Your flesh changes shape. You spend hours worried that your desires are “dirty” and could kill you. When they discuss monsters, the traits they list describe you. There are many slurs to describe your kind. You are what lurks in their closets, in the dark alleyways, under their beds.

You’ve known for a long time now that you’re not really human. You’re just imitating humans, and you get close, real close. At first glance, they can’t tell what’s wrong about you. They take it for granted that you’re just kind of weird. If you tell them the truth, they won’t believe you. And yet they continue to sit far away, to ignore your presence, to laugh at your oddities. There’s the contradiction: you’re just close enough for them to avoid extending empathy and aid, but just far enough to be comfortably othered.