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Yeetage and the Verbing (Verbiage?) Thereof
Kel Purcill (University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia)



Yeet. Verb, colloquial, likely outdated three days before my generation found it, adopted it, put it in the pockets of our dresses and carried it home and into our days.

Ask any 40-plus-year-old woman of your acquaintance, and if she doesn’t already know the term define it – then ask said 40-plus-year-old woman if she has recently wanted to yeet anybody. Or anything. I guarantee there will be flashes in their mind’s eye of someone being yeeted. Several someones. Or somethings. Daydreams remembered, of a yeet or twelve. As likely as they’ve thought of yeeting, the inverse is how many have NOT actually performed the yeeting. It’s almost a performative, protective and permissive personification of mood, of frustration, of a visceral reaction to being poked too much, pushed too far, probably sidelined and misaligned.

Yeetage? The yeet? Verbiage and conjunction aside, woman yeet. Within the varied and complicated scenes of their minds, the bloody, vital chambers of their hearts, performed for your own protection. For everyone’s protection.


I’m considering the verbing and conjunctions of colloquial terms while my butt has numbed on the waiting room chair. An hour’s drive, each way (or more depending on traffic), to bring my kid, my baby, my sixteen-year-old lightning in my evening storms, the kookaburra’s joy, the twitch in my eyeball, the clench in my jaw, the newly festered stranger that I cannot please, or understand, or support, apparently, because I’m homophobic. Or capitalist. Or because I did/didn’t ask for a hug before going to bed. Because I woke her up when I went to say goodnight.

Because asking her to do the dishes is so inhumane. Because I’m not willing to donate $200 to a random ‘charity’ she found on the internet that supports queer kids in Korea. Because what do I mean by which Korea, it’s KOREA it says so on the website and I’m just looking for reasons to have my cis-heteronomativity normalised and to subjugate… I never quite worked out what.

It’s been a week that’s been about seven centuries too long. A numb butt while she talks to the – honestly fantastic – psychologist, and likely silence (or sheer firehose of consciousness chatter) on the way home. Parenting. So rewarding, so easy, so knotted and so utterly exhausting.

Eventually, after several conjugations and contemplations on the tenses of catfishing, being ghosted and still no satisfying yeetage decision, the door to the waiting room opens. Chloe walks out, backwards, talking to Carly, the psych. Then, she turns and – oh, sweet! – I get a grin as she comes over to me. Keys in one hand, phone in my back pocket, I’m ready to go sit for another hour taking us home.

‘Hi Carly, how’s things? Hey gorgeous,’ I say to Chloe, ‘ready to go?’

‘Hey Kel,’ Carly says, rainbow lanyard swaying as she holds open the door, ‘have you got time for a quick chat?’

Chloe won’t quite meet my eyes, makes a fuss with her bag’s zipper.

Well… Shit.

‘Of course,’ I say, curling my toes hard in my shoes. Big tip for parents and loved adults of anxious kids – anxious anyones, really – they’re likely hyper-aware of stress signals in others. Sighing around your anxiety-gnawed teen? Generally okay, but in a them-centred situation? Nope. Same with tensed arms, rubbed foreheads, flexed hands, even slow release of breath. Feet though? Especially if you’re standing? Invisible to the stress-radar. Storm away, in the comfort of your own socks, or the sweaty, saggy, comfy pull-ons that I usually find myself wearing to these sessions.

So my toes dig in, one drag reminding me to cut my nails, and I smile and ‘Of course!’

I turn to Chloe, who is finding her bracelet particularly fascinating. ‘You right to pay? You’ve got my card and Medicare.’ She’s nodding and moving to reception before I finish.

Oh, this is not going to be fun.

I look to Carly, whose return smile is a little… tight. I, too, am hyper-aware.

She’s a trained professional, she can cope. I’m a stubborn bitch, I can cop whatever’s coming. Taking a deep breath, I stride forward. ‘Let’s talk, yeah?’

First, there’s the general chat (establish safe space), she asks how my last book club went (re/establish connection), then comes the punch.

‘Chloe has really opened up, these last few sessions in particular. She’s settled into the space post-announcement, and the fact that her school and online friends have been so accepting and even nonchalant about her being trans has been fantastic. It’s just ordinary now, and she’s not feeling so hyper-aware at school and moving through the community. Which is just fantastic.’

Carly beams at me – and I grin back. It’s been a huge few months and having this feedback and summary from a removed, but invested, third party is surprisingly gratifying.

