Mad Trans Dreams

Visions and Resistance from outside Norms of Gender and Mental Health

to live as Borderline means you by Kayla Rosen

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A lot of what I do in this blog is share other people’s work. That’s actually a big part of my idea for this blog. I want to find work that other people have done or are doing, especially work related to madness and transness, broadly defined. I want to share that work when it seems ethical to do so. I’m hungry for it, and I doubt I’m the only one. I’ve been starting to think about other things I might do with this blog, too. You might see some new types of posts from me. Insh’allah, my posts will be more frequent too.

Right now I want to share a piece I loved from a zine called Today’s Identity of the Day Is… by Kayla Rosen. I think it’s pretty amazing, and I happen to know that Kayla will share pdf or screenreader-friendly versions of their zine. You can write them at kaylarosenzine at gmail dot com.

This page has content warnings for ableism, abuse, and victim blaming. Below is the original text by Kayla Rosen:

to live as a Borderline means you

a Mad nod to Gloria Anzaldúa and her “to live in the borderlands means you.” Written during a poetry workshop by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasingha at the UW D Center. Thanks to everyone who shared that space with me.

There are two short ways of saying “borderline personality disorder”

“BPD” goes nicely with the others: ADD, GAD, PTSD

and then there’s “borderline”

Borderline what?

When you say borderline, you mean you don’t know if I’m psychotic or neurotic.

I say, why not both?

My doctor thinks I’m too good for it, tells me it’s normal to have “low self-esteem”

There’s no such thing as “too good for it,” but me and my neurotype are too good for her, and my self-esteem is just fine, thank you very fucking much!

“Borderline what?”

Borderline everything.

Borderline like I’ll self-diagnose and tell you why the diagnostic criteria are shit in the same breath

Borderline like all or nothing, borderline like both

Borderline like attracted to all genders, have none myself,

Like I can’t bound it in and I don’t want to

Borderline like half the time I don’t know if I want to be friends or fuck—

I just want to be with you

(but probably both.)

Borderline — just the label will put me on the wrong side of the victim/abuser dynamic in your mind; nevermind who put me where I am

Borderline like I’ve had way too much already and I’m always a split second from running but if that moment never comes, there’s no end to how close we can be.

Borderline like if I say I care about you, the flimsy border between my love and my terror might collapse,

Borderline like saying it anyway


One thought on “to live as Borderline means you by Kayla Rosen

  1. Oh my gosh, like I would ever diagnose myself then be professionally/clinically diagnosed and get pissed off by the diagnosis. I can so unfortunately relate to this post.

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