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Windsor poet documents her transition in a series of Haibun

Skylar Kay's new book, Transcribing Moonlight, documents her coming of age story as a trans woman.

Transcribing Moonlight, documents her coming of age story as a trans woman

Local poet Skylar Kay sits by the Detroit River, where she drew a lot of inspiration for her new book of poems called Transcribing Moonlight. (Aastha Shetty/CBC News)

Hundreds of steps along the river. A life full of stories to tell.

Skylar Kay first began to put her thoughts to paper just a few years ago when she first moved to Windsor to get her Masters at the local university. Since then, she's written many poems based on her life's experiences growing up as a trans woman.

The Detroit River is "a happy place" and an inspiration for Kay. The rushing water and clear skies help her think.

Writing helped her document her experience transitioning. She features the moon — known for its own transitions and cycles — throughout her new book, Transcribing Moonlight.

"I battled for years to accept my past," she said in the intro of her book.

Local poet writes about her trans journey

3 months ago
Duration 1:17
Skylar Kay began writing poems to document her life growing up as a trans woman. She drew some of her inspiration from the Detroit River.

"A childhood lost in gender dysphoria, in the physical and emotional pangs of a once again too-short haircut, unused tampons in my backpack, unfulfilled Christmas wish lists of Littlest Petshops, EasyBake Ovens, and those missed periods."

So she began to write Haibun, a style of poetry originating from Japan, that combines Haiku with prose. In the 74-page book, Kay details her day-to-day life and includes key moments like the time she came out to her mom and dad.

"This book is more than just a collection of words; it is an accumulation of life, connections, and love," she said.

Her poetry helped her reflect on her struggle with with femininity as a trans woman.

"I'd always wear bows in the hair, really nice clothes: cardigans and cute stuff like that. Now I'm like -- I'm just going to throw on a grunge t-shirt and a flannel. That's how I always wanted to dress but I felt like 'I'm going to look like a lumberjack.' But now I'm like -- 'I look like a lumberjack! Bring it on!'," she said.

"So it's finding that level of comfort I think comes with time and now those questions have subsided."

with files from Windsor Morning

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