Recently, I took my final exams for the semester. Because of exams, I got to leave school earlier than usual. I went home, ate lunch, and walked back to school for track practice. I had rehearsal for a play afterward, so I brought along a bag for my shoes, water bottle, script, and other miscellaneous items. It wasn’t a sling bag or backpack, but a special “tote”-type bag some friends brought back for me from their trip to Boston. Some kids I encountered on the way to school decided to laugh at the bag because it looked really feminine. That got my gears turning…
I am male. I was born male, and will always be male. But what does being male really mean? The first things that come to my mind are physical traits: longer limbs, broader shoulders, a deeper voice, and all that. With some further thought I realized that besides physical traits, the only things people use to distinguish between male and female are materialistic. Makeup is for girls. Baseball caps are for boys. Statements like those aren’t only false, they’re judgmental and limiting. Some girls totally rock the baseball look, and many boys have discovered they like the way they look with a bit of makeup. Society has drawn a borderline separating the sexes, a line that neither gender is “supposed” to cross. Why not? People are judged by society-generated stereotypes and are told how to be a man or how to be a lady. It’s not natural. Doctors don’t tell the sex of a baby based on whether it pops out of the womb wearing a skirt or a jockstrap.
I don’t see why it’s bad for someone to express bits of both masculinity and femininity. I’m am definitely not transgendered; I am perfectly comfortable being male. I do, however, have a feminine side that I am equally comfortable expressing. I just cannot wrap my head around why that’s such a problem. I’ve observed that people are even harder on boys (that might be because I am a boy…what do you think about this, girls?) when it comes to stepping over the gender line. Boys seem to do it less, so when one does it’s seen as a huge deal. It really shouldn’t be. If you ask me, it’s worse when one chooses not to express oneself out of fear than when one does so in a “controversial” way.
In my eyes gender is a physical thing. I don’t think stupid things like makeup, clothes, mannerisms, and tastes can force the soul into a gender mold. People may try, but it’s wasted effort. Expressing yourself in ways more commonly associated with the opposite sex doesn’t make you homosexual, transgendered, or weird, it makes you a multifaceted, true-to-yourself person. Be yourself.