Recently I informed a friend that I was looking girly and she replied: “What does that mean? You have flowers in your jockstrap?” How dare her! I wear boxers.
It’s true–I’m masculine and feminine. I poke and I like to get poked. When I was a young lass of five with my short pixie haircut, people always asked me, “Are you a boy or a girl?” The question bothered me because I thought it was obvious I was a girl with super short hair who liked being called a tomboy. I did have two dolls that I played with for about five minutes during my childhood but they didn’t turn me on like my machine gun.
I spent most of my time hanging out with my little brother Greg playing army, cowboys, acting like The Three Stooges, wrestling, looking for bugs in the yard, pretending to be the Beatles and James Brown. On a few occasions, I attempted to pee standing up but that didn’t work out so well.
I loved shaving with my dad using my fake razor that my mom bought me. Afterwards, I’d spend hours in front of the mirror messing with my hair slicking it back with Brylcreem, “a little dab’ll do ya”. God I loved how that hair goop smelled.
I’d be there looking at myself in the mirror wishing for side burns but then a few hours later I’d have no problem putting on my baby doll pajamas. One morning I woke up in a cowboy mood and I put on my leather vest, my gun holster, my two-tone boots and my hat still wearing my super femme PJs. I was gender fluid on the rocks.
Then puberty hit and my male/female flexibility came to a screeching halt. I thought my boy days were over. I was devastated. That whole week my shattered 12 year old psyche felt gender expectations of the early 70’s making me act more like Marcia Brady. I listened to Carol King’s Tapestry album over and over weeping, nodding my head in disbelief while clutching that sky blue box of Kotex sanitary pads. It’s too late, baby now it’s too late…It really was too late; my female parts were functioning in full glory.
But I soon realized despite the blood coming out of me on a monthly basis, I could still be my unique Yin Yang self. I became a big basketball jock at my all girl Catholic high school and the chicks liked my silly sexy vibe. Those coquettish girls would always tell me, “Monica, you act like a guy.” To which I would reply exuding my swagger in my jock apparel while running my fingers through my hair, “So.” They wanted to bounce my ball, hard.
As I was a basketball hero to these gals, I also was wearing make-up and dating dudes. I felt awkward dangling on some guy’s arm but my high school world pressured me to do so. I went to Prom with a guy I liked but I really freaked him out when I told him I wanted to wear a tuxedo. “Please don”t,” he begged me. “People will think we’re gay.” Foreshadowing.
During my second year of college, all the stars aligned with The Gap and I came out as a big ol’ lesbo. Finally. Nothing really changed except–I COULD BREATHE! I continued my femme-y butch jock look wearing my bra as a tool belt while shooting hoops. Yeah, I was a trendsetter.
Now in my 50’s, I still feel male/female energy. I wear clothes for men, women and scarecrows. I’ve made a commitment to be myself in all my complexities. When people ask me: “Are you butch or femme?” I tell them, “I’m a Gemini.”
Happy Pride Month, everybody. Love yourself.
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