"Claiming My Name, Becoming the Storm" is published by Chicago Story Press

"Claiming My Name, Becoming the Storm" is published by Chicago Story Press
A photo of me shaving my legs in the rain after an overnight shift, preparing to go to a punk concert with my friend and roommate. Of all the pictures that exist of me - this is certainly the one that goes along with this publication. 

I'm excited to announce my most recent publication - "Claiming My Name, Becoming the Storm" has been included in Wingless Dreamer's most recent book Storytellers' Stories of Triumph.

I am particularly proud of this little story. I feel like I've captured an essence of myself in it in a way I never have before - as well as really explained just how beautiful and powerful naming yourself can be. As a trans person, I am constantly surrounded by people who have had the privilege to change their own name. It never amazes me how special and invigorating that ritual is.

Have a little glance into the power that can come with deciding who you are, boldly and in the face of no.

Storytellers' True Stories of Triumph

Storytellers' True Stories of Triumph unveils the remarkable journeys of real-life individuals: those who braved life-threatening illnesses, tread the complex paths of infertility, broke free from toxic relationships, and overcame societal barriers to fulfill their dreams. These aren't just stories; they are powerful reminders of the indomitable human spirit. For anyone in search of inspiration, this anthology stands as proof of the strength within all of us. Experience the triumphs and learn from the journeys of those who refused to be defined by their challenges.

Purchase - $6.99 - $19.99

Oh - and if you like it - maybe give it a rating and review on Amazon? I know it's silly, but every bit of it feeds the hungry algorithm and allows mine and my fellow writers' work to reach even farther.

Enjoy. :)

Queerly yours,

Raine Grayson

My family is fighting—but at least the meteorologist has forecasted rain.

I stand on my tippy-toes to reach the doorknob; using all the might my eight-year-old body can muster to swing the door open. I plop myself onto the cold linoleum and strain my neck to see outside, barely able to peek over the edge of the screen door. The storm hasn't started yet, but I can feel it beginning to brew. The air is thick and the world outside is dulled by an overcast of heavy clouds.

"You aren't even going to care when I die. When I die, you'll be dancing on my grave. It doesn't matter that I'm your mother, and that I raised you—you can't wait for me to die!" My mother screams to my grandmother in the next room over.

It's a fight I've heard a hundred times before. My father is out of the picture. I only have these two women, who hate each other, to look to as parental figures.

Sitting in front of the screen door is where I can always be found in times like these. The weather channel is a permanent fixture on the miniscule TV my family keeps in the kitchen. It's come to be my favorite channel. I am as familiar with the local weather forecasters as I am with Steve from Blues Clues, my other favorite thing to watch. I only turn it off when I know a storm is near.

"You raised me? Is that what you want to call it? You treated me like shit my whole life! You'll probably curse me with your dying breath!"

I watch as the rain falls, making peaceful patterns on my wooden deck, turning it dark in a speckling motion, like a Monet painting. I lose myself in the earthy, heavy smell and the persevering wall of sound. The rain is a manifestation of serenity to me, something I desperately need as I try to survive in my turbulent and abusive household.

"Blame everything on me! While you're out drinking and doing Lord knows what else, I'm stuck back here, taking care of your rotten children!"

The silver serenade of the wind turns the leaves back like pages being flipped in a book the world can't wait to know the end of. In this moment of thunder-studded serenity, I feel like I'm in a painting. The world is fresh and beautiful in a way I thought could only exist in art.

I decide to name myself after the rain. It will be an act of claiming that beautiful peace for myself; a peace I'm desperate for as I listen to my family scream at each other from the other room. Some sounds can only truly be drowned out by a good storm.

Continue reading by purchasing Chicago Story Press' "Storytellers' True Stories of Triumph" here

*Raine is committed to community resource sharing. If you are a part of the LGBTQIA+ community - or any other marginalized community - and are unable to afford to purchase the book, contact Raine here to receive a free, personal use, digital version of this essay.

Raine Grayson © 2023