Monday, February 14, 2011

day 578: gender


When I am 5 my brother tells me I was born with a penis- I am too afraid to ask my parents for fear they will confirm this. I watch Oprah and cry at the other misunderstood transgendered children. Because they are scared like me. We seem the same. When I meet Oprah, I want to tell her this, but I am afraid of what the kids at school will say if I am on TV- so I sit across the table, eat the fruit loops and stay silent. This is the first secret I remember keeping.

When I am 6, my parents pull me out of my kindergarten class to tell me that I am going to be a big sister. I am going to be someone’s role model, the thought of it sent shivers down my spine. When my sister is born, I am no longer responsible for being the little girl my mother always wanted, always needed. That was my sister’s tiara to bear- and she did it effortlessly- with a smile like picket fences and a rhythm that can only be born of angles. I resent her. I only resemble magma. When I am 13 and get my period, I learn that I am a woman. I do not know what this means except that I am not like the confused kids on TV. I am different. So I spend the next 5 years finding a new way to fit into this skin.

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