I feel extremely lucky.

Someone wrote…

I feel extremely lucky to have grown up with a family that took gender roles and stereotypes and completely ignored them.

What’s your experience?

And what are you thinking about gender right now?

Posted by on November 2nd, 2010 at 08:00 am

Category: your voice 13 comments »

13 Responses to “I feel extremely lucky.”

  1. Anonymous

    for sure.


  2. Jessica

    Me, too. Gets me into a lot of trouble sometimes. I don’t mind trouble. :-)


  3. Rich

    With my family, this was only true for a little while. I remember my mother putting a wig and nightgown on me as a joke when I was 5 or so. I also played with both boy’s and girl’s toys. Once my sister and I hit puberty, though, the double standards and gender norms came back in full force.


  4. Trevor

    I think it almost makes things for me harder, actually. I never had those stereotypes and roles impressed on me and now people don’t believe that I’m trans since I never complained as a child. Of course I didn’t: I never had any reason to!


    Jessica replied:

    Well put. I seldom questioned my place in the gender paradigm because I was more or less able to ignore it. I confused my misplacement in gender with other things and made many wrong turns because my thoughts were based on wrong assumptions. When I began looking at gender, it was late in my life and it took a long time to shift baggage around so I could see where things stood. My partner was very critical of this – oh, just another of your fads. It made me so angry, but sometimes I wasn’t sure.

    I wish sometimes that in my youth people had forced on me an unnatural and rigid gender framework. I would have rejected it violently and found in that fight many things true about myself that laid hidden for long, weary years.


    angel17 replied:

    Don’t you rather wish that you had continued to be free of the unnatural and rigid gender framework into your adult life?


    Jessica replied:

    Much as I enjoy sleeping, I think I prefer waking up.

    Was wasn’t so much free as I was unaware. There was something wrong in my life and I didn’t know what it was. It was tearing me apart from the inside, but slowly, and causing me to behave in unpredictable, hurtful, harmful ways. It was like I was on a collision course with myself. I was self-destructive. I look back on some of the things I did, some of the obvious mistakes I made, and I can’t believe it was me who did those things.

    I suppose, it might have been nice to find out that my personal demons had a more prosaic origin, but I guess I’m not that lucky.

    All I can say now is that as I continue to transition (which for me means grow and change) I continually feel like I have layers lifted off me. I feel younger – sometimes younger than I have ever felt, even as a youth. We call it liberation and until it has happened to you, it is just a word.

    You know, that is a strange thing that just occurred to me… perhaps it is that feeling of liberation that people mistake as being born again… or perhaps I am born again, but not in a Christian sense, more in a Taoist one of endlessly becoming myself.

    sam replied:

    I do the same thing .. i go back over my past and try to figure out what could have been different so I could have gotten the freedom I have now, earlier. It is such a hard set of counterfactuals. You just can’t know what additional things could have gone wrong if your parents had not given you that early resilience around gender. Maybe if they had done things in a more rigid way when you were a kid, you would have never *ever* discovered your gender identity. I think many people never do. You could have done some violent rejection but that doesn’t mean you would have discovered what you needed to find out. You just can’t tell how things are going to go. The safest bet to me is– do the right thing in the moment, because we can’t control the consequences and never can know where our actions are going to lead.

    beautiful to hear you talk about your transition. Makes me feel really tender inside.


    Jessica replied:

    My sister once said to me once, when I was in a teen rage:

    “Well, you can’t have it now. And when you can have it, you won’t want it.”

    Story of my life….


  5. Meike

    I totally agree with this. It does however make things harder for me now…is it just me, or is it harder to try and figure out where you fall on the gender spectrum when, for the majority of your life, you’ve been completely oblivious to such things?


    Jude replied:

    Well put. For me growing up, it was more that everyone was an individual and we all did what we needed to do. We didn’t do things because they were “proper.” Gender was not the issue…my family was more concerned with us being good people–not good girls or good boys. I think when I was small, it was assumed one was a “boy” or “girl” because most of society believed that to be so due to the body you got, but as for how you expressed your gender, it was all fair game. Now I get really confused, because I give gender way more free motion than society does.


    sam replied:

    society is confused, not you, don’t internalize the confusion of others!


  6. gone rogue

    I wished mine would be like this. I mean, they are all for equality when it comes to most rights and never put one sex/gender above another. But when it comes to personal expression and freedom, they’re pretty much stuck in the binaries. I’m trying to break free from that as much as I can, because it just feels right to do so.


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