[I originally wrote this post for a collective blog named the camping. You can find it here: http://thecamping.wordpress.com/2012/10/28/fence-sitter/]
I’m a girl; a female; a human being of the non-male persuasion, blessed with an abundance of oestrogen. I wear mascara. I have breasts. I own a blow dryer.
I have long hair. It’s red. Sometimes I brush it. Okay, by sometimes I mean rarely, like when I go to church (lol jks I don’t go to church) or when I go on a date (LOL JKS I DON’T GO ON DATES) or when I wake up after a wine-fuelled night covered in some sort of black tar and have to first pick the twigs out of my hair and also some pieces of aluminium foil and then think, “I should probably brush this if I’m to retain any iota of respect for myself today.” (This part really does happen, usually minus the aluminium foil).
Anyway, back to the point: my hair is long and sometimes I brush it, sometimes I don’t, sometimes I even straighten it. Occasionally I wear dresses. I never wear heels but come on, does anybody? Yes, yes they do. But that’s beside the point again.
Sometimes I wear men’s clothing. Sometimes I like to wear my cap backward. Sometimes (often) I don men’s underwear. Sometimes I like to wear a flannel shirt and sometimes I like to button that flannel shirt all the way up to the top. Sometimes I really wish I could wear a bow tie but I don’t own one and I’m really destitute and to be honest, bow ties are not the first thing on my list of priorities. They’re more like… fifth. Dry shampoo (praise be to Jeezus) and gym gear that I will never work out in is far more vital to my life. But still, sometimes I wish I owned a bow tie.
And that’s okay.
It’s okay if I wake up tomorrow and want to dress a little like a boy. What the fuck is a boy anyway? Who said that boys should want to wear bow ties? And who said that, just because I was born with the anatomy of a female, I should want to swaddle myself in floral fabric that cuts off just above the knee – SIDENOTE: KNEES ARE SO UGLY but that’s for another post altogether – and dips just below the point where my boobs meet each other (presumably for coffee and chatz about boyz) in the gorgeously uncomfortable-looking union that shall henceforth be known as my cleavage?
Gender, and our pre- (and mis) conceptions about it are something that I think about a lot. If I had a dollar for every time somebody has referred to me as “such a dude” or “a 12 year old boy” I’d have at least enough dollars to buy some dry shampoo AND a cute American Apparel bow tie. Don’t get me wrong; I have no issue with being referred to as a boy. To be honest, I’m more intrigued by what makes us categorize humans into these pre-defined gender roles.
Sadly, it’s one of those things that we can discuss ‘till our face turns blue, but at the end of the day, it’s like this: this is the way things have always been, and the way they probably always will be. Women are emotional. Women have breasts and cook lovely roasts and iron real good and wear cute little heels and have hair that touches our shoulders. Men fish and fight and eat lovely roasts cooked for them by lovely women. Men drink beer. Men don’t cry (unless they’re MASSIVE PUSSIES) and men do NOT wear skirts and men have penises and must love steak.
But what about me? What about those people, like me, who want to know what it’s like to be human in every sense of the word? I want to run my fingers over the human experience (in the most platonic way possible) and touch every nook and cranny of what it means to be a person. Femininity? Yeah, sweet. Masculinity? I’m so down for that. There are so many different ways to be alive, I wonder if it’s really such a crime to want to exercise them.
Being “different” completely aside: when did it become so unacceptable to just be a FENCE SITTER? And, more importantly, when will it become really super cool to be a fence sitter? Because I’m pretty comfortable on this fence. Seriously, I’ve got a better view than all of you, and I ain’t budging.
People are confused by me, and I enjoy that. I get lots of questions about who I am and what I like and under what subcategory I identify myself and I find these questions to be comical.
People are all, “WTF ARE YOU? WHAT? WHY ARE YOU WEARING A BEANIE IF YOUR HAIR IS LONG? WHY DID YOU JUST TELL ME YOU LOVE RICHARD GERE AND THEN TURN AROUND AND SAY THAT NATALIE PORTMAN IN GARDEN STATE MAKES YOUR HEART BEAT A LITTLE FASTER EVERY TIME YOU WATCH IT AND YOU WOULD LOVE HER EVEN IF SHE WANTED TO WEAR THE FOOTBALL HEADGEAR TO YOUR WEDDING?”
And I’m like, “Hey. I’m me. I love people and I love life and I love myself. Is it so important to you that I define myself in terms that you can understand?”
And then you, you’re like… your eyes glaze over as the cogs in your brain jam and shit starts to go haywire and you start getting an “ERROR” message because I haven’t slotted myself into a gender role or a sexuality that you’re familiar with and you’re hella uncomfortable.
And that’s the best.
I’m going to go eat a steak. And when I’m done eating that steak, I’m going to ride my skateboard (I can’t ride a skateboard) to the park and play some football (I’m terrified of football) and after THAT I’m going to play some X-Box (I’m really shit-awful at video games) and THEN I am going to empty my really MASCULINE brown leather wallet (I actually don’t own a wallet and this is starting to cause serious issues within my life, but more about that later. I’m being metaphorical) and I’m going to see if I have enough money for a bow tie.
And if I do, which I won’t, I’m going to buy that bow tie. I’m going to buy the bow tie and wear it and sit on a fence and hold a girl’s hand. And while I hold that girl’s hand, sitting on that fence, I’m going to put on the Spice Girls’ “Wannabe” and sing every single word. Not because I have a vagina, but because the Spice Girls are amazing. And if you don’t agree, it’s not because you’re hyper-masculine, it’s because you’re a douchebag.