When Girls Are Supposed to be Boys

1. I was supposed to be a boy.


Doctor’s conceptions and my family’s history stated

That only two girls had been born into the Shepardson family in three generations.


I was going to be a boy.

When my parents got their ultrasound they didn’t bother asking what the sex was.

My name was going to be Kyle.


On a note, scribbled quickly on the edge of a piece of paper that my parents kept when they were picking names, was one girl out of seven boys.




I wasn't born a boy.


My parents took this surprise in stride and raised me right.

It’s a good thing they have a sense of humor because I was the first of three girls.


When I was growing up, my parents tell me I was neither a tomboy nor a girly girl.

I liked wearing dresses and having “brunch” with my dad.

But if you asked me what fairy tale character I wanted to be I usually said

Robin Hood.


I was six the first time I ever punched someone with the intention of bruising.

He said that girls weren’t stronger than boys

To this day:

I remember what my knuckles hitting his collarbone felt like.

My teacher reprimanded me saying, “Young ladies don’t hit.”


When I was nine I had a dream that I was crawling up into my parents bed

I rested my cheek on my father’s warm arms and he patted my head and sleepily said:

“Go to bed Kyle. Go to bed.”


In my nightmare he didn’t remember what he had said the next morning.


By the time I was ten I refused to wear dresses.

Instead of putting Kyle to sleep, I let Katelyn slip into daydreams with lullabies.

Nourishing her on old fairy tales like sleeping beauty and snow white.

Letting Kyle pick the fights.

She got to sleep in until I was nearly 15.

To this day:

I don’t like taking naps.



2.  Just Some Facts

Fact: The first time I had an emotional breakdown around one of my friends he asked me if I was on my period.

Fact: Women make nearly half a million less than their male counterparts over the course of their careers.

Fact: 1 in 3 women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetimes.

Fact: An article on Psychalive.org stated: “Women develop a victimized approach to life in order to maintain their powerlessness. Therefore, rather than assert themselves to achieve their goals, they manipulate their mates with indirect maneuvers such as weakness, helplessness and emotionality.”

            Fact: I am not a victim.

            Fact: I Am Female.

            Fact: I shouldn't have to apologize for being born.

3. “It is a generous deed to bury a female child”


93,000 girls are “missing” from Armenia


The single best predictor of a state’s peacefulness is not money or democracy.

It’s how well women are treated.


60 million girls are “missing” from India


A survey of Indian abortion clinics found that out of 8,000 cases 7,999 aborted babies were girls.


90million girls are “missing” from China


If a woman doesn’t produce a son she is a failure.

500 Chinese women commit suicide every day.


200million girls are “missing” from our global population


Don’t tell me is this going away,

When there have been 539 baby girls missing every day since 1990.

Don’t tell me this is going away.

That society is growing up,

When 200million girls will not.


This is what happens when girls are supposed to be boys.






wow. I was blown away! amazing!! 


-by the way, my name's Katelyn too.


Thank you so much!

Power to the Katelyn's of the world :)



This is so powerful. You have a beautiful way with words and I love that you used them to share a problem that is very close to my heart. Thank you for sharing this. 


Thank you for the comment and for the great feedback. I really appreciate it :)


Wow. I have no words. Except for thank you.


Thank you so much for the wonderful support! 


This was beautiful and powerful. I am a female with the name Jessie, and I was suppose to be born a boy too. Whenever I meet someone they ask, "Is that short for something?" "Is your real name Jessica?". It's rather frusterating.


Thank you JD for the great comment. Though I do not understand your fustration personally I can imagine it does get old explaining.
I'm glad that you found something in my poem that resonated with you. 


If I could stand up and applaud you right now, I most definitely would. That was powerful and effective. Thank you.


I sincerly appreciate your compliments and I am delighted that the poem struck a cord :)




Thank you so much :)



I wish I could write a comment that would express just how much I loved this poem. But, such words haven't been invented yet to do it justice, so I suppose I'll just go with the first thought that popped into my head: Wow, this is amazing.


Thank you so much, you have no idea how humbling that is. I really appreciate your comment; it has made my day :)


Keep Writing




Fantastic job. The structure made the words hit home. Where did you find those facts? They were absolutely heart-wrenching. From one Katelyn to another: Amazing. Always be yourself and please keep writing.

