Someone wrote…

So a few days ago, I was standing at a streetcorner waiting for cars to go by, when some teenagers actually slowed down to shout out their window and call me a crossdresser. It took me a minute to figure out what they meant–I am physically a girl after all, and up until that moment, had been feeling very feminine. As they drove away, I was left standing there, not feeling angry or particularly upset–mostly confused. How was I supposed to react? Was anger the right answer? Disgust? Or could it be pride, a little bit? Could it be triumph?

It took a while to internalize my real reaction. I was a little angry, yeah–those guys in the car were jerks. And I was a little upset, mostly by the negative tone I know was intended. But I was also triumphant in knowing I could be whatever gender I choose, or no gender if that’s what I want. I can be who I want to be, regardless of what gender people assign me. And if they don’t want to see people like me in their perfect worlds, they can deal. I am here, I am me, and I am here to stay.

What’s your experience?

And what are you thinking about gender right now?

Posted by on January 29th, 2009 at 08:00 am

Category: your voice 6 comments »

6 Responses to “Triumph?”

  1. Dylan

    I am physically a girl and I went through a similar situation when I was in high school. Granted the people I dealt with used somewhat harsher words, I had the same reaction. Surprise and shock. I was upset by the fact that those persons had to be mean about it, but I realized how little it mattered because I was perfectly fine with who I was – regardless of what I chose to identify as.


  2. Jan

    What “Someone” said up there moved me inexplicably. This has happened to me so many times that I can’t even recall. At one point I decided to compromise and conform to what society expects a woman to look like, but I can recall when I felt more comfortable in my skin.

    Yes, I agree, the world can “deal”. They haven’t given me the space to be who I want to be, so what they think is perfect is actually very messed up for a lot of us.


  3. Johanna

    Im a biological girl even if i want to be more androgynous. I was harrassed on the buss a couple of months ago on my way home in London. I was wearing a woolen coat and a pair of trousers, didint look very “male”. A guy and his two girl friends started to ask if I was a man or a woman and kept asking me that for several minutes, being very agressive. I anwered back, but it didnt stop until i went of the bus. It felt very unpleasant!


  4. Allison

    Ugh, I hate getting yelled at by car drivers/passengers for any reason. As a general rule, anyone who feels the need to shout anything at strangers out of a car window is probably a bag of slop.


  5. Chantal

    For years people have been quite agressive with me on the streets too. Like they need to let you know you can’t get away with… with what anyway? I’ve accepted the idea that I look like a girl, and a pretty one. Sometimes I do it on purpose, sometimes I really just wear what I can find lying around, and the result is always the same: hateful looks or even weird questions like “are you a boy or a girl?”
    Like Calpernia said, “If you can’t tell, you don’t need to know”… in this moments i feel the same as that someone, a mix of anger, upset feeling, and mostly pride.


  6. Anonymous

    That’s a little bit how I felt when some teenagers called me “faggot” when I was wearing a skirt. (I’m female-bodied, & pretty much id on the womanish side of genderqueer.) I was pissed off that they considered that acceptable public behaviour — but I also had to give myself a little pat on the back for successfully confusing them.


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