‘However –’

NO! Let me revel in the moment for at least a moment, damnit universe.

‘With Chloe feeling more settled and accepted, more…difficult… emotions and thoughts are being shared with me.’

The raspy drag of that one overlong toenail is repeated and grounding. Seems like feet are invisible to psychologists as well.

I can’t bring myself to say anything, but I’m pretty sure my face says please continue, I’m fascinated.

I AM fascinated. I also can’t uncurl my toes.

‘Last week and today we talked about queer narratives, and queer coming out experiences. As I know you’re aware, some people – especially family members – can be hostile, even violent, to queer family members. Being punished, ignored, thrown out of home, being deadnamed, all common experiences unfortunately for many queer kids.’

I nod, nauseous, hating that some idiots treat their kids like that.

‘Some people insist that queerness is a trauma response –’ she pauses here, and I’m sure I feel that damned toenail fold backwards into the nail bed before she clears her throat, ‘– excuse me – and sometimes it is a trauma response. Often, the act of coming out is a significant trauma, so often that that’s the usual narrative.’

I nod, well familiar, especially with all the research I’ve done with movies, TV shows and books, desperate for understanding, for some guide on how to support Chloe through this, through the dangers and potential (likely, hisses RealistCatastropheMe) issues.

‘Chloe has friends who are queer, who have shared their own coming out experiences. And this week and last Chloe has shared that she feels upset and disappointed in your response to her telling you that she is trans.’

Everything twitches. My arms, my face, my feet, my heartbeat.

Carly winces.


I can’t even feel my feet.

There is an ocean, hot, acidic and roaring, pounding at my ribs, flooding behind my brain.

‘She’s…disappointed? In MY reaction? In MY response?’

Carly does something complicated with her face, and nods. ‘She’s struggling with having the common narrative denied to her – that she is now an anomaly among her queer friends and associates, and she believes it’s your fault.’

The surf swells, rages, a tsunami gathering speed and fury which – then pours out as laughter.

‘Oh… my…the?… HELL,’ I manage to gasp out, wiping away tears. ‘She’s upset and disappointed because I’ve been SUPPORTIVE?’

Carly grins at this point, has a chuckle and shakes her head.

‘Yeah. She’s actually pretty annoyed at you.’

I can’t stop laughing, the fizz and bubbles of this utter ridiculousness melting my own disappointment into sea foam and oxygen.

‘So – just to be clear,’ I lean forward closer to Carly, and I’m trying to be serious but fuck my life this kid is a delightful fucking nightmare sometimes – ‘Chloe is actually PISSED at me FOR BEING ABSOLUTELY SUPPORTIVE.’

Carly considers, then nods. ‘Yeah. Exactly.’

I flop back into my chair. Emotional tsunami crash. Half a thought drifts by wondering if Carly thinks I need professional help myself (well, duh), then I blink back to sensibility.

‘Well…. tough.’ This time Carly blinks. She must have some wild work stories.

‘Pardon?’ she says.

‘Tough,’ I repeat, shrugging. ‘She can just suck it up. I’m not going to be less supportive – to be someone I’m not – just to fit into some bullshit narrative. I don’t WANT that narrative for her. I’m pissed and I grieve – actually grieve, Carly, no shit – for her friends and so many other kids and people who have that awful story and experience of coming out. So, no. Chloe can suck up the really awful experience of having a parent who loves her, and couldn’t care less about her being trans, and trans and queer. Tough. Shit.’

Somewhere in this rant my toes have uncurled, everything has unclenched, and I’m now sprawled in absolute No Fucks Were Given comfort in my daughter’s shrink’s chair, telling said counsellor that I don’t care about my daughter’s feelings.

Well… kind of saying that.

The storm has passed. For now.

I suck in a deep breath, hold it, and it slips out as, ‘Well… okay then. Not sure ‘thank you’ quite covers it, Carly,’ I say, and we smile at each other, ‘but I sure needed the laugh.’

I wipe my face, not sure if I cried or sweated. She’s pissed at me. PISSED. Because I’ve been supportive. What a bloody idiot.

‘Was there anything else? Oops, that came out wrong, sorry. Was there –’ but Carly’s already shaking her head and sitting forward on the edge of her chair.

‘No, Kel, that was it. And that was certainly something.’

‘You’re telling me,’ I huff, kind of a laugh, kind of a bubble of hurt glugging to the surface.

