Now I like to cook, but when I was three I refused to play house.
I first knew I was in trouble when I was three. I went on a play date and there was nothing in her room that I wanted to play with. She offered me a set of plastic vegetables and I thought they were the dumbest and most unappealing toys ever. She had dolls. She wanted to play house. I wanted to get out of there but I could not say why. I picked up a plastic tomato and threw it on the floor. I refused to play with her, and was not invited back. I was not gracious about it.
I turned into a quiet tomboy because it was easier to be quiet than to try to explain what I was thinking. I was a loner because It was easier to play by myself than to explain how I wanted to play. I knew I would be teased by the girls and I knew I would be shunned by the boys. I did not try to fit in with either. I never learned how to hang out with kids my own age. Continue reading →
I can accept that I am butch and transgender, but I have trouble accepting that I will never be a boy. It should be obvious; I am chronologically an adult. I can’t time-travel backwards. It is unfair that I only got to be a child once, and that I went through it as a girl. No second chance.
The adults tried to convince me that I should want to be a girl. That I should be happy I was a girl. I kept hoping I would morph into a boy. I refused to believe that body parts were destiny. I kicked and screamed and dragged my feet through childhood. I would not march willingly into the strange territory of teenage girls. I dug in my heels and hoped for a miracle. Continue reading →
Donna and I were at a dinner party at a friend’s house. We were talking about how we see ourselves; how as we get older we “photoshop” our own image in the mirror. We all saw ourselves as younger than our chronological age. For Donna, the magic number was 37. I was embarrassed to say that mine was 12. Pre-everything. I did not add that the 12 year-old is a boy.
When I am asked why I haven’t transitioned, I usually joke back that the last thing the world needs is another schlubby, short, bald, un-athletic, middle-aged, nerdy, straight, Jewish, white guy. It is a completely uncool image. It is not whom I want to be.
The more accurate answer is that I can picture myself as a boy but not as a man. The truth is, I do not picture myself as an adult of either sex. When I picture myself as a child or as an adolescent, I only see myself as a boy. WIthout breasts. Sometimes I think about top surgery. Mostly I try to look at myself from the shoulders up.
What happens to tomboys when they age out? When being a jock or a nerd no longer protects you? When the pressure to conform mounts? When you find yourself becoming marginalized in settings where you used to fit in? How much do you bend, how much do you give in? Continue reading →