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Transgender Latina hopes her Valentine’s Day poem inspires self-love

Transgender Valentine's Day Poem

Rosalynne Montoya identifies as a transgender Latina woman who has “a passion for advocating for my community and helping others feel valid, loved, and beautiful.” A writer, makeup artist, and model, Montoya has written a Valentine’s Day poem called “A Dozen Roses of Self-Love.” Photo: Rosalynne Montoya.

Editor’s note: Rosalynne Montoya identifies as a transgender Latina woman with “a passion for advocating for my community and helping others feel valid, loved, and beautiful.” A writer, makeup artist, and model, Montoya “grew up sheltered from the LGBT community without knowing any queer people or the language for my own identity.”

Montoya wants to be “the person I needed when I was growing up by sharing my story and living visibly.”

Here is her Valentine’s Day poem “A Dozen Roses of Self-Love.”

“A Dozen Roses of Self Love”

A love letter

For me, not you.

dysphoria may

Intrude my thoughts,

Still I thank my body

Survived, transformed, fought.

I have legs for days,

Support me to march and run.

These arms create, paint,

Raise fists as one.

My smile radiates,

Comforts, and spreads.

This face is beat —

Lips in warrior red.

My blind coal eyes

Seeking out diamonds of truth.

I embrace my femininity —

Failed to hide it in my youth.

As my hair grew it wrapped

Me in a cocoon of chocolate silk

Self-care isn’t vanity,

I’m shedding my guilt.

Obsessed with my curves,

My ass makes me proud.

This voice is power!

Shout it out loud:

Won’t be erased,

Can’t ban my existence!

I’ll join my siblings;

Expect my resistance!

dysphoria comes

dysphoria goes

I’m beautiful still,

Head to toes.

My love is your love.

I’ll remember you,

I’ll remember trans

Is beautiful too.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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