~Katie from Cali


Thank you Katie!

All of my facts came through research I did myself. Used utilities like the US census, WHO, Factbooks, and several studies and documentries on gendercide.

I very much appreciate it!

Keep writing




Incredible. The structure is beautiful. This topic is very close to me. Great work!


Thank you very much! I've been overwhelmed with the amount of support I've recieved on my poem thank you so very much.


Keep Writing,




This is crazy!


Thank you for the comment :)

(unfortunately the content of my poem is a reality and once you recognize a problem you stop seeing it as crazy but as maleable. We have the power to change this crazyness.)


Keep Writing




That was just absolutely wonderful. It is very disappointing that the ladies of our world have been viewed as worthless pieces of trash. The term "missing" that many countries use is their euphemism for murder. Us girls must stick together and show this world that we are surely force to  reckoned with no matter how they treat us. We can conquer anything.  :D


Iml16 thank you for your comment! It is disappointing. The beginning of my poem is meant to recognize there is a reality of love and comfort and familial ties that can exist regardless of gender. We can overcome our struggles as a gender together but we also must not forget the places or the people of love in our lives; they are our greatest supporters and should be inspiration to us to continue on.


Keep Writing



Grace Phillips

Wow. Why let Kyle do the punching? Katelyn packs a bigger wallop than he ever could. Good, solid facts (especially the one about abortions being of girl babies, which nobody ever wants to admit), eye-opening verse. Everyone should read this. Thank you, Katelyn, for being raw and honest about your personal story (and doing your research thoroughly).


Thank you so much Grace, your comment has really made my day! I really appreciate all of the support from my extended poet family.


Keep Writing.




*Please read all of my comment before responding.

I loved the drive and structure of the first portion of the poem, but personally don't enjoy the second part, with the facts. The third shows just as many 'facts' in a more poetic way(even free verse is poetic but the second part is just pedantic) but  presenting them to people as you do in the second portion is unneccesary. What really bothered me was the "an article on....." It's a unique style, sure, but compared to the lyricism and grace shown in the other two portions, it detracts from the experience. I even liked the first line of it, but the quotation is what drew it over the top. Perhaps the intention is to take the reader out of the experience a bit, to experience cold facts, but I just think it's a step too far. Very empowered though, and you speak with such a real and frank voice. This is all just personal opinion, overall I was impressed by the creativity and message, just a bit offput at times by certain structural choices. To each their, own.

With the best of my intentions, and regard,

-W.B. October (Tim Davies)


Tim thank you very much for your comment and for your opinions. I appreciate being told honest thoughts on my poetry and the opportunity to explain why I choose certain styles with my work and pieces.

First you don't have to worry about putting a warning on a comment, I'm an adult and can take critism and formal opinions. Don't worry about hurting my feelings; I wouldn't be a slam poet, or poet in general, if I didn't have thick skin.

Second, yes part 2 of my poem is extremely detracting; to a fault. You are right in your guess on my intentions to that point. The second part of my poem is extremely important not only to me but to how I want my poem to be percieved. The first and third parts are much more lyrical and easy on the tongue; the second is not. You saw this as frank, cold, and offputting and that was the effect on a reader I was attempting. By using words that are off-set to the rest of my poem my goal was to prepare people for the reality about to come in part three but the goal is also to make them vividly aware of stereotyping and gender inequality that surround living as a female in our society today. 

Each person will have a very different experience with any poem presented infront of them because of personal taste, background, and current life position. So I apologize if you were not satisfied with my poetry but at the same time I do not claim my poetry will be appealing to everyone, nor do I attempt to produce poetry that will satisfy the entire crowd. I write on things important to me or on things that inspire me. 


Again I want to thank you for your fantastic comment and hope that my response was helpful to my mindset and to clarifying my choices as a poet.


Keep Writing.




Very driving and empowering!


Thank you very much!!!

Keep Writing




I'm speechless, this is.. wow. 

mind blowing!


Thank you Kalyn!


Keep Writing!



Damn.  I felt the power of this piece gradually building up, and I think that is one of the hardest things to achieve in writing.  Your power over emotion is something to speak of, great job. :)


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