Dear Mother on the trolley

If I were a tribal woman I would turn around and spit on the ground in front of you. Too harsh?

Ok, if I were more than a meek young queer, I would have turned around and said, “Is your daughter just her body?”

The answer is NO but I’m afraid of what you might have said, what answer you would have snarkily replied. Her skirt, just at her fingertips with her arms at her sides, was not too short. With the long sleeve shirt she wore, the outfit did ‘leave something to the imagination.’

In that 10 minute trolley we shared, you and your daughter in separate seats, I wanted to tell you all the reasons why you shouldn’t talk about your daughters body. But who am I?

Well I am someone who preoccupied herself with her body for five years too many, that the last people she needed commenting on the vessel she inhabited was her parents. No, I’m not a fan of your parenting style but I am not a parent… I am a daughter who has been commented on and here are all the reasons I wanted to tell you on the trolley that day:

1. In her life she is going to have bf, gf, teachers, etc. Comment on her body she doesn’t need you too

2. She is not her body, her body is not her. Things you should talk to your daughter about; making smart choices, being financially savvy, and how strong she needs to be to face this world

3. Appreciate or at least try to understand the way she wants to express herself and why

4. You do realize that she did not make this skirt? That this length is what is available in the ‘girls’ section?

5. Having a heathy relationship with other people stems from the relationship you have with your main paternal figure

6. Frankly, do better, try harder

I am not a parent…. I don’t mean to berate you, I do mean to educate you but in my moment of hostility and anger towards you that day on the trolley, I chose to remain silent.

I hope for your daughters sake that she continues to fight your comments on her body and that you learn she is much more.


Concerned trolley rider


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