Freak Show / Ladyboy – by Brandon Earley

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Freak Show

Standing before you in pointy stilettos,

Cut so my feet can fit through.

In ripped stockings barely covering

The hair on my legs.

In a girdle cutting off my circulation,

Yet it tucks back the manhood between my thighs.

In overdrawn lips that hide my plainness.

Contoured cheeks so you’ll see my depth,

And a wig consumed with enough hairspray

To create a pyrotechnic wasteland.


See me as a circus act, a clown for your amusement

A freak for you to lessen with your laughter

While your blood alcohol level rises.

Care to know my newest trick?

Step right up, ladies and gentlemen.

This is where I make you squint, make you squirm.

I can turn that Happy Hour vodka tonic

Into a pool of vomit mixed with regret.

Sideshow is my business.

No turning back now. Curtain up.

Welcome to the freak show.



He dumped his makeup out onto the table,

His face freshly shaven and clean.

His family did not think that he was stable,

The world could be so hateful and mean.

He looked in the mirror, seeing more than they saw,

His heart and soul full of pride.

Time to contour that nose and that jaw,

Nothing a little paint couldn’t hide.

But hiding was not what he meant to do.

What he meant to do was shine bright,

In a world so clouded without any clue,

And he did all of this at night.

He became she, and she became all—

The star of the world and the stage that she pranced on

She stood over six and a half feet tall,

Through all the adversity, she knew she must dance on.

The process of turning boy into girl

Is nothing short of pure magic,

The wigs, the lashes, the heels, and the gowns—

Without which life would be tragic.

But it is more than the outside sparkle of gems

That makes someone glitter and gleam

It is the light shining bright from deep within,

That truly makes a boy a queen.


brandonearleyBrandon Earley is a lifelong resident of upstate New York. He has a master’s degree in English from Binghamton University, and his poetry has previously been published in Third Wednesday magazine. When he is not reading and writing, Brandon spends his time with his partner, Isaac, his cats, and is also a drag performer.


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