.

Lark (excited): Okay, that’s everyone—we’re all here!

Libra: Despite *some* sister’s best efforts.

(Bloom sticks her tongue out at her older sister, making a “nyaaa!” noise as she does it.)

Mom (smiling): Indeed we are! You all did great.

(I appear in the room with my family, a T-Dove resting on my shoulder as well. The girls look at me with confusion in their eyes.)

Ivy: We all did great at what? Waking up?

Mom: The scene! You all did great with the scene.

Twyla (confused): Wait, weren’t we gathering to do the scene?

Mom: No no, this gathering *was* the scene.

Libra (insistent): But don’t we want to make some kind of statement? Do some emotional growth?

Mom (serious): We *are* making a statement. Our statement is that trans people are people—we have trouble waking up in the morning, we tell silly jokes, we chat with our friends. We can do any of those things or none of those things, and that doesn’t make us any less trans or any less worthy of respect. We don’t have to be exceptional to be worthy, and we don’t have to look our best or “pass” to exist in the world. We’re enough just the way we are.

(My daughters stare at me silently. For a long moment everyone is quiet as my message hangs in the air. Finally, Bloom speaks up.)

Fairy Bloom (incredulous): I got out of bed for this!?

Twyla (annoyed): I’m with the teenager here; I could have used the extra rest.

Ivy: Good luck getting back to sleep after that coffee, sis.

Twyla: Oh, I think I’ll manage. Raising kids is exhausting.

Aura: Back to debugging then.

(Lark glances at Aura, who is already sitting cross-legged on the floor with her laptop in her lap.)

Lark (surprised): Didn’t you leave your laptop behind? How’d you get it in here already?

Aura (determined): Can’t talk, coding.

Libra: Whatever, I’m gonna go party with lesbians.

Lark (excited): Oooh, I’m coming too! What were you thinking? House party? Theme dinner? Board game night?

(Before long the rest of my family has dispersed.)

Mom (smiling): Happy Trans Day of Visibility, girls.