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Eli Rubashkyn


These wounds won’t ever heal
In my skin these scars speak hate and fear.
No love, no land, just borders and fences.
I have lost track of time, or space,

I am invalid, alone, I am stateless.
No home, no family, no god to praise.
No country to call home,
No body to feel whole,
No passport, no dignity, no control.
What’s the big deal with these chromosomes?

Everything is so strange,
This language, this shelter,
Everything I am has completely changed.
Everything is gone,
No shoulder to pad my endless tears,
How much more harm can be done?
Why do I need to normalize a life in fear?

I can’t fly,
I want to drown myself in these sorrows,
I can’t breathe,
there’s no tomorrow.
How can I forget the pain, that visceral hate?,
Is my vulnerable soul an invitation to rape?

Is inexistence the only valid way of existing?
I might not be male nor female,
But I am human, I bleed, I feel,
But they took everything I could possibly be,
They stole and mutilated my dignity, my soul, my mind,
What is wrong with humankind?.
I've lost everything, even the fear to die.

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Eli Rubashkyn is a former intersex refugee, who was born in Colombia but was stateless for six years, due to a situation of state discrimination. They arrived in Aotearoa in 2014, and they now work tirelessly to advocate for asylum seekers, refugees, and intersex people. They wrote this poem a year before arriving in Aotearoa, and it highlights the sense of loss, lack of hope and deep suffering they felt at the time. Reflecting now on this poem, Rubashkyn says “The opposite is true now. I am the happiest person ever, enjoying my life as authentically as possible. This poem is just a snapshot of a very terrible episode of my life as a trans intersex non binary person in the hands of the Chinese state.” @elianarubashkyn

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