A Message to Caitlyn Jean Massang

Dearest Caitlyn Jean Massang,
Welcome to the world.
You’ve just had your first birthday
but your growth came after the 7th.

Today, you said “cold” while standing in front the fridge.
I cannot describe how proud I am of that one word.
To know that you can describe a sensation after reacting to it,
one that is not related to emotions,
makes me hopeful that you will be master of your tongue.

Today, you exclaimed “aiyah”.
In that one word I felt conflict.
You’re categorised as Eurasian,
but regardless of how Singaporean you sound
you’ll never truly have a flag to call your own.

Today, I watched your happy dance.
Your joy expressed through movement
brought to mind a twirling ballerina.
Pink tutus and silk shoes.
What if you hopped from one foot to another
because you want to eventually play football?

Today, you crawled into my lap and sat there.
Quietly. Peacefully. Trusting.
I think of the world, of how women are objectified daily.
I think of broken hearts and broken trusts and broken spirits;
broken faces and broken limbs and broken bodies.

Today, you’re my niece, my Caitlyn.
But what if one day, you’ll just be
That chick
That fuckable babe
That bitch
What will I do then?
How can I protect you from the pain, from yours and mine?

And that is why I fight, for you, for me, for women all over.
That is why I write, that is why I get so ‘annoyingly passionate’.
Because I want the world to look at you, my baby niece,
I want them to look and say,
“Look, it’s Caitlyn Jean Massang.
A human, a woman, an individual who loves and is loved.”


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