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Tuesday, 12 July 2005

gender bender - a history

When I was a youth, I read every lesbian book in the Cupertino library. I didn't check them out at first. I sat and read them, far away from where they were shelved (off in the mushroom section I think . . . (I also read every mushroom book when I was 8, but that's another story)), slouched over them, looking up nervously every so often, sure that somebody (the librarian!) was going to discover me, which was sure to have some sort of disastrous consequences.

When I was in 6th or 7th grade, I remember very clearly the other students demanding to know whether or not I wanted a sex change. One of the boys was asking. All of the kids were looking at me. He said, "If you could be a boy, would you?" I didn't answer. I didn't know.

I thought I'd found the answer in the Cupertino library, but now I'm slouching over my laptop reading webpages about ftms, wondering if someone is going to catch me. I found a long time ago that the easiest way to deal with the worry about being discovered is just to be out. Hello world, I'm rethinking my gender.

I could go off into "why?" a big question and a big diversion . . . my mom taught me that the role of women was to clean up after men who got to go and do much more interesting things . . . but "why" doesn't matter as much as "what now?" Ok, so I hate wearing women's clothes, I don't much want to look like a girl, so I slouch. I could carry on this way, but it's hurting my back. I won't participate in events that require gender-normative clothes. I don't walk or talk like a girl. Ok, so let's say I'm gender deviant. Everyone who has ever met me is, I'm sure, shocked.

So the question is: butch or boy?

So much more interesting than studying for my upcoming French midterm. Every time you say any goddamn thing about yourself in french, like what you ate for breakfast, you have to modify your words depending on whether you're male or female. It's making me hyper-ware of a gender binary and it's driving me crazy. Everything feels very divided right now. It's a conservative time, so women are supposed to be one thing that I'm not. Maybe I fit better on the other side of this binary opposition. Or maybe I spent too much time in Connecticut and am spending too much time around straight people.

Would I make a cute boy? I think I'l look like Jude Law or something

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Anonymous said...

You would totally make a cute boy. :)

uncola said...

Dear god, I hope you don't end up looking like Jude Law: