When I grow up, I wanna be just like you | Flickr – Photo Sharing!
“I can remember a day – not the exact date – but the set and setting of the day I proclaimed I wanted to be a boy. I immediately wanted to take it back. I thought my friends might have understood, or shared my feelings. I was wrong. I back peddled a bit saying I thought it would be cool to be a boy for a day, or a week, just to find out what it would be like. But really I wanted the freedoms and camaraderie boys had. I was envious of the privileges and conveniences boys had. I wanted to participate in the secret lives of guys. It didn’t seem to me girls my age had that.
From then on I was routinely beat up by girls at school, because I was different, or new, shy, white, stupid, talented, pretty, athletic, threatening. I got the crap kicked out of me for not liking any of the available boys. I liked them well enough, I wanted to go on urban adventures, bike rides, hiking, play in bands, kick around after school with them
– but all they wanted to do was touch me, that’s all they ever wanted. I just wanted to be friends. If I could be one of them, I could just be friends.
Now I know my desire to be a boy goes way deeper than just wanting the power to pee standing. My experience as a girl up to that point was of being abandoned and molested, pushed around and hurt. I saw my mom get treated like shit, stalked, raped, I saw her get attacked at knife point. The only picture of women I had was of peril. If I were a boy that wouldn’t happen to me too. wow this is hard… But it did, and I was told to keep quite – nobody would believe me – keep quite or I’ll kill you (for reals).
It was clearly impressed upon me that girls were to be seen (and used) and not heard. That men and boys operated on an honor system that went undisputed. When justice was called for, it amounted to a slap on the wrist and a stern warning. So if I was a boy, none of that icky stuff would happen right? And if I messed up, there wasn’t any real consequence? And I’d be safe right? Safe. That’s what I wanted, to be safe. And to be a boy meant I would have been safe.
It’s not like I wanted to be a boy because I liked girls, it was simply because I wanted what boys had. And I wanted to pee standing up, and not have to be worried about my hair or my new budding boobs escaping the loose confines of my bra. To not have a yucky period.
If I were a boy I could just be. Be left alone.
It didn’t ebb as I got older, only reinforced by the way I was treated by guys through my teens, and well into adulthood. Just about the same shit different day. Differences being sex – I learned early that consenting assured my safety. That’s a craptastic currency. I’d always thought my life would’ve been easier if I were a guy. I would never have to fuck anybody if I didn’t want to. I couldn’t even tell you why I like guys at all, but I sure do. That little bit confused me.
If I dreamt about being a guy, and I liked guys, would that make me gay? If I liked girls would that actually make me straight? In a world where it’s a-okay to be out, does it matter? But what would I be out as? A person? I’ll stick with that, since the reality is that I am indeed still a woman.
It wasn’t until I was in my 30’s that I really let go of wanting to be a guy. I truly came into being a woman, and learned to like being curvy and soft and strong. Perhaps it was the wall I’d built around myself that made me safer – nobody is getting in so nobody is getting hurt – or perhaps it was that wall started coming down when I let a good person in a little further. One that allowed me to just be without violating my personal space. A friend. A person who encouraged me, and held me up and proved to me all men weren’t all alike. Now the only times I hate being a woman is when I’m menstrual :-p or when I want to go on some adventure alone.”
Finally. Someone who shares my sentiments. I am not alone after all I suppose.
Anyway. What was it that Rumi once wrote?
“I you he she we. I you he she we. In the garden of mystic lovers, I you he she we. In the garden of mystic lovers, these are not true distinctions. I you he she we.”