I saw these photos this morning, and it made me think.
I wouldn’t describe myself as a transvestite, but I am a female who has always been drawn to “boys” clothing. Even from as young as 10, I questioned why the school uniform for my tiny village school meant that girls wore tights and skirts in winter and not trousers. I tried to start a petition in the school, but my mother strongly discouraged me from being “different”. She wanted to protect me and she told me that doing that would get me into trouble, and so I felt that I had no choice but to forget about it until I was old enough to make my own decisions and speak my mind.
So many of my ideas and opinions seem to go against “the majority”. As a young child, I listened to my mother and followed her instructions without questioning why “everyone does thing x”, like wearing bras and shaving, but as an adult woman, I’m coming to realise that I only have 1 life and I can’t live someone else’s anymore. But how to gain the confidence and bravery to be who you really are when we are products of a society that tells women to “think before they speak”, yet seemingly gives men free reign? Women are “bossy”, whereas men are “authoritative”.
I would say that about 40% of my female friends in high school were “bisexual”, later coming out as gay (cue the “bi now, gay later” joke. Sigh. It’s all a spectrum, people). But when that happened, we were no longer friends anymore. They had joined a world that I was not allowed to join, because I happened to be straight. Often, I feel like I have more in common with homosexual women than heterosexual women, yet I’m mostly physically attracted to men, even though most of them are repelled by my “bossy” and “opinionated” ways, or else seeming attracted to conquering “a challenge” (but my gay friends tell me that dating women is no picnic either). I am incredibly happy in my current relationship, as my partner is one of the kindest, sweetest, most considerate straight males that I have ever come into contact with, and yet I can’t help but thinking he is “one of a kind”, as it’s not often I can say this about a man and then still actually fancy him.
Sometimes, I feel that it’s been one of the disappointments of my adult life finding out that I wasn’t gay, which is obviously a ridiculous thing to say (click here to see an amazing poem, Dear Straight People) as it must be horrible to live with people being prejudiced towards you or even just asking you personal questions like “Where did the sperm come from then?” when you have a baby. I suppose this is just a case of the grass being always greener on the other side and if I had to live with that stuff EVERY day then I would change my tune.
When I hear about things like women only gyms, cafes, and bars, I immediately want to go there. I grew up in a small town, where women were on the periphery of male groupings. As in, men have their camaraderie from being on the football team, and women (for whatever reason) don’t have a group of their own, and are just friends with their boyfriend’s friends’ girlfriends. Maybe this is why there is little sisterhood, as women are taught from early on that they are competing with each other for something, like male attention/recognition. Males hold the power, and women must dance to their tune to be “given” their share.
I leave you with another amazing poem, “Confessions of an Uneducated Queer” by Lauren Zuniga