A Gender Confused Soliloquy

I just don’t think I’m a boy

I’m not a girl, I think maybe sometimes I just get confused

It’s hard to tell the difference between wanting and wanting to be

The two different desires

Because you can want two things at once

 

I guess I must be genderfluid but I don’t know

I have never been a girl

But that hurts my heart as well as it lifts it up

And I get scared that I’m not even attracted to girls and that all of that fuss was over nothing 

And that I am a girl

That I had nothing to fear all along and was just making it up

But it’s not true

 

I just don’t yearn for girls the way I yearn for boys

Sometimes I do

But I appreciate the way boys are in a different way

Well, the same way

But there’s always that longing

And that pang of missed opportunity

That discomfort and wrongness 

And I should have figured it out by now

Which skin to settle in

But I’m a shapeshifter who never shifts their skin

Who lets the urge to change squirm around inside them

Letting themself convulse and double over with the strain rather than just give themself what they want

 

I was born a girl of the new millennium

And I see her sometimes, in my reflection, but never in the flesh

And she’s strong and happy and a woman deserving of that title

And she’s just like me

And she’s nothing like me

She’s in green velvet and her name means daughter of Ireland. She’s a warrior queen and she beams through her filthy face, skin stained with woad and dirt and blood

And I want and don’t want at the same time

I want that certainty

And to know my own name 

To have it roll off my tongue in a comfortable drawl

To know

 

Because I wish I was a boy sometimes

I think I almost always wish I was a boy

I sort of think I always have

Just not in the way I expected

Not in a way where I despised being a girl

Because even as a young misogynist

I crossed my arms and decreed that girls were better than boys

Girls don’t have to wear dresses or like pink or have crushes or be weak

Girls can be anything they want

I just don’t know that I really thought that applied to me

 

I wasn’t like other girls

Even after I read Caitlin Moran and spent my evenings on Tumblr

Even when I listened to riot grrrl and hung out with grubby wild women who painted themselves with blood and howled alanis morrisette at the moon

Because the sometimes lipstick wearing but unshaven strident feminist pink loving daughter of Sappho still wasn’t like other girls

And she so wanted to be

Even though she already knew why she never would be

But maybe if she just tried

If she just tuned out the things she didn’t want to hear

It wouldn’t matter

Because I loved being a girl. I loved the sisterhood and the raging and cursing and being allowed to be lupine and strange and feral and and worshiping Courtney Love at a crushed velvet altar

But I couldn’t wear a funny t shirt with fried eggs over the nipples, or join in laughing about hating having to wear a bra, or look in the mirror

All that sisterhood gets a little stifling

No matter how much you try to join in 

To be proud of every wart of your womanhood

Because In the back of your mind you remember that soul crushing life destroying feeling of getting your first period

Viscous maroon liquid dripping down your 13 year old thighs and a stale sweet scent like death

“Its only a couple teaspoon of blood”

Maybe it is for everyone else

But you’re a bluebottle trapped in a jar of honey

It’s not blood

It’s tar

 

Being 12 and your sister gently advising you to maybe think about getting a bra

Wanting to smash in your bedroom mirror when you realised she was right

And realising that your life was over

 

And you hang out with your brother and despite everything, it feels like you can breathe again

Jeans and t shirts and no talk about freeing the nipple or menstrual blood or girl code

Just existing 

And feeling awful for feeling that way

It’s just internalised misogyny

That’s all it is

You dress like your brother and hoard photographs of your father in the 70s in a box next to your bed

And you feel light

And you wish it was always like this

But then

“This is my sister”

“Then go do it girl!”

You’re not the same

Why can’t we just be the same

 

Does this mean I’m a boy

It’s the thing I always come back to

But that doesn’t have to mean that it’s true

I don’t think that it’s true

 

I mean in a way, it would be easier if it were true

 

But so much harder for all the reasons you don’t want it to be

 

I’ll never be a boy 

But I don’t know if I’ll always be not a boy

 

When I think of androgyny I just picture a boy

Not a man with a six pack and a wife and a job and 2.5 children

Not a man with a capital M whose name is Richard and who likes football and Family Guy

But I think of a boyish figure who skateboards or boxes and who likes to thrash around to punk and cry in a ball on their bed listening to sufjan stevens

I think I just picture who i’d like to be

 

I wish I’d been born a cis boy

Well not a cis boy

I’d still be trans

I think

But it would be easier

I could date boys and know that they saw me as being like them

And I could still buy a dress or a skirt

Except I wouldn’t have to worry what parts of me were showing

And I could do what I liked with my hair

 

I know amab people get a lot of grief

But I’d take it if it meant I wouldn’t have to be this

 

I’d grow a fucking penis if it meant not having to deal with all this

And I do not care for penises at all

Episode 1: The Saga Begins

tom hanks

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As I am writing this it’s 11am and i’m in a Starbucks with a laptop which is quickly losing charge and what I excitedly mistook to be Alanis Morissette playing over the cafe speakers. Speaking of Alanis Morissette, I don’t think I have ever met a cis straight dude who likes her music, yet nearly every woman I know has some place in their heart for her high emotion angry girl music. Like that scene at the beginning of Lady Bird where Christine is playing Hand In My Pocket for her Dad in the car and she kind of gushes over it but her Dad is fully unimpressed. That is pretty much the same as every interaction I have had with most guys when Alanis is brought up. I think maybe they think we don’t know it’s over emotional and that her voice is sort of grating and her lyrics don’t always work and she has a pretentious air. But we do. It’s just that we don’t care and we fucking love her for it. Or at least, we love 90’s Alanis for it. Because who likes any of her recent-ish music? Alanis Morissette has greasy hair and she’s loud and embarrassingly emotional and she’s angry and tries a bit hard sometimes. And it’s great because, yeah, me too! I dunno, It’s hard to explain exactly what it is that makes her so appealing to certain people and so unappealing to others (namely cis straight dudes). Like the song You Oughta Know, for example. When I listen to it with my non cis straight dude friends (aka pretty much all of my friends) we yell the lyrics and laugh and throw ourselves about in a mosh like celebration of this vicious break up anthem. We recognise the rage and the manic grief she (without one bit of subtlety) expresses and we embrace it. Maybe so many men don’t feel the way we do about her music due to some little nugget of toxic masculinity in their brains telling them they can’t express their emotions in such an honest and embarrassing way. Or maybe its the usual trend of anything that teenage girls like immediately being categorised as completely stupid and frivolous and dumb, just like teenage girls. You can see it in the way men often react when they hear some vaguely popular female musician put out music they actually like. “I heard that song by (insert female artist here) on the radio the other day, it was actually quite good, like, she isn’t just writing those boring run of the mill girl power songs like that other popular one she did. I mean it’s still just pop music but that baseline was actually pretty cool, and her voice is better when she doesn’t yell. I mean I’m not her biggest fan now or anything, I’m not a 13 year old girl for fucks sake.”. I mean, why not just say you like it? But nah, you gotta rationalise why you like it with some vague comment about ‘musical stylings’ or something. Why shit on the stuff you like? Oh shit this Starbucks is playing Sky Full Of Song by Florence and the Machine, what a fucking move. Whoever made this sick playlist also played some Rumors era Fleetwood Mac which makes me trust them but I also suspect that this is some kind of corporate ruse to make me trust the shitty company I am currently paying so I can procrastinate doing actual work by writing this disorganised mess of a blog post. Anyway, what I’m saying is that men need to get it together and that maybe they’d be less repressed and shitty all the time if they listened to Melodrama by Lorde – now on iTunes.melodrama