I’ve worn these boots down to the heel base – the wooden part to which the soles are nailed. I should take them in to be re-soled, because every step I take on the mangled pavement whittles away another percentage point of the shoe repair guy’s prognosis of its potential to be made anew. But I don’t run as well in the sea green patent leather Mary Jane pumps that I’d have to wear while these were in the shop.

When I was young, newly out – “fresh out of the oven” as we older trans ladies often say, giggling behind glasses of wine in kitchens while hordes of brunching baby queers roam the sunlit streets – I mistook the rush of purchasing a new pair of girly-girl heels for the thrill of freedom fought and won.

But now I know I could be killed in these shoes. A man’s plan to “rid the community of these Aids-ridden faggots” is made more actionable when that “faggot” has to pull off her shoes to run away.

–Jetta Rae on passing.

Rae’s piece is a powerful look on the impacts of poverty on one of the groups it disproportionately impacts: trans women.