Gender Fluid Sweeter-Pan
My gender flows from Tinkerbell to Peter Pan.
I actually do know who I am.
When I say it, people understand.
I’m not a woman, not a man.
Scary at it sometimes seems,
I know there is a place for me.
This is who I’ve always been,
This is who I’ll always be.
This is a very scary thing for me to reveal about myself. Though at times, usually when I am alone, it feels incredibly casual and obvious; as I said, this is who I am; this is who I’ve always been. At the same time, acknowledging it in this way, and saying it out loud, terrifies me. It echoes with unknown consequences.
It has been a long path to come to this understanding, and it is ever evolving. But as I look back, I have a new lense to understand the careening I’ve done between female and something-else. The discomfort. The confusion. The resentment. The clinging and the fear. The strange joys.
I am in awe of the psyche, and the poetic and deeply intelligent ways it calls us to the truth, again and again. When we don’t hear, or won’t understand, it re-phrases the message. It sends us dreams. It sends us impulses. It makes strange jokes come out of our mouths. It compells us to make surprising impulse purchases. It invites others to make little comments that stir our emotions. The truth wants out, and it will always find a way. I suppose I could relax into knowing that.
When this understanding about my gender fully surfaced into view, I seized on it, like a gardener finding a strange sprout popping up above the earth and tackling it, staring at it, pulling at it, obsessing over it. WHAT IS IT??? I MUST KNOW RIGHT NOW!! I drove myself over the edge trying to understand it.
I forgot that I can sit back and trust. I forgot that real things grow organically, in their own time, and they never disappear. They can be obscured from view, but they are always there, and they always reveal themselves when the time is right.
Apparently, the time is right.
Yesterday, I plundered the boy’s T-shirt section at Target. I trembled with fear, with excitement, with wonder…I cringed with shame. I could not believe this treasure trove that has been waiting here, all this time. Whoever designs boy’s T-shirts seems to know me intimately.
Sometimes, I think that my boy side is young because his development has been arrested by repression. I wonder if, now that I am paying attention to him, he might begin to grow, eventually becoming a man. I do not know.
But the shirts fit.
Ah, this reminds me of one of those strange jokes that came out of my mouth, when talking to friends about my bisexuality; I’ve found myself saying to several friends; “When it comes to dating women, I feel like a teenage boy.”
I feel like a teenage boy.
Even when I am not dating women.
Sometimes I feel like a boy.
The Peter Pan joke came back and reverberated in my brain while I furtively grabbed fistfulls of colorful little T-shirts…maybe I’ll never grow up? They’re only $5! This seems like a good situation.
Men’s clothes are dark and boring and ridiculously baggy on me. I want to dress like a gay boy. I am a flamboyantly femme gay boy, more than I am a butch lesbian. I am pretty much fine with my body the way that it is. Aside from wanting more muscles. I’ve been doing push-ups. I can do thirty, on a good day. My male friends are impressed.
Do I have to prove myself to them? Do I have to engage in male sparring now, to find my way among the guys? I’ve never been good at that. I always shyed away from it. I didn’t think I could win.
I’m thinking about my teenage years now, when my troupe of punker guy friends would wander over to my house after the nearby vocational school let out, and make jokes, and skateboard, and watch weird videos, and throw an old football at an abandoned mattress. I wanted to blend in with them, not stand out, not be different. But I was different, though. They weren’t as rough with me. One of them kept trying to sleep with me. I couldn’t blend in, even when I dressed like them. I was different.
But I was more comfortable with them than I was with most girls my age. Pink and ponytails and shopping and gossip were not my thing. I’m sorry to make such an awful stereotype. Girls can be much more complex than that. But I didn’t relate to them.
I am still finding my way.