When I was little, I more often felt like I had no gender.
I had Barbie dolls (although not nearly as many as my sister did). I’d play with them, too. When my sister and I would play with them, Barbie often wound up marrying Max Steel (he was WAY cooler than Ken). The dollhouse lived in my bedroom, and my cat often slept in it.
I had an American Girl doll (Molly), and a Bitty Baby. I played with Bitty Baby more.
While I always abhorred dresses, I did have a couple of pink clothing items. There’s a photo of me at eight years old wearing a pink Esmerelda sweatshirt. Speaking of Disney, I know that I also had several shirts featuring Pocahontas.
When my sister and I would play make-believe, I was always the knight in shining armor, or the handsome prince.
Disney’s Beauty and the Beast came out when I was four. My best friend, Angela, and I would often act out scenes from the film at daycare. We’d argue over who got to be the Beast.
My sister took dance lessons (jazz and tap) for about a year. Several times, I watched the lessons. It looked like fun, but I was too terrified of being put in tights or having to wear a skirt to tell Mom and Dad that I wanted to try it, too.
I took karate lessons for six years. Sensei Mike will forever have my gratitude and admiration. Three weeks out of five, class time was devoted to drills of the “charts” (basics) and then individual work on katas. The other two weeks, however, were devoted to grappling and sparring. Both sports were full contact, and each match was done in front of the rest of the class. The rule on those nights was that everyone had to grapple or spar at least once. Sensei chose who partnered whom for each match, and he matched people up based solely on skill level, and, on grappling nights, weight. In other words, girls fought boys, girls fought girls, and boys fought boys. Sensei measured everyone based on their hard work, not on what they happened to look like. For six years, class was a safe haven, and for that, I am forever grateful to Sensei.
The majority of the music in my iTunes library is cast recordings of musicals. And yes, I know the lyrics to all of the songs.
I am a geek, in all senses of the word. Although, as my sister once pointed out, “you actually have social skills.”
When I started Transitioning, I avoided people from my past for about three years. To this day, I don’t quite know why.
In junior high and high school, I avoided social situations like the plague, including cast parties for the musicals.
I didn’t learn how to dance until college, when my friends dragged me to swing dancing. I later enrolled in two semesters of ballroom, and loved every second of it.
Even after four years of testosterone, I still have moments when I think people around me are questioning my gender.