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Zo Copeland

Instagram: @zocowrites

About Zo Copeland

Zo (they/them) is a writer from South Devon. They are inspired by their lived experiences of queerness and disability, and by their magical experiences in nature. Zo writes to connect with people, evoke change, and challenge taboo subjects. When they are not writing, they’re usually found rummaging in compost or floating on water. You can find them on social media @zocowrites.


Artificial Intelligence


A robot, digital drawing, with large hair made of random tech stuff like wires and lights and things. Dorian isn't a hardware technician so they're (I, myself) not very good at drawing tech.
Art by @generefuccere / Dorian Rose

The clever part of my brain. At such a tender age, I knew - how I was - was not acceptable. So this intelligent part created an entire character: softened my tomboy edges. Feminised my avatar. Sat me down. Pushed my knees together. Lowered my voice. Programmed an apologetic vocabulary - sending the indignant one to the recycle bin. Along with fancy notions of strength and inappropriate ideals of power. Coded apology to appear when the Outrage button was pushed, while my spirit died. Boxed in by the shell of a robot, passion blazing inside - stoking a fire for no-one to see. My flames escaped, licking through metal seams. I started rummaging through the recycle bin, dressing up in cast-out rage, collecting empty bottles of pride. It was 27 years before I knew - how artificial this character was. Another 8 to realise - I want to be real.



A simple word

so you can talk about me

without naming me

A short word

that if you get it wrong

it will break me

A contentious word

in case I become plural

- is that worse than non-binary?

A powerful word

lets me transcend gender

into my true reality

A daily word

that breaks me repeatedly



I used to hate her

For years

For her failures

For being weak


I used to make her pay

For punishment

For her mistakes

For being so wrong


I used to talk shit to her

For shame

For her choices

For being useless


Then I learned to listen

For love

For their truth

For being themselves

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