Many people assume I'm FTM. Or wonder why I say I'm not. I've always acted like a boy...when I was young I insisted I was one. I don't anymore, but once I got older I realized that me being a boy wasn't exactly true. Until a few years ago I didn't realize it was possible to be in-between. I just thought I had to pick. And at that age, being a boy was so much more preferable.

I ALWAYS wore shorts and t-shirts. I ALWAYS had my hair short. It was long and I insisted it be cut like my male cousin's, and my mother obliged. But she kept "needing" to insist I wasn't going to be a boy no matter how much I tried.

I got older and learned how human biology works. I knew I wouldn't turn into a boy. But it was still preferable when my only options were "boy" or "girl."

I continued to act like I was a "boy" well into elementary school, and was part of a little playground "gang" of boys. Teasing girls. Pokemon battles. Chest bumping (I was horrified once I started to develop a chest in fourth was awful. I only wore sports bras to hide them even then). I "like-liked" one of the boys in my gang, but kept it highly secret for fear he would reject me and start treating me like a girl.

In fifth grade I actually TRIED to look like a girl...kind of. I wore "girl" clothes sometimes and makeup every now and then. But after a little while I gave up. I realized it wasn't me. It was a lie. I didn't want to try to be a "real girl" anymore. I started dressing like a boy again and when we had American History Day I insisted upon being a male historical figure (I was Samuel Morse, by the way. It was pretty sweet). I was the only "girl" to do this--there were plenty of female historical figures to choose from. But my teachers have always been supportive of my masculine attitude and traits, so there was no fuss. And if there ever was a fuss, my parents would lay down the law with the teacher and tell them they had to let me do what I wanted when it came to acting outside my female-assigned gender role...or else. It's not like I was dodging responsibility, I was just doing things my way (to be honest, Samuel Morse had so little information I had to work harder than the other kids...).

Junior high wasn't much different. Boy clothes, "boy attitude" (whatever the hell that is?) and all male friends. I was in a play..."Death of a Salesman"...and I played the main character's hallucination of his dead brother, Ben. It was SO FUCKING FUN. I got a suit and a moustache and a bowler hat and a long cigarette holder and everything. I loved acting. I was good at it. But when high school came around I was denied when I asked to audition for a male part in "The Crucible." I was heartbroken. I realized I would never be allowed to be a boy again with this director, and I gave up on acting. For the rest of high school. And college. When you're a "girl" you can't play a male part. It's the rules. Well, I thought it was the rules now. And with no high school drama experience, it's not like they'd even consider me for a college role.

I hated how The Man kept me from being a proper boy (which, I will emphasize, is all I thought I COULD be if I wasn't a girl) and I resented everything. It was awful. I hated the world and continued to be this strange mixture of "boy" and "girl" that couldn't be properly resolved. I didn't know what to do.

And then I went to a private university my freshman year. It was extremely liberal and had a large queer population. This made me feel comfortable because at least now I could be comfortable with my bi (pan) sexuality. And I met M. He's a guy that was in my freshman seminar. He told me he was a lesbian at that time, but I could never see him as a woman. I told him how I felt about my gender and he was the first person who actually understood and VALIDATED my gender identity. He came out after I left by creating a Facebook group that was called "[birth name] is now M." That took some serious balls. I wish I was so brave. I've just been dropping hints and hoping someone will find out and not hate me, but I suppose as soon as I link this blog in a Facebook status everyone will know. I'm prepared for "Ewww"s and shunning and unfriendings. To be honest, I'm much more worried about my boyfriend's brothers than anyone else. I adore them and adore the rest of his family and I don't want to have a damaged relationship with any of them. One of his brothers knows my personality. He knows how I behave. He shouldn't be terribly surprised but I'm terribly worried his family will reject me.

It took until I joined queer communities on Livejournal to realize there was a word for what my "gender" was. That I wasn't alone. That I didn't need to pretend I was a boy just to reject the fact that I was female-assigned at birth. There's something in-between. I can now proudly say I'm genderqueer and not need to force myself into an inaccurate place. I'm not a boy and I don't want to be one. I'm not a girl and I don't want to be one. I don't need to pretend I'm either. I can be myself. Neither a boy nor a girl. And yet both at the same time. Neutral. Just myself.

Kirk out.

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