Gender

Times have been shaping up for me recently. I’ve been having a great time in Philly and am looking forward to having a good time in Pittsburgh. But earlier in the week I was biking to work and got very very down. It made me begin questioning whether I was doing something wrong in my life to cause these feelings, which I’ve been having on and of for years. Maybe I wasn’t holding relationships right. Maybe I was missing something in my life to cause these feelings.

I had a very emotional conversation with a close friend that helped me reveal the cause of these feelings. It’s something I have known for a while, but have hidden from myself for convenience reasons: I have never been a regular boy.

As a kid most of my friends were girls, when playing video games I always picked a female character, and I always wanted longer hair, but it was always cut when it got shaggy. I tried to express my gender more in college, but after shaving my legs for a few weeks in sophomore year someone told me I had ugly legs. I promptly stopped shaving them. In addition to that I had some friends who would make me uncomfortable with my decisions, one of them calling me a “hate crime” when I wore more effeminate clothing.

Over a year ago, last November I skipped out on work as a community organizer one day and shaved my legs. I was really stressed about work and that made me feel much better. I’ve shaved them since then and began shaving my armpits, stomach and chest area. I often began such things during a time of stress. My mind needed an outlet and it picked my gender.

While I’ve certainly gotten a lot of support from people, notably Majesty, some people couldn’t understand what was going on. This was one of the reasons my relationship with Smiles fell apart: she couldn’t love the real me and neither could I. And when you don’t love yourself it’s hard to love other people or feel loved since they don’t love the real you.

This has been a big problem in my life for a while. Despite having dozens of close friends who love me very much I was insecure. I couldn’t help but think they didn’t love me, but the loved this other person I was presenting. I know that’s not true. But its hard to grapple with when you are ashamed of who you are.

So here is my big step. I’m coming out on the Casbalog. I know this won’t be a surprise to many, which is good. I’m not a boy, but don’t worry I’m pretty certain I don’t want to become a full girl. I just want my gender expression to be what I feel inside. I don’t want to look handsome, but pretty.

I know its going to be a hard time accepting myself truly and not keeping it my dark little secret. But as I’ve tried to show so many other people, be yourself, your true self. Now I have to try that for myself.

p.s. Smiles just pierced my ears for me, I can’t wait until they heal and I can wear some more interesting earings, definitely some that dangle.

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