Sunday, January 17, 2010
There isn't a specific time I remember when I thought, "I want to shave my head." It was sort of a natural progression. You may remember that in past writings I've mentioned my spiky blue hair with long blonde bangs. The truth is, that hair style didn't last long (my girlfriend at the time said she didn't really like it). So, it was Sarah who cut those bangs. Not long after, I walked into a Sally Beauty Supply shop and bought electric clippers.
If you're a woman, I encourage you to shave your head once in your life. The feeling of a shaved head is about equal to driving through the expanse of the western u.s. So much freedom and solitude...and the feeling that you might be the only one.
I didn' t have to shampoo for weeks at a time. I just got my head wet and rubbed it a little. I never had to brush it, and of course, there was nothing to style.
Now, believe it or not, I got called "ma'am" more than before I shaved my head. Even in the most liberal parts of Houston, if I wore a baseball hat, I was a sir. At the time I was offended, though I was aware I was slightly gender bending. I had tiny boobs. I was very thin. I wore cargo pants and thrift store t-shirts. I looked like, on more days than not, a 14 year old boy. But I still knew I was a girl and I wanted others to feel it, too.
* * *
Besides Mindy falling asleep as soon as she sits down, the most annoying thing right now is people asking if we're going to find out the "gender" of the baby.
I'm no expert on sexuality, but I do know this: Gender=what you feel like. Sex=What you have. People have sex changes because their brains don't match what their bodies are. I don't have time to educate everyone on all of this, so I hope it makes sense.
Let me clarify: No, all lesbians don't want to be men (but some do). No, all gay men don't want to be women (but some do). Some straight men like to dress as women, but don't want to be a woman. Some straight women hate dresses but still have sex with men. You see, everyone is different. Everyone has her own gender, sliding up and down and all around out of control.
I have boobs and a vagina. That makes me a girl. But, sometimes my characteristics are more masculine...and that makes me...a human being.
Oh, I know people really mean to ask what the sex of the baby is. We don't know and we don't want to find out. When we tell some people that, they get all pissy and say "well, it'll be hard to buy for." What a crock of shit.
It's a baby, you guys. The baby won't care what it's wearing until it gets older and all of the social constraints are put upon it. Every culture decides what is masculine and feminine.
* * *
I started dance lessons when I was 2 and a half. Obviously, I didn't make the decision. My mom had grown my hair to my waist. People told me how pretty I was, how pretty my long blonde hair was. They'd touch it. Several times a year I'd be slathered in make-up, put in a tu-tu, and shoved onto a stage to dance. I never really like it, but it wasn't terrible, either. But I didn't like to play dress-up when I was home, with other girls. I wanted to play army or war or something.
My family kept buying me Barbie dolls. I hated them. But they just kept coming in. I had a huge doll house crammed full of naked barbies. I was pissed when I realized I couldn't fit Ken's shoes on Barbie's unnaturally arched feet. I asked for GI Joes. I got Barbies, My Little Ponies (they weren't so bad), and Cabbage Patch Kids (and I actually didn't mind them, either.)
I asked for football pads and drum sets. I played with my cousin's GI Joes and Ninja Turtles whenever I visited.
The boys in town wouldn't let me play football until I proved myself.
* * *
Right after I shaved my head I visited my cousin at her grandmother's house. My cousin had just had a baby. The year was 2001, I think. Anyway, her grandma had Alzheimer's and so she had to watch her for a while. Her grandma, who had known me my whole life, walked into the living room and JoAnn said, "grandma, remember Christina?" The woman looked at me, horrified. She turned around and said, "boygirlboygirlboygirl." After a few minutes she'd quit and start to do other things in the house. But, when she'd see me, she was reminded, "boy girl boy girl."
* * *
If our baby has a penis but wants dolls, I'll buy them for him. If she has a vagina and wants to only wear baseball shirts, I'll let her.
People want to know so they can categorize, so they can start imagining what he or she will do, how beautiful or handsome the kid will be.
Give my baby a break. Don't start assigning it gender roles. It'll already have enough troubles explaining why he or she has two moms.