In kindergarten, I thought the girls in my class were annoying. So, on the appointed day, I brought a raw egg to school so I could join the boys in throwing eggs the girls. I wanted in on this plan to demonstrate my distaste for the silly, giggly girls and to prove that I certainly wasn’t one of them. Alas – or luckily, because surely there would have been repercussions – my egg was squished in my jacket pocket before it could complete its mischievous mission.
In the 4th grade I said, “I want to be a boy,” because boys could do cool things like play baseball.
In middle school school, I wanted – someday – to have a cool flattop haircut like my mom described boys having in the 50s.
In early high school, I wanted to be cool and look like River Phoenix in Stand By Me.
I wanted a derby jacket.
I wanted high top Air Jordans.
Fits and starts at embracing my femininity followed. It wasn’t excessively uncomfortable for me, but I consistently felt at least mildly awkward, with notable peaks of severe discomfort. Clothes shopping was stressful and I was always striving to fit an ideal of what I thought I ought to look like. By my mid-20s, life took over and I settled into my relationship. We got a dog. I pursued my career. A decade or so passed until, in my late-30s/early 40s, I started to catch on to new words and expressions for gender identities beyond the “man/woman” binary. Thanks to the millennial generation embracing more varied sexual and gender identities, the Interwebs were filling with folks expressing their true selves. “Genderqueer” and “non-binary” immediately felt just right for describing myself. My internal sense of gender identity was sorted. Figuring out how it fit into my presentation an my life… I think that is a lifelong quest.