December 10, 2009

Keep it moving, on to the next one

So there I am, nervous, hands sweating, eyes bulging, making my first comment on this post.

And then...then it happened. Oh god, no, NO!

I thought of a story.

Do I digress? No! fit it in somehow--but shit! I thought of TWO stories! They're long! I don't have comment room! I can't just jump back to my blog, post, then go back! I'll forget my thoughts!

As I wither under the pressure to post a decent comment and not snark the fuck out of some earlier comments--I'm addicted--I click that awful enter button and let my comment free like a butterfly.

Then I run back here.

Okay I KNOW I told these stories when I first started school but obviously a few of you weren't here last year, so get ready:

It was 2008. I was bleary eyed in the summer somehow wearing a turtleneck and capris (I think) with flip flops. Such is my fashion. I'd gotten my first hair cut and was rocking the very curly natural afro. I'm standing in the long, long, loooong line for the Financial Aid office at East Tennessee State University, my new alma mater.

And a very familiar incident happens.

I'm standing with our family friend in the line and an older lady comes over--maybe about...40s-50s. I guess? Anyway, she asks me what I need. I think anyway, she refers to some gentleman.

"And what can I help you with sir?" or something to that effect. I somehow then realize she's talking to me, except I'm not a he. But okay! as usual I keep it moving.


Well let's just say I'm never sure if I look feminine or not. I have curves but I don't show them very often, my hair varies between short short and neck length, maybe I'll finally get to grow it out longer this year maybe not. I wear pants a lot. That's about it. None of these are particularly masculine but I guess I live somewhere old fashioned where...ALL of these traits are fucking masculine.

At some point, I didn't mind being masculine. I really wanted to be a boy. I never felt comfortable in girl's clothes except a nice bra and nail polish and flip flips--well, only one of those is particularly female exclusive...kinda?

Anyway, I never wanted to play the role of a girl. I was a true tom boy--I even referred to myself often as "he" despite my very feminine first name. I was nearly totally androgynous and it was great.

To this day I'm not so surprised at folks who mistake me for a boy. I never was. I know I don't perform gender much. So to fuck with people, I just keep it movin--I let her refer to me as a "he" until family friend corrected her and embarrassed she began referring to me as a she--again, keep it moving.

Let's see--I have a million of them. How about when I was a teen and a waiter repeatedly called me a boy until my mom finally corrected him? Oh my did he turn red forever and apologize. I also got used to keeping it moving because I didn't want to waste time why I was a girl that looked like a boy.

And yet most of my lady friends are surprised that anyone--usually men and older women--would or COULD mistake me for a boy? Maybe I dress different now (not really) or, usually when I speak, I a chipmunk, but not like a boy. I grew up. I think it's mostly the voice.

So my sex AND gender get erased in a way, but I have to admit most of the time I have a hand in it. As I say repeatedly, I'm more likely to let you go on thinking I'm the "default" mostly because I think it's funny and I just don't think I should have to correct you. You should correct you. Or don't! are you confused now?

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