Ethan Smith's Poem 'A Letter To the Girl I Used To Be' Is A Tearjerker
As a child, Emily Smith wanted to be the first girl to play major league baseball. But Emily never lived that long, because Emily became Ethan and the Emily parts faded away. In his poem, "A Letter To The Girl I Used to Be," Ethan Smith remembers Emily, and grapples with the fact that Emily isn't here anymore, and never will be again.
"I've been trying to write this letter for six months," Smith says. "I still can't decide if it should be an apology or not." In the poem, he speaks about starting to transition into presenting as a man at 19 and feeling Emily start to fade, and about knowing that now "You will never hear Emily Smith announced at a college graduation." Emily Smith will never get married, or give birth.
The poem is a beautiful and honest look at how difficult it can be to leave part of yourself behind in order to become someone new, which trans people typically have to do to some degree during transition. For Smith, it's obvious that letting go of Emily, though it may have been the right choice, was not an easy thing, and not without its own pain. The letter he writes to Emily is loving, thoughtful, and beautiful.
And if the rest of the poem hasn't already, the PS will make you cry.