Sunday, September 28, 2008

are you a boy or a girl?

Age five. Pixie Petunia was one of my names. Hair cut short, running free all summer without a shirt like one of my three brothers. I felt infinite possibility then.

"Are you a boy or a girl?" I got this question a lot and I was unphased by it. Until once it was hurled as an insult by a gang of older kids who surrounded me on my way home from kindergarten. I felt hostage to -- what? those kids? the confining definitions of gender? being forced to declare myself as one or the other?

I cried, sensing for the first time that there was something wrong with me. They put a dent in my identity.

After that, I wondered what made me a boy or a girl. I loved to climb trees. I refused to wear dresses, insisting on Billy the Kid jeans from the boys department. I built and set off rockets in the school yard and my mom said that I was born with a ball in my hand.

So you tell me. Was I a boy or a girl?

1 comment:

Dr. Jay SW said...

You were you-wonderful and unique.

Ever hear "When I Was a Boy" by Dar Williams (not to be confused with the Jane Siberry song of the same name)? If not, you definitely should. I'll lend ya the CD if ya want....