Saturday, October 30, 2010

Gender Doesn't Make the Man

Craig posted a video. (embedded below) Please watch.

I could only express such things in limited ways to only my closest friends and family.  But the way I would express them could only be described as petulant and detached. I wanted it understood that I didn't like the way things where but I didn't want people to think I was that passionate about it. 

But secretly, I was very passionate, and very much troubled by the ridiculous and meaningless social rules that pitted me against my feelings. Of all the things I hated most about the world, it was the notion that our gender would dictate a right and wrong way to think, behave or just simply be.

I was one of those little queer kids who wanted to dress up in my mom's jewelry and her 6-inch pumps.  When I was 5 years old, my first Halloween costume was that of a witch, with black flowing robes and the pointy hat.  At that age I didn't make any distinctions between what the boys were suppose to be and the girls were suppose to be.  I like what I liked, whether it was long frilly skirts, the Easy-Bake oven, or Lincoln Logs and Matchbox cars.  I liked it all and I wanted it all.  And up until a certain point, I was allowed to have it all, although, it was never to the extent that the lucky little boy, Dyson Kilodavis of Seattle has had.

Over time, as I got older, I started to notice that there were these set roles.  Strict categories labeled "good" and "bad" depending on the gender of the individual to which those roles were being played out.  And when I weighed these new rules to my own desires and actions, I started to feel like I was deeply flawed, terrible and a bad person.  But, for some reason, I've been able to keep myself somewhat resolved in not totally internalizing that negativity towards myself.  Even during that extreme but brief period in Jr, High and High School, I was able to resist taking on that self-loathing completely.   But then, during that time, I think I had forgotten what it was I was trying to hide from anyway. 

Well, I'm not going to let what society or religion dictates to me how I should be.  But to be clear, this doesn't mean I'm going to go out and start cross dressing or wearing makeup.  Just because it's something that is usually associated with women doesn't mean that I want it.  Sometimes I think most of what the women do is shit that some men have dictated to them that they should do.  No, I'm only talking strictly about what I want. 

So, what it really comes down to is this: If I like it, I'm doing it.  If some ignorant fool wants to give me shit about it, like the time I wore my knee-high moccasins to a macho, hetero-centrist tourist destination on the east coast, it's not my problem.   Their opinions have no power over me, that is until I'm physically assaulted which is a topic I'm just not ready to deal with.


  1. Great post. thanks for sharing :)

  2. The fact is, no matter what you do, some ignorant fool always wants to give you shit about it. It doesn't matter what you're actually doing, or who you actually are--they're taking issue with you (be you gay, straight, or purple) because, at the end of the day, they're not happy with themselves. They have to turn outward for meaning. Obviously, in the particular context of GLBT rights, the thoughts expressed in this video are important--but I find that, as a straight woman, they apply no less to me.

  3. What a great video! I also played with Mom's curlers and makeup as a kid. I don't ever remember my Mom or family members having a problem with it but it got lost somewhere along the way...

    Now, I really have no desire for feminine dress-up or anything of the sort. I don't know where it went. Or was it just part of growing up? Perhaps, like you, I subtly noticed the social problems with that sort of femininity as a boy and discarded it all on my own.

    Now at least I've grown to a place where I feel like I can do and be whoever I really am. The only problem is that now I really am just a boring Dockers-wearing, bland suburbanite. Oh where did that little boy go?!

  4. I've watched this video four times now. It's awesome. I remember dressing my brother up when we were younger. He had four sisters, he didn't know, at age three, that he shouldn't want his fingernails painted red and a skirt to dance in. My jock/tough father never batted an eye--he and my mother always allowed it. I think, hopefully, my brother (who looks and acts much like my jock father) is a more sensitive soul and less into gender stereotypes.

  5. Good for you! Be who you are, regardless of whether it fits someone else's notions of gender.


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