Gender. [part 1]
It's a difficult subject for me to talk about. Not so much because I've had bad experiences. I've been fortunate, and that's rarely been much of an issue. A few strange and uncomfortable situations, but nothing horrible. And not because I'm confused. I know exactly what my gender is, and have since I was at least in middle school. The problem is, there's no word for it. How can I be something that we have no language to describe?
You see, in my dreams, I am both male and female. My default, in dreams, is a physical unlikelihood: I have no breasts, a penis, and a vagina. However, in dreams, I re-shape myself constantly. Sometimes I am more female, sometimes more male. I morph between them as readily as clay being re-shaped. I would say I'm transsexual, but the body of my psychological gender is an impossibility.
In life, it's been a puzzle how to handle gender. In some ways, being socially awkward helped. Until I was in 4th or 5th grade, I rarely had friends, and very rarely was among a group of my peers--so it wasn't an issue. The kids I played with were mostly girls, but that was because those were the kids my parents set me up with.
I had two favorite things to do.
One was play dress-up. I had a box of cute outfits, hand-sewn fabric costumes that were saved from my aunt's childhood or picked up through the years. The outfits were colorful and spangled. My favorite was a bright turquoise "indian" skirt with silver sequins and black rick-rak, and a full skirt that opened up when I spun around in a circle.
The second was play in the mud. I would make mud patties, and mud people and get covered with mud from head to toe. At girl scout camp one year, I was voted dirtiest kid.
My first day of school in 4th grade, I wanted to wear my nice dress. It wasn't really school-appropriate. It was a long easter dress with butterfly sleeves. While I was waiting for the bus, I climbed up in a tree and tore it. I didn't have time to go back into the house, so I went to class, my first day at school, with a torn dress.
So I was girly and a tomboy at the same time. I never identified as a tomboy, because they seemed to be into sports and like to hang out with boys...I liked to read and wander alone. And my parents were cool about it. I had barbies and tonka trucks, and never thought anything about it until middle school.