When a baby is born a boy, they give him a blue hat. The baby shower’s covered in blue. Dreams of him playing sports dance in the parents head. But, what happens if that same boy grows up to be a ballet dancer? Does that mean he’s gay? Feminine? Maybe he’s just really talented and, what do you know, maybe even heterosexual/straight.
Gender stereotypes, I’ve been fighting against them as early as I can remember. I recall getting horribly upset that I couldn’t join the Boy Scouts with my brother, or play peewee football with him. The Boy Scouts were way cooler than the Girl Scouts, who as far as my eight year old mind could comprehend sold cookies and we were called brownies: LAME, (well to me anyway, I’m sure there are plenty of ladies out there who enjoyed girl scouts).
Why is it that as a kid I had to take Home Education, aka “Home Ec.,” while the boys in my class got to take shop? How cool would it have been if I got to play with power tools and learn about cars? My dad was pretty cool and let me play with a power sander when I helped repaint the entire house, or put drywall up in the basement. I was in heaven when we worked on the house together. I really felt close to him, like this is where I belong.
I remember growing up trying so hard to fit in with the other girls. Trying to like the things they liked. I wanted to belong, to have friends. Try as I might I didn’t fit in, except with the drama geeks.
Ah, drama club, the safety zone for all the freaks, geeks, and misfits of high school – the only place I was never bullied. I think that all of us were just trying to survive high school so when the time came we could strike out on our own. I always found a way to avoid gender, to avoid being identified as I am, a female. I never really dated boys because I had no interest. I didn’t have interest in anyone really, just getting out of Rhode Island.
Get out I did. I joined the Army. A decision I will never regret, it really did save my life – and yes, try to destroy me at the same time. I am who I am today because of my experiences in the past, both good and bad. One good thing I have to give the Army credit for is that I was always treated like one of the boys. The military distinguishes gender only on two occasions: sleeping arrangements, sorry, no co-ed going on here, and the physical fitness test: females had a lower standard on the push-ups and the run. Females, after all, are built to make babies and yes, men are stronger in the upper-body area; however, I never do anything the easy way, so I set out to blow the fitness test out of the water. By the end of basic I could do 100 push-ups in a minute, maxed on my sit-ups, and finished my run with two minutes to spare.
So, why am I yammering on about gender? Because for a lot of transgendered people we notice early on that something is not quite right with the biology we’re given. I tried, I really tried, to be what I was born to be…literally and physically. It led me down a dark path of depression and suicidal ideation. I felt alone and misunderstood. Take a look around, you probably know someone struggling right now. The best thing to happen to me was finding a support system. If you know someone struggling, or are struggling, you’re not alone. Reach out to that person; don’t judge them based on anything. We are all human, no matter our race, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender identity. We all deserve to feel comfortable in our own skin.
Original Content From: https://thepadiwanjourney.blogspot.com