‘Kel.’ Carly pauses, waits, holds eye contact for a few seconds. ‘You have done an exceptional job with Chloe. Truly. That she came out to you is important, and that she felt she could do it at a time of her own choosing – without any inciting incident – and then to have your immediate and complete support is so rare. I don’t see that here.’

She waves at the room, her safe space for struggling, suffering teens.

‘I don’t see that reality. I don’t see that enough, not at all. I see hurt, and pain, and ignorance and punishment. Sometimes I see some support, but that can take a long time. Don’t get me wrong, it does happen. I see parents and carers who absolutely love their kids, but who can’t or won’t see being trans as something beautiful and amazing and real. There are supportive adults. Just not a whole lot who walk into this office with their kids.’

She leans in. ‘Kel. Thank you. Thank you for Chloe, who is too close and young to see it right now. But also. Thank you, from me. For showing me – reminding me – that the trauma narrative is not the only option. And it shouldn’t be. Thank you.’

The only thing I can feel is how hot my face is.

‘Uh… thank you. Thanks for saying that, Carly. It’s… not been easy. But that means a lot.’

We smile.

‘But I still think she’s an idiot.’ Carly laughs as I continue. ‘I mean, I love her and she’s MY idiot… but geez. IDIOT. This has been wild. Thank you for the laugh and the update. Let’s do this again, no doubt, in a few more weeks once second adolescence has really kicked in. Won’t that be fun!’

Carly walks me back to the waiting room, where a little kid is burrowing down into the toy basket and another is doing something on an iPad next to a woman who is looking at Carly like she holds the next hour’s sanity on her lanyard. Been there, babe.

The woman glances at me, and I smile at her. Solidarity. Empathy. Being here is a lonely space.

‘See you next week, Carly. Have a good one.’

‘You too,’ she says, and I’m out the door, into the toothy sunshine and glare. My sunnies on, I take a second. A second to brace, or maybe pause, or – I don’t know what. Just a second. To myself. No masking, no inner dialogue, just… the sun gnawing on my face, the crows chatting, my heart still stubbornly beating, bleeding, pushing the limits of what I can reasonably hold.

One hippopotamus. Two Mississippi. Three motherfucker. Too supportive my arse.

Time’s up.

I head back to the car, where Chloe has her feet up on the dashboard, singing along to something I’m no doubt going to become familiar with. She does the chin raise as I sit down, no pause in her singing, and we both pull on our seatbelts in sync.

By the time I hit the highway it’s the third song, and she’s already drowsy and reaching for her pillow. Like me, she gets a post-counselling crash. Like me, seems like her mother comes up in counselling sessions. Lucky us.

The highway hums, Chloe sighs, I spend the drive processing. I’m counting all this as a win. A titpunch, absolutely. But Chloe’s not responsible for my happiness or wellbeing, parental or otherwise. (Thanks, my own counselling, in respect to my own parents). I never even thought being too supportive was an option.

Well… except the stupid caricatures in movies and sitcoms. No thanks.

A downpour daydream of me, dressed entirely in rainbow tie-dye wearing a trans flag as a cape during my daily activities, flashes and drains away. Nope. Not me.

Then, another. Me, against the gorgeous sunset-painted sky, yeeting an unwieldly, lumpy bundle off my veranda, which is now three storeys high. The bundle soars, tumbling, the cartoon-style label of Unsupportive Narrative sparkling as it spins, then it drops, magnificently slo-mo, then hits the ground – WHOOMP – and out tumbles wildflowers, tiny impossible creatures and stardust.

Yeetage. Not just for violence, but for daydreams as well.

Hygienically sealed inside my head for everyone’s protection.

Chloe sighs, and shifts slightly in her seat, snuggling deeper into the pillow. I look over, repeatedly, tracing the familiar line of her jaw, her nose, her fingers. Her jaw is going to change shape, the lines of her face and body shift and adjust as she grows into who she is, who the hormones will help her see. And I’ll be there. For all of it.

I drive on, humming to whatever music she’s got going, working out the math of how much yeetage is likely in the months ahead.

Probably close to eleventy hundred.

And that’s okay.

Too supportive? Babe, you haven’t seen anything yet.

And I am totally bringing up being “too supportive” at countless times for the rest of your life.



I’m Kel Purcill (she/her), a PhD Candidate in Creative Industries at the University of the Sunshine Coast. My thesis, titled MotherForklift, is celebrating the experiences of being a supportive parent of a trans individual in 21st Century Australia.

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